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Question: In the Amidah, the phrase “Mashiv HaRuach” concludes in some siddurim with the words “umorid ha’geshem” (with a segol under the gimmel) and in other siddurim with the words “umorid ha’gashem” (with a kamatz under the gimmel). What is the practical difference between these two readings?

Answer: Gashem” (with a kamatz) indicates the end of a sentence and a pause. “Geshem” (with a segol) implies that this word is connected to the subsequent phrase. As such, those who say “hageshem” (with a segol) should not stop or pause after this word. Those who say “hagashem” should. (See Tzluta D’Avraham, Emek B’racha p. 274.)

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Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.
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