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

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Hashta Ba'agala

There have been questions about the use of Aramaic as a language of prayer, in whole or in part, and even a question about the possible appearance of a single Aramaic word in an otherwise Hebrew ...
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What are good grammars to help me understand the language of Rabbinic Literature?

I have recently finished my grammar book on Biblical Hebrew, and I would like to get a grammar that would help me start to read rabbinic literature, specifically, the Talmud, and the commentaries of ...
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65 views

How holy is Aramaic?

I've always thought that Hebrew is the Lashon HaKodesh, the language G-d speaks, and the language of Judaism. And that Aramaic is also important but somewhat secondary. But based on this answer, it ...
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6answers
625 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"?
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295 views

Why can't a Sefer Torah be written in Aramaic?

In the Mishna, Megillah 1:8, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is quoted as having said that Greek is the only language, other than Hebrew, in which it is permissible to write sifrei Torah. Commenting on ...
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313 views

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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285 views

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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47 views

Where does Rav Hai Gaon explain the meaning of the phrase צורבא מרבנן?

In the Steinsaltz Edition of Masechet Bava Metzia perek Eilu Metziot there is a side note that רב האי גאון explains the shoresh of צ-ר-ב as meaning a rock, stone (from Arabic). This root is more ...
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What determines whether a man's Hebrew name uses “ben” or “bar”?

I have (obviously) heard a lot of Hebrew names of the form "Ploiny ben Almoiny," where Almoiny is Ploiny's father. But occasionally I see names written with the Aramaic "bar", for example Simon bar ...
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Why is Jeremiah 10:11 written in Aramaic?

The Aramaic language appears only once in the Book of Jeremiah in the following verse. Jeremiah 10:11 (MT) ִּדְנָה֙ תֵּאמְר֣וּן לְה֔וֹם אֱלָ֣הַיָּ֔א דִּֽי־שְׁמַיָּ֥א וְאַרְקָ֖א לָ֣א עֲבַ֑דוּ ...
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64 views

Translation of the word 'DiMistapina'

The Aramaic word דמסתפינא came up in a sefer of mine,would anyone know what it means ?
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1answer
2k views

According to Jewish sources: which language came first, Hebrew or Aramaic?

I've heard that Aramaic and Hebrew are similar languages in vocabulary, syntax, and structure. There is, however, some debate about which is the older, or original, base language. After a bit of ...
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221 views

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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2answers
187 views

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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6answers
429 views

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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2answers
281 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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5answers
510 views

Why should Bochurim learn Gemara in Aramaic?

Why is there so much emphasis in the Yeshivish world to learn Gemara in Aramaic? Why can't you find an English artscroll shas in most charedi yeshiva? It is not Lashon Hakodesh and it was written in ...
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2answers
142 views

Recommendation for beginner's Aramaic language book

When I first learned Gemarah in yeshiva, I was given a list of common vocab. words and phrases and I had to memorize the Aramaic and Hebrew. This sufficed to help me understand most of the common ...
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1answer
89 views

echad mi yodea: Aramaic?

A friend of mine told me that the minhag in his family for several generations was to sing "echad mi yodea" in Aramaic. Is there any early source for this?
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184 views

Request document Identification (Ancient Scroll?)

Hi I have a document from Tunsia that I can't identify. Can anyone help me with this?
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2k views

Hard Yeshivish phrases to translate [closed]

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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2answers
93 views

What mean “peley” and “nava mina”? [closed]

At a gemara Shiur, I often heard the expression "it is peley" and the word "navamina". I do not know what these words mean. Navamina is not in the Melamed Dictionnary... Can you please tell me the ...
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85 views

How to pronounce “nechamasa” in kaddish?

In most siddurim I've seen, the word "ונחמתא" in kaddish is written "וְנֶחֱמָתָא," with a סגול ("eh" sound) under the ח. However, someone recently told me that a certain (very trustworthy) rabbi ...
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67 views

Why is talmud Yerushalmi in Aramaic

I assume that the Tanaaim and Amoraim in Eretz Yisrael spoke Hebrew, so why is the Talmud Yershalmi in Aramic not Hebrew?
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23 views

Where can I find a transliteration of the ketubah text? [duplicate]

Is there a transliteration of the ketubah text anywhere? My Aramaic is a little rusty. Thanks so much!
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1answer
86 views

How does one read words with a “yud” in Targum?

While doing "Shenayim Mikrah" I encounter many words that have a "yud" as second to last letter. For example the word "cities" is "קִרְוָיךְ". Is the yud pronounced during reading? I.e. is this read ...
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6answers
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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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1answer
50 views

What's the difference between אֱדַיִן and בֵּאדַיִן?

I'm studying Daniyel, most of it for the first time, and keep coming across two (Aramaic) words that are troubling me: אֱדַיִן and בֵּאדַיִן. (The latter appears to be, morphologically, the former ...
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72 views

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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134 views

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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258 views

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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1answer
116 views

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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1answer
96 views

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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164 views

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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1answer
129 views

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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1answer
128 views

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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2answers
394 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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1answer
193 views

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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3answers
407 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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2answers
476 views

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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2answers
252 views

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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556 views

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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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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1answer
195 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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121 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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1answer
176 views

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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2answers
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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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449 views

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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182 views

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 ...