QUESTION: Is the letter כ in the word כָּמֹכָה supposed to have a dot or not?

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    QUESTION: In the passage, מִי כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה׳ מִי כָּמֹכָה נֶאְדָּר בַּקֹּדֶשׁ נוֹרָא תְהִלֹּת, עֹשֵׂה פֶלֶא (Ex.
    15:11), why is the first כָמֹכָה a “chof” (sans the dot) and the second one a “kaf” (with a dot)?

    ANSWER: The second מִי כָּמֹכָה is the only instance of that word in Scripture with a כּ’ דגושה. To wit, Deut. 33:29, Ps. 35:10, 71:19, 89:9 are all רפויות. Hence, the commentary of many Rishonim (cited להלכה by the Poskim in siman 51), that this singular occurrence cannot be explained grammatically, rather by way of remez. Namely, the juxtaposition of the words ה’ מי כמוכה with a chaf refuya would sound like ה’ מיכה, an allusion to the idol of Micah, hence the counter-grammatical kaf instead of chaf. See e.g. בית יוסף נא ס”ק ט.

    Rabbi Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg

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