Small Mem Sofit

According to the interpretation of R. Yosef Tov Elem (980-1050), composer of the piyyut Chasal Siddur Pesach, the mem sofit in וטהרתם in Bamidbar 31:24 is written small. However this is clearly a very minority opinion as I have not seen it listed elsewhere else. I found it recently listed in a web list but without a source and haven't seen it in any other listing. Has anyone seen this before or even in a Sefer Torah?


  1. Hi Mordechai,
    This appears to be a corruption of the Massorah in which there are lists that call for the MEM of VETIHARTIM in Nehemia 13:30 to be written small. You should also know that there are competing traditions which call for the TET of Vetihartim to be written small, instead.

    Among some of the sources for the small MEM in Nehemia are the Machzor Vitry and Okhla ve Okhla. There are no massoretic sources for R. Yosef Tov Elem's assertion. As such, he may have just confused one for the other.


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