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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 13:04:12 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: The reasons for the hypen in Dt08-08 The question has arisen as to the hyphenation in Dt08-08. I believe all postings till now have assumed that ZaYTH is a construct state of the word ZaYiTh (Olive). Thus they translate the verse as "A land of olive-oils and honey" which as RDK says in his book ROOTS means that olives of Israel produce oil--wheras many varieties of olives do not produce oil". I suggest an alternative interpretation based on the fact that ZaYTh could also be NOUN-FORM (not a COnSTRUCT form) and eg would be similar to the word A-Y-D (mist). In other words I am suggesting that there are two words for OLIVE in Hebrew: ZaYiTh and ZaYTh. The verses bear this out (eg Zach4:3, Ps128:3, Dt28-40). So quite simply Dt08-08 means "A Land of Olives, oil and honey." (In passing I have various objections to the original-construct-state interpretation: 1) If it is a construct then the hyphen should be between ZaYTh and SheMeN; 2) if so it would be preferable to write shemen-tayith --that is "A land of oil-olives and honey". Finally with regard to Barry Bests suggestion that we infer halachah from this verse I point out that all blessings (except benching) are rabbinical. Therefore this verse is at most a 'memory peg' for the rabbinical enactment) Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; Dept of Math; Towson Univ Moderator Rashi is SImple http://www.RashiYomi.Com/