Questions about Hebrew grammar as related to Judaism.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

2
votes
2answers
72 views

Why is שלחה used as a masculine word?

In Shmuel 1 16:11, the word שלחה is used as a masculine word. The Mesora there lists 6 places where שלחה seems to be used as a masculine word. Another case is Bereishis 43:8 and another is Melachim 2 ...
26
votes
4answers
454 views

Female praying in masculine language

When women daven (pray), even by ourselves, it is convention to daven with male-gendered words ("modeh" vs "moda" as one of many examples). Why is this; are there sources that say we should be doing ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Why is the word “mitzvos” treated as grammatically masculine in certain prayers?

The prayer accompanying several mitzvos (such as putting on tallis and tefillin) expresses the desire that it be considered that the mitzvah is fulfilled as well as all the "613 mitzvos dependent on ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Grammar of Birchot HaShachar

I have at times noticed that there are disagreements in the grammar of certain brachot in Birchot haShachar. For example, the first brachah is "אשר נתן", one of the later ones is either (depending on ...
2
votes
5answers
169 views

Makers and Creators: Job 35:10 & 12:1 Kohelet singular v.s. plural

After reading the description of the Zohar from the Chabad website, I got confused: What is the correct translation for Job 35:10: 'My Maker', ' Our Maker', or Makers? After searching the internet ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

How to define yetzer

The word yetzer is often translated as impulse, inclination Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's reading of yetzer in Bereshit 6:5 is not that of instinct or impulse, but rather that which the person, qua ...
14
votes
4answers
13k views

Proper recitation of Hamakom Yenachem

Is the proper phrase to console a mourner always the plural המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים or should it be changed depending on whom it is said to (singluar, feminine, etc.)?
3
votes
1answer
101 views

ReEh in singular (Deut. 11:26)

The Ba'al HaTurim to Deut. 11:26 cites Bab. Megillah 31b in saying that all the blessings and curses in "Mishneh Torah" (usually this means Sefer Devarim - Deuteronomy) are written in singular, and ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

HaSatan how should it be described?

The Babylonian Talmud (Bava Bathra 16a) states that the Evil Inclincation (Yetzer ha-Ra), the Angel of Death and HaSatan are identical. The Talmud seems to distinguish between HaSatan outside man ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Explain the strange grammatical placement in Breishit 14:12

Genesis 14:12: וַיִּקְח֨וּ אֶת־ל֧וֹט וְאֶת־רְכֻשׁ֛וֹ בֶּן־אֲחִ֥י אַבְרָ֖ם וַיֵּלֵ֑כוּ וְה֥וּא יֹשֵׁ֖ב בִּסְדֹֽם׃ My "literal" translation: They took Lot and his property, the son of ...
-1
votes
2answers
99 views

Yachid v.s. Echad

What is the definition and difference between Yachid and Echad? I read some where that Maimonides told HaShem is Yachid, but isn't He Echad?
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Correct voweling of Birkat Hamazon

Most of my Hebrew knowledge comes from Biblical Hebrew, and when i read most Ashkenazi siddurim i'm usually on board with how they decide to vowelize things. However, being Sephardic, and wanting an ...
5
votes
1answer
49 views

Same phrase in two places, one uses dageish and one doesn't — why?

In the seventh aliyah of Parshat Noach, the passage about the tower of Bavel contains the phrase עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ three times. Twice it is written כָל and once כָּל and I would like to ...
-2
votes
1answer
30 views

Bereshit 2:9 all trees or one tree?

Bereshit 2:9 reads 'kol etz' which is revering to the whole tree species, so rendered as 'all trees'. I wondered if a literal (word-by-word) translation could read 'kol etz' as a 'whole tree': And ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Wording at the beginning of Nitzavim

Parshas Nitzavim begins (Devarim 29:9-11): אתם נצבים היום כלכם... ראשיכם שבטיכם זקניכם ושטריכם כל איש ישראל. טפכם נשיכם וגרך אשר בקרב מחניך מחטב עציך עד שאב מימיך. לעברך The first ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Why is the Torah written in third person?

I firmly believe that G-d made the Torah, but I wonder why He refers to himself in third person, while the Ten Commandments are in first person.
6
votes
0answers
98 views

Borei P'ri or Borei F'ri hagefen?

Have heard a few mizrahi recordings for qiddush and am noticing that some of them use borei f'ri hagefen. When i looked up Qiddush in my Egyptian siddur (Farhi Siddur) i noticed the Pei had no dagesh. ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Is there a chasidus that is makpid on dikduk?

I know siddur chabad meant to be meduyak but I'd like to know if other chassidus or their rebbes are makpid on correct dikduk / wording as I often read they are not on pronunciation, accentuation and ...
13
votes
6answers
427 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"? ...
9
votes
4answers
229 views

Origin of the term Motza'ei Shabbos

I often hear that מוצאי שבת means "departure of the Sabbath," but it seems to me that the phrase for this should be צאת שבת (or יציאת שבת). The phrase מוצאי שבת seems to me to mean המוצאים של שבת, ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

Shva na after meteg on short vowel

When a long vowel has a meteg, there is a difference of opinion if the shva after it is na or nach. What about a short vowel with a meteg? Is it vayihi chen or vayhi chen? Is it tihiyeh or tihyeh? Is ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Why Motzi Shabbath?

Where does the phrase Motzi Shabbath come from? Grammatically i don't understand how it works. Motzi means the bringing forth-er, or the bringing-out-er right? Ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz, "the one ...
7
votes
2answers
113 views

Their altars…and *his* asheirah?

Shemot 34:13: כִּי אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם תִּתֹּצוּן וְאֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם תְּשַׁבֵּרוּן וְאֶת אֲשֵׁרָיו תִּכְרֹתוּן For you shall dismantle their altars, break their monuments, and cut down his ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

What is the reason that the Torah uses a ן (final “Nun”) at the end of 2nd person plural verbs?

Frequently, the Torah uses a final nun (ן) at the end of verbs. They seem to be 2nd person plural verbs. An example: Deuteronomy 5:30: בְּכָל־הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֜ה יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֛ם ...
4
votes
0answers
72 views

Why ever rely on a vav hahipuch?

There is a grammatical form in the chumash of the vav [hahipuch]1 which turns words written in the past form into future tense and future tense constructs into past. I noted this, I think, pointed out ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Avodah Melachah; work what is the difference

The roots לאך and עבד are the basis to form the words that could be translated as 'work' מלאכה and עבדה. But what is the difference? What distinguishing work from work? Some times its prohibited to ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Why singular “וְלֹא הָיָה מַיִם” in Bamidbar 20:2?

The word מַיִם is, as far as I know, pretty consistently grammatically plural in Chumash (and, incidentally, in more modern Hebrew also). That is, the adjectives that modify it are plural adjectives, ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What's the difference between בְּמַיִם and בַּמַּיִם?

In Tanach, the noun מַיִם occasionally is prefixed with a ב־. When the noun is modified by an adjective, the word formed is בְּמַיִם, as in Bamidbar 24:7 "וְזַרְעוֹ בְּמַיִם רַבִּים", N'chemya 9:11 ...
6
votes
2answers
53 views

Understanding Wording in Bamidbar 16:6

Numbers 16:6 says: זאת עשו קחו לכם מחתות קרח וכל עדתו. This do: take you censers, Korah, and all his company; I'm struggling to understand the last three words which are in the third ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

צידה vs צָיִד? kri ksiv

What is the reason for the kri ksiv in 'בראשית פרק כ''ז פסוק ג, in which the ksiv is צידה but the kri צָיִד? See http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0127.htm I would like to know the reason for how the ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

ויישם vs וַיּוּשָׂם

What is the reason for the kri ksiv in בראשית פרק כ''ד פסוק ל''ג, in which the ksiv is ויישם but the kri וַיּוּשַׂם? I would like to know the reason for how the ksiv fits in to the pasuk and how the ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

הוצא vs הַיְצֵא

What is the reason for the kri ksiv in בראשית פרק ח' פסוק י''ז, in which the ksiv is הוצא but the kri הַיְצֵא? I would like to know the reason for how the kri fits in to the pasuk and how the ksiv ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

What is the root of the word ואורשנו in Bamidbar 14:12

What is the root of the word ואורשנו in this verse.?
0
votes
1answer
38 views

kri ksiv הַגָּגָה samuel 1 9:26 [closed]

What is the reason for the kri ksiv in שמואל א' פרק ט' פסוק כ''ו, in which the ksiv is הגג but the kri הַגָּגָה? I would like to know the reason for how the kri fits in to the pasuk and how the ksiv ...
3
votes
0answers
94 views

Vav/Waw Hahipuch (Conversive Waw) And the Sheva/Shewa that follows

A topic came up regarding pronuncation in a class i was recently in. The class is about leading prayers, and a question came up regarding how to pronounce certain words that have a shewa following the ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

In relation to the verb to shoot, what does torah mean?

In relation to the hebrew verb to shoot YaRaH, what does torah literally mean? If the word torah comes from the hebrew verb, to shoot, then what does torah literally mean? does it mean "shooting" or ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Unexpected Dageshim

I learned that a rule of Dageshim is that gutteral letters (אהחע''ר) reject dageshim. My question is why do we find 4 alephs (Genesis 43:26, Leviticus 23:17, Job 33:21, Ezra 8:18), 17 reishs (1 ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good book on dikduk?

I'm looking for a good book on dikduk for strictly loshon hakodesh (for studying tanach and talmud) . Any suggestions? in english preferably
0
votes
2answers
211 views

What is the opposite of shalom?

Could anyone explain me the antonym of shalom? The antonym of light is darkness, but Yeshayahu seems to tell that the antonym of shalom is rah.. but isn't rah the antonym of tov, like in the etz ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

On the Root 'ע'ט'פ (and 'ע'ט'ה)

The Lishon Hakodesh root 'ע'ט'פ seems to take on a different meaning in various canons/eras: Pentateuch: In the discussion regarding Jacob's manipulation of Laban's flock, we encounter the verse ...
-1
votes
1answer
79 views

And it was so? Perhaps mistranslated?

A speaker of modern Hebrew would translate the following expression from Genesis 1: וַיְהִי-כֵן "And it will be so." But every translation of Torah I have seen says "and it was so." Couldn't ...
7
votes
5answers
293 views

רָקִיאַע or רָקִיַע

The מנחת שי at the beginning of בראשית (on "יהי רקיע") cites a מחלוקת whether the word 'רָקִיעַ' (and likewise for other words with a פתח גנובה) is pronounced as רָקִיאַע or as רָקִיַע, that is, with ...
14
votes
3answers
583 views

Were our symbols for trope and nekudos created by the Masoretes, or transmitted by them?

It is commonly said in secular sources that the shapes of the trope and nekudos we use today were invented by the Masoretes (7th to 11th Century CE), but I cannot find any source in our mesorah to ...
15
votes
1answer
316 views

Why are the names of some Masechtot in Aramaic while others are in Hebrew?

I noticed that the names of some Masechtot have an Aramaic plural ending - nun - such as "Gittin", while others have a Hebrew ending - mem - such as "Bikurim". Was there some pattern or logic in ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Why does the Rambam change language?

In Hilchos Megillah V'Chanukah, the Rambam writes in 2:15 טו. כיצד חובת סעודה זו שיאכל בשר ויתקן סעודה נאה כפי אשר תמצא ידו, ושותה יין עד שישתכר וירדם בשכרות Why does the Rambam switch from ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

In the Rosh Chodesh leining, why is “Shabbas b'Shabato” pronounced with a pasach?

Recently, I paid attention to the Rosh Chodesh Torah reading (Bamidbar/Numbers Chapter 28) and noticed that in verse 10, "olas Shabbas b'Shabato…", the word "Shabbas" is vowelized with a pasach (short ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

The use of tsere yod in Psalm 2:3

I can understand most of the breakdown of the word מוסרותימו in Psalm 2, thanks to your website viz masculine noun from root אסר with female plural ending ות. Also the poetic ending מו for 'their', ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Masculine Terms applied to God

Since ancient Israel was a patriarchal society, does that mean that the intermediary humans that wrote the Tanach were inclined to apply masculine aspects to God because men were dominant in those ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

Were there specific locusts in reserve for the 8th plague?

Hashem's instructions to Moshe to bring the locusts reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה נְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בָּאַרְבֶּה וכו And Hashem said to Moses, "stretch out your ...
1
vote
0answers
99 views

Are there rules on what are the correct vowels

I understand that, excluding the 24 books of Tenach, in all the Torah books (i.e. Mishna, Talmud...) we have no tradition on specific vowels. (I was reading a Shulchan Aruch Harav vowelized, in which ...