Having written in last week's column that the PASHTA/KADMA business was relatively new to me, DL wrote:
• The Kadma/Pashta distinction was previously
discussed in the 5764 Emor issue of TT (better davening section). Just
thought I'd point it out.
• More than one reader has asked about a DAGESH in
a letter at the beginning of a word, that letter not being one of BG"D KF"T.
We start with the basic rule: BG"D KF"T (BET, GIMEL, DALET, KAF, PEI, TAV - the letters that have two different sounds - or should have two different sounds - depending upon whether there is a DAGESH in the letter or not) at the beginning of a word get a DAGESH KAL. (We're not interested in the rest of the DAGESH KAL rules at the moment.) Next comes the major exception to that rule. If a word beginning with BG"D KF"T follows a word that ends with ALEF, HEI, VAV, or YUD, or a HEI/KAMATZ, CHAF SOFIT/KAMATZ, NUN SOFIT/KAMATZ, or TAV/KAMATZ (all four of which are the equivalent of having a silent HEI after them - even though the HEI isn't actually there). In these cases, the DAGESH KAL drops out of the BG"D KF"T in the first letter of the following word.
There are five exceptions to this, where the DAGESH stays. We are not really interested here in three of the five. (They are MAFSIK - if the previous word is followed by a pause and the BG"D KF"T word begins a new phrase, the DAGESH stays. MAPIK - when the HEI, VAV, or YUD at the end of the earlier word has a consonant alsound, then the DAGESH does not drop. OTIYOT DOMOT - when the BG"D KF"T word starts with two the same letters and the first has a SH'VA NA, the DAGESH stays - if the first letter is a prefix-type. B'SHIVTCHA B'VEITECHA.)
The two we are interested in are DACHIK - two words joined with a MAKAF (upper hyphen), the first word ends with a silent HEI and the letter before the HEI is voweled by a PATACH, SEGOL, or KAMATZ (or a KAMATZ-ed letter equivalent, as mentioned above), then the DAGESH stays in the BG"D KF"T that starts the second word. That DAGESH is not a regular DAGESH KAL, but it is a DAGESH CHAZAL, and it will appear in letters other than BG"D KF"T - which begins to answer the original question. The angel that wrestled with Yaakov, ask MA-SH'MECHA, what is your name.
Notice the DAGESH in the SHIN -MA SHIMECHA