Questions about Hebrew grammar as related to Judaism.

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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 ...
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154 views

Why is there a Vuv with a Patach in וַיִּקְרָא?

What is the reason for the patach under the vuv in וַיִּקְרָא, the first word of the third book of the Pentateuch? I would expect a schva, which, at least in modern Hebrew, is what sits under a vuv ...
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59 views

Why is תורה sometimes written תורת?

Why is Torah sometimes written in the Torah with a "ת" at the end instead of an "ה"?
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88 views

She'asah nissim — why only past tense?

When we light the chanukiyah we say "she'asah nissim...b'yamim hahem bizman hazeh", with a past-tense "asah". While the miracles worked in the past (b'yamim hahem) are in the past (tautology alert!), ...
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62 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 ...
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85 views

What is the proper grammatical usage of *hamentaschen*? [closed]

Possibilities: singular / plural hamentasch / hamentaschim (as seen here) hamentaschen / hamentaschen I believe the second option prevails colloquially. Is there a correct/incorrect usage of this ...
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31 views

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

What is the root of the word ואורשנו in this verse.?
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78 views

hebrew grammar query, Bamidbar 31:17

I seek to understand Bamidbar sedra mattos Chapter 31 verse 17. Specifically, the word הֲרֹגוּ is stumping me. It is not the kal impererative masculine plural. The word Hirgoo, הִרְגוּ, appears as the ...
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37 views

Grammar question in Vayikra 11:21

I was recently reading something in Vayikra (in Chabad.org) and I found a parenthesis in 11:21. I've never seen something like this before. אַךְ אֶת זֶה תֹּאכְלוּ מִכֹּל שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף הַהֹלֵךְ עַל ...
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76 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
157 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 ...
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51 views

What is the precise translation of the word ארשע?

The pasuk in Iyov 10:7 states: עַל דַּעְתְּךָ כִּי לֹא אֶרְשָׁע וְאֵין מִיָּדְךָ מַצִּיל Chabad.org translates: It is in Your knowledge that I will not be condemned, but no one can save ...
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40 views

In the phrase זכר למעשה בראשית in Kiddush, is the word זכר an adjective?

Usually, a word that has a segol such as "zecher" gets a tzerei when it becomes an adjective. Example - "mateh" becomes "matei" when used as an adjective as in "matei Levi". Q - in the phrase זכר ...
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45 views

Patach with chet [closed]

Is there any instance in which a final chet takes a regular patach, rather than a patach ganuv? This also goes for 'ayin and hey mapik.
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80 views

punctuation of ledor vador in Modim prayer of the Amida

מוֹדִים אֲנַֽחְנוּ לָךְ, שָׁאַתָּה הוּא, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ, לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד, צוּרֵֽנוּ צוּר חַיֵּֽינוּ, מָגֵן יִשְׁעֵֽנוּ, אַתָּה הוּא לְדוֹר וָדוֹר, נֽוֹדֶה לְּךָ וּנְסַפֵּר ...
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32 views

Why is the feminine form often used instead of the masculine in Biblical Hebrew grammar?

In Sefer Shmot, 4:1, it is written: ויען משה ויאמר והן לא יאמינו לי...‏ Moshe answered, and said, "They (f.) won't believe me"... Shouldn't it be הם (hem) and not הן (hen)? In fact, I'm ...
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36 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 ...
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131 views

Why do we have the rule of “Nasog Achor”?

In Torah reading, there is a rule of "Nasog Achor". The rule is as follows: Usually, Hebrew words get the accent (and trope note) on the last syllable. However, if the word following it has its ...
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50 views

Who first described the grammatical distinction of vav ha-hipukh v. vav ha-chibur in Tanakh?

To be more specific, who first wrote that a vav ha-chibur connects words or clauses together, but the vav ha-hipukh causes a "perfect" verb to become "imperfect" (for lack of better terms), and ...
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38 views

Why do we vary the form of the attributes of HaShem in the selicho “Kail Rachum shmecho”?

In the selicho "Kail Rachum shmecho" we ask HaShem to do things because of ("lema'an") - a list of things. Some are in the masculine form eg shemecho and some in the feminine form eg amitoch, brisoch. ...
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53 views

תעשה vs עשה (Ta'aseh vs Assei)

The Gemara in Eiruvin 54b says: באהבתה תשגה תמיד כגון רבי (אליעזר) בן פדת אמרו עליו על רבי (אליעזר) שהיה יושב ועוסק בתורה בשוק התחתון של ציפורי וסדינו מוטל בשוק העליון של ציפורי (תניא) א''ר יצחק בן ...
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76 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 ...
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2answers
73 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?
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29 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 ...