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From: rhendel@king.mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 20:36:15 -0400 Subject: A Prayer Error with Rabbinical Controversy in the Shema Believe it or not I just found a davening error which many people perform every day and yet according to one Posayk it is a blatant error. I refer to the words in Keriath Shemah..."BECAL LEVAVCHAH...". According to the Rambam (and other Poskim) the lamed at the END of becal should be separated from the lamed at the BEGINNING of LEVAVCHAH. This sounds simple enough and many people do this. Yet according to the Minchat Shai the Rambam did not mean what we think he meant. To explain his position we list three possible pronunciations 1) BECAL LEVAVCHAH 2) BECALEVAVCAH 3) BECALLLLLEVAVCAH To clarify: in 1) we separate the two words. In 2) we slur the two words one into the other. In 3) we slur the two words one into the other BUT prolong the "L or LAMD" sound to equal the length of time required to say two letters (thus even though we slur it without a break we do use the time required for two). Let us now get down to halachah. The Rambam seems to be saying that 1) is proper and 2) or 3) are improper. The MINCATH SHAY says that the Rambam only meant to declare 2) improper (sluring); but 3) (slurring with double time for the l) is the proper way of saying it. The MINCHAT SHAY further objects and claims that it is clear that 1) (separation of words) is IMPROPER. The reason for this is that the two words are connected with a MAKKAF or hyphen and according to the Minchat Shay that requires that the words be slurred into each other. (In passing I note that there is some support for this view: E.g. The frequently recurring Posook VAYEDABER HASHEM EL MOSHE LAYMOR should really be read ...MOSEHLAYMOR (because the L of LAYMOR has a Dagesh which REQUIRES one to slur (the so called DAGESH CHAZAK). In closing I note that this is more than "another mail jewish davening error" This is a *real* halachic problem. I raise the issue: What do we do in this case? Do we simply follow the shulchan aruch which *seems* to be saying the 1) is proper. But the MInchath Shai has a right to interpret the shulchan aruch and tell us that it is only 2) that is improper and in fact 1) is also improper and use such precedents as the Dagesh Chazak. I am curious about both practice AND Methodlogy. Anyone out there know or has heard of something authorative. For what it is worth my own practice is as follows: I follow the Michath Shai in Keriath Shemah. When I lain however I frequently follow the literal method (of separating words) since it might cause too much confusion to the Tzibbur if I slurred words. Ideas are welcome. Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.d. ASA rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu