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Unusual Notes in Tenach


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tevet 28, 5775
Does anyone explain the meaning of the karnei para on Bemidbar 35:5 and Yehoshua 19:51. I believe there are 16 of these in Tenach. There are also meircha kefulahs in Bereishis 27:25 and Bemidbar 32:42. How do these notes help us understand the text?
ב"ה Shalom The general purpose of the Ta'amei Hamikra is to provide a certain melody for the pasuk and to accentuate certain parts of the word or of a particular pasuk. The accentuation of a certain part of the word then has grammatical consequences on the rest of the word as far as punctuation and these in turn can the alter the meaning of a word. The subject of Ta'amei Hamikra and biblical grammar is a comprehensive subject which I will not attempt to encompass in this framework. I will just mention two basic rules. The purpose of some of the Ta'amim is to create a pause or a complete stop and the purpose of others is to juxtapose words. Among the 10 or so Ta'amim meant to create a pause is the Karnei Parah which is considered a third class pause.(See Encyclopedia Talmudit vol. 20 entry: T'aamei Mikra and addendum at the end of Volume 20. Column 699-700) The purpose of the Mercha Kefula is to connect words.Indeed the Karnei Parah the Mercha Kefula are less common. Rav Kook zt"l spoke of the meaning of The Karnei Parah on a Kabbalistic level in his book "Reish Milin." All the best
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