Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More than thousand years of the 'kamatz': from Tiberias to Artscroll

Nachum writes:
A few years back, a new petition went out: Using a kamatz with a straight bottom line was now assur. Avos Avoseinu always made a kamatz with a round bottom, and this is how we must do it. Of course, this is simply nonsense: There’s no halacha of drawing nekudos, and the nekudos are not MiSinai (a thousand years ago, there were a few systems of nikkud, and they had just been invented). Various gedolim had signed on, though, but I have no idea of how that process works.

Anyway, Artscroll, which had been using a straight kamatz for over twenty years, instantly buckled under, apologized and grovelled, and changed them all starting with their next editions.
I wish I had more info about this. I don't. I do remember the brouhaha though. But I haven't noticed that Artscroll 'caved' on it.

But I can show a couple of things about kamatzen.

Here is the kamatz in the Artscroll font:

And here is something like the 'traditional' kamatz, which, I suppose, the kol koreh was referring to:

Unsurprisingly, this isn't anymore the traditional kamatz (if one could speak of such a thing!) than the Artscroll modern version.

This is:

and this:

As you can see, the inventors of the nekudot, the Masoretes, wrote it as a short horizontal line over a dot which didn't touch the line. This is the real 'traditional' kamatz.


  1. Do you want free porn? Contact my AIM SN 'abunnyinpink' just say 'give me some pics now!'.

    No age verification required, totally free! Just send an instant message to AIM screen name "abunnyinpink".

    Any message you send is fine!

    AIM abuse can be reported here.

  2. In my kid's school library, I found a picture from tenth century Egypt. It was a lesson book for children. The kamatz, like the ones in the bottom two pictures above, had a dot under a line.

    I can't figure out why this interests me so much.

    You may wish to know that there are some who make gematrias out of vowels. A kamatz is 16. (The line is 6, the dot is 10.) It works a lot better with the "real tradition kamatz."




Related Posts with Thumbnails