שַׁלְשֶׁ֓לֶת ֓ וַיֹּאמַ֓ר
Sof passuk ׃   paseq ׀
etnachta ֑   segol ֒
shalshelet ֓   zaqef qatan ֔
zaqef gadol ֕   tifcha ֖
rivia ֗   zarqa ֘
pashta ֙   yetiv ֚
tevir ֛   geresh ֜
geresh muqdam [de] ֝   gershayim ֞
qarney para ֟   telisha gedola ֠
pazer ֡   atnah hafukh [de] ֢
munach ֣   mahapakh ֤
merkha ֥   merkha kefula ֦
darga ֧   qadma ֨
telisha qetana ֩   yerah ben yomo ֪
ole ֫   illuy ֬
dehi [de] ֭   zinor ֮

The Shalshelet (Hebrew: שַלְשֶלֶת‎) is a cantillation mark found in the Torah. It is one of the rarest used, occurring just four times in the entire Torah,[1] in Genesis 19:16, 24:12, and 39:8, and in Leviticus 8:23. The four words accented with the shalshelet mark all occur at the beginning of the verse.[2]

The Hebrew word שַׁלְשֶׁ֓לֶת translates into English as chain.[3] This shows the connection of the worlds[dubious ] by the links of a chain.[4][5] The symbolism of the Shalshelet is that the subject of the story is wrestling with his inner demons and is undergoing some hesitation in his actions.[6][7]

It is rendered musically by a long and elaborate string of notes, giving a strong emphasis to the word on which it occurs.


The Shalshelet mark is said to be used for various purposes:

Grammatically it is equivalent to segolta, but is never preceded by a conjunctive accent or a disjunctive of a lower class. It is thus related to segolta in the same way as Zakef gadol is related to zakef katan, or Yetiv to Pashta.

Total occurrences

Book Number of appearances
Torah 4[12]
   Genesis 3[12]
   Exodus 0[12]
   Leviticus 1[12]
   Numbers 0[12]
   Deuteronomy 0[12]
Nevi'im 2[13]
Ketuvim 1[13]

The shalshelet note occurs a total of 7 times in Tanakh outside of the Sifrei Emet. They are:[14]

Additionally, the note occurs[citation needed] 39 times in Psalms, Proverbs, and Job.


The Shalshelet has a melody similar to that of 3 Pazers. According to Chabad tradition, it is equivalent to 2 Pazers and one Tlisha Gedolah. Rabbi Stolik of Chabad Caltech disputes this "Chabad" tradition. It is approximately 30 notes, though this number varies depending on the word on which it is used.



  1. ^ Jacobson, J.R. (2005). Chanting the Hebrew Bible (Student ed.). Jewish Publication Society. p. 60. ISBN 9780827610484. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  2. ^ Kelley, P.H.; Mynatt, D.S.; Crawford, T.G. (1998). The Masorah of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: Introduction and Annotated Glossary. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 147. ISBN 9780802843630. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  3. ^ Wolfson, E.R. (1995). Circle in the Square: Studies in the Use of Gender in Kabbalistic Symbolism. State University of New York Press. p. 211. ISBN 9780791424056. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  4. ^ Steinsaltz, R.A. (2007). Understanding the Tanya: Volume Three in the Definitive Commentary on a Classic Work of Kabbalah by the World's Foremost Authority. John Wiley & Sons. p. 302. ISBN 9780787988265. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  5. ^ Samuel, G. (2007). The Kabbalah Handbook: A Concise Encyclopedia of Terms and Concepts in Jewish Mysticism. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. pp. 2–327. ISBN 9781585425600. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  6. ^ a b "Under Duress in VaYeshev: The Shalshelet | Jewish Boston Blogs". Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  7. ^ "On Not Trying to Be What You Are Not - Covenant & Conversation - Parsha". Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  8. ^ Jacobs, L. (1995). The Jewish Religion: A Companion. Oxford University Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780198264637. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  9. ^ Goldstein, E. (2008). The Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions. Jewish Lights Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 9781580233705. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  10. ^ Isaacs, R.H. (2006). A Taste of Torah: An Introduction to Thirteen Challenging Bible Stories. URJ Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780807408131. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  11. ^ Telushkin, J. (1991). Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History. HarperCollins. p. 24. ISBN 9780688085063. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Concordance of the Hebrew accents in the Hebrew Bible: Concordance ..., Volume 1 By James D. Price, page 6
  13. ^ a b Concordance of the Hebrew accents in the Hebrew Bible: Concordance ..., Volume 1 By James D. Price, page 5
  14. ^ Weisberg, David. “The Rare Accents of the Twenty-One Books.” The Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. 56, no. 4, ser. 2, 1966, p. 320