A Semitic language, it is used occasionally in Tanach, and is the primary language of the Talmud.

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Translating and explaining Aramaic stipulations for an oath

Here is an example of the complexities of Hilchos Shvuos, excerpted from an actual sworn oath: What does the above mean? Please translate and explain each expression.
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Rabbinic understandings of non-Divine origin of Onqelos

Shavua' tov all, A question from a friend that I thought I would post here regarding the origin of Onqelos. It seems fair to say that the classical rabbinic understanding is that the Aramaic ...
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176 views

(Sort of) Writing the Name of God

I'm taking an Aramaic class, and one of the words that came up in the text I'm reading is "yehuweh," meaning "he will become" (in context, "he will become my successor). It is spelled with the exact ...
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Solitary Aramaic word in 'Al HaNissim

In the standard Ashkenazi Siddur, why is the Aramaic word פורקן used in the otherwise entirely Hebrew prayer of על הנסים?
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Source for saying Aramaic parts of davening quietly?

I remember reading somewhere that there is a kabbalistic tradition to say the parts of davening that are in Aramaic (e.g. the targum in Uva Letziyon) quietly. What is the source for this?
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Should I say shmei or shmeh?

Some Ashkenazim are medakdek to pronounce their Aramaic "correctly". And they know that there is a mapik heh in Amein Yehei ShemeiH Rabba. Thus, יְהֵא שְׁמֵ*הּ* רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי ...
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How should the vowel/s represented by “yud yud” be pronounced outside of Yiddish?

אורייתא, ברייתא and היינו are just three common examples of Aramaic words found in Gemara which are commonly pronounced containing the 'ay' (/ai/ei) sound. Of course, this corresponds to Yiddish whose ...
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165 views

What's the most efficient method for learning biblical Hebrew?

I have gone through some basic schooling at a modern yeshiva. For 10 years I haven't touched a Chumash, but would like to get back into it. I have started reading the Artscroll Chumash--reading the ...
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242 views

Root of word צְלוֹתְהוֹן?

Looking at the Kaddish Shalem focusing on the words תִּתְקַבֵּל צְלוֹתְהוֹן, what is the etymology of the word tzelot-hon? Is this construct even hebrew? I found the root צְלָא meaning "pray" with ...
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Why is the Haggadah written in Hebrew?

The Haggadah was written during the Talmudic period, so I would expect it to be written in Aramaic. Especially since the entire purpose of the Haggadah is the telling over of the story of ...
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Good Talmudic Grammar resource for one unfamiliar with grammar in general?

Inspired by: How to say Adonainu Moreinu VeRabeinu in Aramaic I'd like to understand Talmudic/Aramaic Grammar a little better and am looking for a good resource that will break it down for me. ...
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How to say Adonainu Moreinu VeRabeinu in Aramaic

I have heard people translate "Adoneinu Moreinu VeRabeinu" (please don't ask where) into Aramaic as "Adonana Morana Verabana". I assume that the "a" is an aleph at the end. However, I realized that ...
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518 views

What does “Ribbono Shel Olam At” mean?

What does "Ribbono Shel Olam At" mean?
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Explanation of Avos 2:6?

Is there a comprehensive explanation of Avos 2:6? Why is it in aramaic? why is this lesson included in Avos (seems out of place) Who is this skull and how does Hillel know it was drowned due to ...
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Pronunciation of מסכתא (tractate)

Sometimes I hear מסֶכתא (pronounce: masechta) pronounced as מסִכתא (pronounce: masichta) by some people, particularly in Ashkenazi circles. Why is this?
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In the גמרא when should I read 'לך' as 'לְךָ' and when should I read it as 'לָךְ'?

When I use an Artscroll gemara with vowels, sometimes it will vocalize the word לך differently. The pattern I notice seems to be that it vocalizes לך as לְךָ for hebrew, i.e. a mishna or braisa, and ...
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Reasons for the laws of the prayers in Aramaic

Parts of the davenning are in Aramaic. I understood that the Malochim (Angels) do not understand Aramaic. Since HKB”H does not “attend” prayers with less than a Minyan, one does not say the Aramaic ...
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155 views

Best way to translate “קא”

In the Aramaic of the Babylonian Talmud, there is a widely used word "קא", like in the sentence והא קא קרי (in Berahot 13:1). What is the best way to translate it to Hebrew or English? Or maybe just ...
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95 views

Language of a ketubah for marriage

Can I write a ketubah in English or possibly in Hebrew? Or must it be in Aramaic? The problem is that my friends and I do not speak Aramaic any longer. Our Babylonian-Jewish ancestors did, but we ...
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Aramaic sections of davening in Hebrew

From the answers I received to this question, the reason we still say some sections of davening (prayer) in Aramaic seems to be that it is historically a Jewish language, and using it unifies all ...
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Are there analogs to “Abba” & “Ima” for in-laws?

I know that “אבא” and “אמא” are originally Aramaic translations of the Hebrew “אבי” and “אמי” which have become adapted to Hebrew, especially in the accusative case. Are there similar forms in ...
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Why do we still say sections of davening in aramaic?

I am pretty sure the aramaic sections of davening were written in aramaic because it was considered necessary for people to understand what they were saying. If this is true, why don't we say those ...
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Why was the Gemara written in Aramaic?

The Gemara (the Bavli and Yerushalmi) are the fundamental texts that we possess of the Oral law. Why were they written in Aramaic? At first glance, Ravina and R' Ashi probably knew that this will be ...
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Plural of “Nafka Minah”

(Inspired by HodofHod's commment here: Four Holy Cities) What is the proper plural for the common Aramaic phrase Nafka Minah נפקא מינה which means something along the line of "practical differences"? ...
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Magid Mesharim: How is it that the angel knew Aramaic?

There is a book called "magid mesharim" written by Maran Bet Yosef in Aramaic through the exact words of an angel. My issue with this is that we learned from some Gemaras (Shabbat 12b is one) that ...
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What does the aramaic “pon” mean?

Once in a while, Onkelos will throw in the word pon (פּוֹן) that doesn't directly translate from the Hebrew. Avimelech to Yitzchak: k'z'eir pon shachiv d'm'yached b'ama (Toldos 26:10) Lavan to ...
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109 views

When and why does the Gemoro say “vehilchoso”?

Sometimes, after the Talmud records a disagreement, it concludes by saying that the Halacha is like one side of the debate (“vehilchoso”). See e.g. ...
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151 views

Mappik pronunciation in Aramaic

Inspired by this question, I understand that mappik in Aramaic has a different meaning than in Hebrew. I just wanted to be sure: is mappik in Aramaic pronounced the same way as in Hebrew?
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Mappik in Kaddish

What is the meaning of mappiks in Kaddish. ...יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ ...כִרְעוּתֵהּ... ...מַלְכוּתֵהּ... Isn't a mappik in the word שְׁמֵהּ (for example) would mean her name. So who is ...
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Does "Brich Rachamana Malka D'Alma Ma'rei D'Hai Pita' really fullfil the obligation of Birkas Hamazon?

I heard from a friend that, as per the Gemara, saying the following phrase in Aramaic discharges the obligation to recite Bircas Hamazon in its entirety: Brich rachamana malka d'alma ma'rei d'hai ...
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Different expressions for “permitted” in the gemoro and elsewhere

The Gemara and other sources use different words to say that something is permitted. There are "shari" "muttar" "leis lon boh". Is there any difference in shades of meaning between these and others ...
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דילמא == Dilemma?

Is there documentation to prove that the Aramaic word "דילמא" is a transliteration or derivation of the Greek word "dilemma"? If so, this fact is informative to G'mara-learning in understanding the ...
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104 views

How does the word “Talmud” derive from root LMD? Is the word Aramaic?

I know what "Talmud" means and that it derives from the root Lamed Mem Dalet. But I cannot figure out how the word derives. Is it Aramaic (i.e. not Hebrew) and/or are there any other words that follow ...
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Hebrew for ice - and other “new” words

After reading MB OC 301:17:65 (thanks, YDK!) I am baffled by a nagging question regarding Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew. Eliezer Ben-Yehudah is known to have revitalized Hebrew, in part by taking ...
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Online glossary of Talmudic terms

Is there an online glossary anywhere that explains important Talmudic terms, with similar scope to the Practical Talmud Dictionary? I'm more interested in an Aramaic-English resource, but ...
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Yemenite Sefira

What is the source for the custom that Yemenite Jews people count Sefira in Aramaic? and why do they do it?
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Seeking Original Aramaic for Talmudic Phrase

What is the original Aramaic of this phrase: May the words of the Torah be burned rather than handed over to women. I think it is in Sotah in the Jerusalem Talmud.
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Are the Aramaic root ק.ב.ל and the Hebrew root ק.ב.ל related?

When the word מקבילות comes up in parashas T'ruma, Rash"i defines it based on the Aramaic root ק.ב.ל, commonly found in the preposition לקבל (against or opposite) to mean physically across ...
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Tzanua…Not Tznius!

People often say tznius when they mean to say tzanua. Do you know of any other examples in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Yiddish in which people use the noun but they really mean to use the adjective?
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Why is Hebrew Called “Jewish” in the Bible?

We see that in most of the Bible, the Jews are called "בני ישראל/Israelites"; only in later books are they called "יהודים/Jews" (e.g. Esther 2:5, Zechariah 8:23), after the loss of the 10 tribes. ...
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Marcus Jastrow Dictionary Copyright

Is the dictionary that he wrote still in copyright, or has it entered the public domain? If not, who owns the rights to it?
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Mima nafshuch?

How do the words "ממה נפשך" mean what they mean, i.e. "either way"?
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Hard Yeshivish phrases to translate

Does anyone ever have trouble finding good English translations of certain yeshivish phrases, especially when in conversation with someone who would not understand the original? Post your favorite ...
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390 views

What is “chad gadya” really all about?

Why do we sing "chad gadya" at the pesach seder? What is it supposed to be about? Also, as a side question, is it "d'zabin aba" or "dizvan aba"?