Spelling in the Megillah

Question

OS 184 Purim

, 12 years

Answers

  1. In many places the Torah omits “silent” letters. This is called ketiv chaseir, incomplete spelling. It doesn’t change the sound or meaning of the word.

    Some words are normally spelled this way. The name Yaakov for example is almost always spelled without a vav.

    When letters are left out of a word, it hints to some lack in the concept being projected. In the verse you asked about, the sasson (joy) may lack some element. Our Sages identify the “joy” in this verse as the joy of performing the mitzvah of circumcision. A possible explanation of the missing letter is that it refers to the pain of circumcision which detracts from the joy of the occasion.

    Sources:

    • Talmud Megillah 16b

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team