Longest Letter Word

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A letter that a boy in my neighborhood sent to the editor of The Jewish Press but was not published:

let me start off by saying that i read The Jewish Press every week, and i really enjoy it.

however, i was surprised to read something that isn’t true.

i am referring to the Tales from our Gaonim from the May 14th issue.

you quote the Taz asking “I know words that contain nine letters but where in the Bible do we find a Hebrew word that contains 10 letters?” , and you quote the daughter of the Bach responding to this question that “in the Torah itself there is no such word, but in the Book of Esther we do find the word Veha’achashdarpenim, which contains 11 letters”.

that is not true – there is a 10 letter hebrew word in the Torah – in Chumash Shmos, Perek 7, Posuk 28 – namely Uvimisharosecha.

if the story happened, i’m sure the question was where do we find a word that contains MORE than 10 letters (since the Rambam said “10 letters, or more or less”, and the Taz must have been questioning the “or more”), and then the answer would be correct that in the Torah itself there is no such word that has MORE than 10 letters, but in the Book of Esther there is.

i’m looking forward to your clarification on the subject.

Brooklyn, NY

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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