Day 26 of the Omer

אוֹמְרִים בִּתְפִלָּה: וְכֵן — בְּצֵירֵי וְלֹא בְּפַתָּח — שְׁנֵי כְתוּבִים. חִיִּיתָנִי — בְּקָמַץ וְלֹא בְּפַתָּח — מִיָּרְדִי בוֹר. זֶכֶר — זַיִין בְּסֶגּוֹל וְלֹא בְצֵירֵי — רַב טוּבְךָ. מַשְׁלִיךְ קַרְחוֹ — בְּפַתָּח וְלֹא בְקָמַץ — כְפִתִּים. וּמַלְכוּתוֹ וֶאֱמוּנָתוֹ לָעַד קַיֶּמֶת.

In the prayer services: In the phrase וכן שני כתובים,1 the letter chaf in the word vechein should be vocalized with a tzeirei and not with a patach.

In the phrase חייתני מירדי בור,2 the letter saf in the word chiyisani should be vocalized with a kamatz and not with a patach.

In the phrase זכר רב טובך,3 the letter zayin in the word zecher should be vocalized with a segol and not with a tzeirei.4

In the phrase משליך קרחו כפתים,5 the letter kuf of the word karcho should be vocalized with a patach and not with a kamatz.

The phrase 6 ומלכותו ואמונתו לעד קימת [should be read in its entirety].7

A Story with an Echo

In Sefer HaToldos Admur Maharash, the Rebbe relates that during the month of Elul 5605 (1845), an itinerant merchant came to Lubavitch selling sefarim, sacred Jewish texts. The Rebbe Maharash, then a boy of eleven, wished to purchase some. Since most of his money was held for him by his father, the Tzemach Tzedek, he asked him for thirty silver rubles. When his father inquired what he needed such a large sum for, and he explained why, his father replied: “First master the books you already possess!”

The young Maharash answered: “Father, what about you? Are you thoroughly familiar with all the books that you have? Nonetheless, you buy new ones every year. Even when you recently returned from the Rabbinical Assembly in Petersburg you brought home new ones.”

The Tzemach Tzedek replied: “You can take any sefer at random from the bookcases, and test me.”

The Maharash took out the first book that came to hand, which happened to be entitled Sefer HaMaslul. His father explained that it was a very well-structured work on dikduk, Hebrew grammar, and proceeded to recite by heart several passages from the introduction, and then from the body of the book — all verbatim.

The Maharash replaced that book and took out the next one, which was entitled Masores HaMasoros. His father told him that this, too, was a work on dikduk, and again began to recite its contents by heart. This was repeated with further works on Kabbalah, Mussar, and other scholarly subjects.

[Continued in the entry below.]