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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 13:24:02 -0500 Subject: 2 Sins of Yissachar: An Addendum I would like to comment on the rich set of Midrashic reasons given for the pronunciation of Yissachar (which were nicely summarized by Rabbi Leiman) Opening up the Minchath Shai on Gen 30:18 we find that 1) The Remah states: "Yissachar: The whole torah: two sins are written and only one is pronounced.." (Ibn Ezra is cited as concurring also) 2) Summarizing a debate between the Radack and Rav Eliyahu we find that: "Because of the difficulty of pronouncing two similar consecutive letters (particularly if they are silibants!?) the Hebrew language sometimes silences one of them." (Examples are then given) 3) A check with the Konkordance shows that indeed ALL occurrences of MCHTZRIM and YISACHAR confirm to this pattern. In other words, it IS the DOUBLE SILLABANT (tz,tz or sin,sin) that causes the silencing. My question then is: Are we "permitted" to use philosophical/midrashic reasons when the grammar is so clear? And are we permitted, (out of doubt?), to pronounce the first Yissachar with two sins if the reasons are so clear. To augment the question I cite the Rav who once said: "If you want to really learn Midrash and Rashi you must leave the turbulent waters of philosophy and go to the placid waters of grammar?" In other words, why not simply admit that pronouncing one sin follows a simple grammatical rule, act accordingly and not cite Midrashim in the presence of clear grammar. Russell Jay Hendel, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu