Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

18 Tammuz 5764 - July 7, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











The Gateshead Rov's Dikduk BeHalochoh

To the Editor:

At the first yahrtzeit of the beloved Gateshead Rov zt"l (20 Tammuz), one feels more intensely the great loss we have all suffered. Over the past year, a number of collective mitzvos including siyumim were dedicated le'iluy nishmoso, and perhaps now is an appropriate time to mention another opportunity for each individual to join forces in an additional dvar mitzvah.

Amongst the many shaalos that the Rov zt"l ruled on, is a matter regarding a word we say throughout davening yet often mispronounce. One sometimes worries about that fateful time when our rendition of Hashem's name will be scrutinized. Was the Daled of "Adonoi" said with a cholem, each according to his minhag (e.g. "doi" or "doe"), or with a chirik?

Perhaps it is not so universally known, that Rav Y. Weiss (in a letter to Rabbi Margolin ylct"a, Bayit Vegan), Rav B. Rakow and other poskim, ruled that by saying A- dee- noy, one is not yotzei! What a shame for all that toil (for which there must be some reward) in kavonoh, sometimes with dikduk, if the actual tefilloh or brochoh did not count chas vesholom to one's credit.

Indeed, this was one of the many areas that one saw how the Gateshead Rov zt"l was no'eh doresh veno'eh mekayeim (which has prompted this long overdue letter of publicity). In the almost twenty years since I have heard his unequivocal psak, it became increasingly noticeable how much this needs chizuk.Too many precious Yidden, men women and children, seemed to be saying, sometimes or frequently, either a chirik which is posul, or a shevoh which is bedi'eved, or other unclear combinations. However, the Rov zt"l always pronounced a clear cholem, whether during davening or officiating at a simcha.

Being a ba'al keriya I appreciate that a reading habit can be gradually improved to become automatic. I humbly suggest that we begin by correctly pronouncing the "doy" of Hashem in the first parshah of Krias Shema. There are just three in total (twice a day) which could make all the difference to a Torah-based mitzvah! Maybe after a month or so, this change will have become second nature (as in mashiv horu'ach) and with the kind permission of the editor, we could take this matter further.

If interested readers of the chosheve public would kindly be matri'ach themselves to reply to the address below, perhaps we could combine talents to find a long-term solution for people of all ages. Imagine the zchus hatzibuur if we could raise our tefillos to the rung of lechatchiloh, and how much Klal Yisroel would benefit thereby!

Yeyasheir kochachem,

Yours sincerely,

(Rabbi) C. Lauer

30 Windermere St.

Gateshead NE8 1TQ

P.S. This letter is the combined effort of several talmidei chachomim.


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