Hebrew pronunciation

Shmuel Arons (shmuela@cc.huji.ac.il)
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 13:11:11 +0200 (IST)

Today in the Ashkenazi world, there seems to exist two forms of Hebrew
pronunciation. One is "Israeli", marked by all tavs said as "t" and the
kamatz pronounced as "a". The second is "Ashkenazis", typified by the "s"
sound of the unpointed tav and the kamatz pronounced as "o". (Also, in
"Israeli", the cholem is always pronounced as "o", while in "Ashkenazis",
the cholem is sometimes pronounced "oi".) Examples: Shabbat or Shabbos,
Olah or Oilo, Avraham or Ovrohom.

What is the halachic status of these two variants? Is Israeli pronunciation
forbidden to Ashkenazim, since it is derived from Hebrew as spoken by
Sepharadim? Do Ashkenazim who speak "Israeli" on a daily basis act
consistently if they use a different pronunciation only for prayers?

Yours truly,

Shmuel Arons