Questions about Hebrew grammar as related to Judaism.

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113 views

שאול - Sha-ul vs She-ol

Ignoring vowelization, Sha-ul and She-ol is spelled the same way שאול We know that Shaul's name was derived from the root radical שאל = to question. However, She-ol is pronounced like ש - אול ...
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1answer
152 views

Why is a chet with a patach pronounced differently? [closed]

Why is a chet with a patach at the end of a word pronounced "ACH" and not "CHA"? Example: מָשִׁיחַ
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1answer
61 views

“Ad shetichleh” or “ad shetikaleh”?

What is the correct ניקוד (and concomitant translation) of the word שתכלה in the phrase עד שתכלה רגל מן השוק ? Is it תִכְלֶה, which would be קל or תִכָּלֶה, which would be נפעל? Does this ...
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40 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 ...
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1answer
191 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 ...
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36 views

Borit karshina lAma he baa or lEma

A simple question on Nussach Hatefila. On the basis of Tosfot Yom tov מסכת ערלה פרק ב - משנה ו וּלְמָה אָמְרוּ כָּל הַמְחַמֵּץ וְהַמְתַבֵּל וְהַמְדַמֵּעַ לְהַחֲמִיר‏ See Tosfot Yom Tov "והלמד ...
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49 views

Grammar or Gmara?

I recently reviewed Rashi commentaries on the word "כי" in Torah, he quotes several times this Gemara (one of the occurences is in Rosh Hashana 3a): דאמר ריש לקיש: כי משמש בארבע לשונות: אי, דילמא, ...
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27 views

Nation, people, kingdom?

What definitions fit the most with these words: לאם/לאום (l'om) עם (am) גוי (goy) ממלכה (mamlachah) They are all refering to Israel and the other people in the world; but how do i understand them ...
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43 views

According to the Vilna Gaon, why doesn't Kaddish open with “יתגדל ויתקדש כרעותיה”?

According to the Vilna Gaon, the opening line of Kaddish is very disjointed. So much so, that most people are, ostensibly, mispronouncing one of the words. Grammatically, it would also work, and it ...
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51 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 ...
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102 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 ...
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45 views

vowels on vav before mem

Can someone explain why the following examples, all from parashat ki tzetzeh - כִּי תֵצֵא, are written with a kamatz: "vamet" - וָמֵת - (D'varim 21:21) "vameta" - וָמֵתָה - (D'varim 22:21) "vametu" ...
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47 views

How to conjugate “their resting place(s)” in Kel Malei Rachamim?

The memorial prayer Kel Malei Rachamim concludes "may they rest in peace in their resting place[s], and let us say Amen." Okay, how to say "resting place[s]." Mishkavam? Mishkaveihem? Mishkevoseihem? ...
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56 views

Is our practice often at variance with the psak of the Mishnah Berura as in the brocho on the Talis Godol? [closed]

Mishnah Berura, OC 8 (4) [10] says that the brocho on the Talis Godol is “lehisataif b*e*tzitis” and not as I see in the all my siddurim “lehisataif b*a*tzitis”. Are there many cases where what we do ...
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3answers
203 views

Pronounciation in MO schools

I am curious about the Hebrew pronunciation taught in many Modern Orthodox schools. It doesn't seem to conform to real Israeli pronunciation, nor is it the "standard Yiddish" or Polish pronunciation ...
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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 ...
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75 views

Dagesh on Hatslicha nna

I see a machloket sidurim and Tanachim about the Na of Hasem Hatlicha Na in the hallel. Many sidurim was with dagesh on Hoshianna and not on hatslicha na. I searched an explanation. The explanation ...
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159 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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2answers
65 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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89 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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66 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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41 views

Deuteronomy 6:7 and 8:10 - Why are the words pronounced “Milra”?

I'm relaying this question from my shul's chazzan to me, who is a Torah reader. I'm stumped... Deuteronomy 8:10: וְאָכַלְתָּ֖ וְשָׂבָ֑עְתָּ וּבֵֽרַכְתָּ֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ עַל־הָאָ֥רֶץ ...
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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.?
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53 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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79 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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50 views

what vowels is the gemora trying to replace the word ּיִקְנְוּ with יִקָנו or יַׁקְנו

I was learning with my chavrusa i used the Hebrew artscroll and he used the English version we bumped into this gemora, הכא כתיב (דברים כב, יג) כי יקח בבעל תלה רחמנא התם נמי כתיב (ירמיהו לב, מד) שדות ...
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44 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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1answer
83 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
223 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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1answer
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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48 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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81 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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38 views

Meaning of week

Vayikra 23:15 translates the word Shabbatot as 'weeks', weeks that are to be Temimot (compleet/perfect); Normally this would be from Yom Rishon till Shabbat like in the phrase: 'Yom rishon ...
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22 views

Translation of כרמל

In a article i read online: http://www.tosfosinenglish.com/pdf/Shabos/6a7karmlis.pdf i read the following: כרמל (Karmel) is comprised of two (opposite) terms: רך with the meaning soft and not yet ...
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42 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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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 ...
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158 views

Is the rule of “Nasog Achor” specific to the Bible?

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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39 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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1answer
72 views

Count seven weeks or seven shabbats?

Vayikra 23:15 reads the phrase: sheva shabbatot t'miymot. Why is this rendered as 'seven weeks' and not 'seven shabbats'? On basis of what is it defined, that the meaning of shabbatot in this case ...
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1answer
54 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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1answer
82 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
115 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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0answers
21 views

What exactly is a Mo'ed (Moadim)?

Trying to define what exactly is a Mo'ed i found out that the root of the word has the meaning of 'appointing' and 'meeting'. On the other hand there seem to be some words related to the word mo'ed ...
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2answers
106 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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1answer
31 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 ...