Questions about Hebrew grammar as related to Judaism.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

11
votes
2answers
123 views

Grammar question in Vayera

I've been learning Bereshit with Rashi in school, and while reading a part of Vayera, I noticed that there were two grammatically different statements in one Pesuk. Bereshit (18:7) וְאֶל ...
-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?
5
votes
1answer
40 views

Understanding derivation of rule that “פרו ורבו” is mandatory only for men?

The Gmara (Yevamot 65b) says that the reason why men are the only ones that have to keep "פרו ורבו" is because right after it its written "וכבשוה" (the human has to take over the world), and men are ...
4
votes
1answer
487 views

Difference between El and Eloah

El(אל) and Eloah(אלוה) are both singular forms (nouns), but its אל thats being used to form the plural Elim (אלים), and אלוה thats being used to form the plural Elohim (אלוה׳ם). Both singular forms ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Why the person switches in Shemos 14:2-4?

Shemos 14:2-4: דבר, אל-בני ישראל, וישובו ויחנו לפני פי החירות, בין מגדול ובין הים: לפני בעל צפון, נכחו תחנו על-הים.‏ ואמר פרעה לבני ישראל, נבוכים הם בארץ; סגר עליהם, המדבר.‏ ...
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
9
votes
0answers
169 views

Why is there a custom to join “Hashem” and “Elokenu” together in the line Al Taazvenu in Shema Kolenu in Selichot

In Shema Kolenu, based on the Posuk in Psalms 38:22 we say the phrase: Al Taazvenu Hashem Elokenu Al tirchak mimenu | Don't leave us Hashem Our God Don't distance yourself from us. The ...
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. ...
6
votes
0answers
509 views

מֶה, מָה, מַה - Meh, Mah, Ma - What's the difference?

What causes the difference in vowelization of the Hebrew word for "what"? In some contexts it is מֶה, in others - מָה, and in yet others - מַה. The hypothesis that an acquaintance and I converged on ...
5
votes
0answers
66 views

Proper Reading of the Word זועה

The word זועה appears six times in tanach: Yeshayahu 28:19 Yirmiyahu 15:4 Yirmiyahu 24:9 Yirmiyahu 29:18 Yirmiyahu 34:17 Divrei Hayamim II 29:8 In each one of these instances except the first, the ...
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
60 views

Is there a reason for the change in word order in Vayikra 25:10?

In parshat Behar (Vayikra 25:10) is the phrase ושבתם איש אל אחוזתו ואיש אל משפחתו תשובו - "You shall return every man to his inheritance, and every man to his family shall you return." Is there a ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

“This meat is for Peisach” with a tzeirei

Based on this question. Many (most?) Ashkenazim in America say Pesach, with a segol, when talking about the korban pesach, but Peisach, with a tzeirei, to refer to the holiday. As far as I know, the ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Sequences of Binyanim with Infinitive Construct

We find in Tanakh the grammatical construction: infinitive absolute + finite verb, where the two verbs are of the same root. For example, in Genesis 22:17, we have two occurences (text and ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Grammatical origins of names in Tanach

Almost all nouns in Hebrew fit into one of several standard "templates". For example, מִבְחָן comes from the root בחנ combined with the pattern מִפְעָל (already used by many other words). There would ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

Eliphaz and Bildad Zophar

Iyov 42:9: וַיֵּלְכוּ אֱלִיפַז הַתֵּימָנִי וּבִלְדַּד הַשּׁוּחִי צֹפַר הַנַּעֲמָתִי וַיַּעֲשׂוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֲלֵיהֶם ה׳ In the JPS translation: So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the ...
3
votes
0answers
93 views

Difference between 'rafa' and 'ripa'

The root רפא, "heal", is used in various places in Tanach, sometimes in binyan paal and sometimes in binyan piel. I wonder what the difference is between these. Does any Tanach commentator, or the ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

Makaf in כי-תראה but not in כי תפגע

In Mishpatim 23:4-5, why is there a makaf in כי-תראה but not in כי תפגע? The words are very similar. As far as I can tell the only difference is that the patach at the end of תפגע ends in an ע, ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

In Genesis 6:3, How Should the Context Affect Interpretation of “To Contend/Plead”?

Disclaimer: There are A LOT of pieces to this I don't understand, which is making it very difficult to ask: I would appreciate your suggestions! 1. Question : Genesis 6:3 -... My Spirit will ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Are most of the verbs in Kaddish in reflexive form?

The beginning of Kaddish has the words יתגדל ויתקדש - I know that there is a debate whether these words are Hebrew or Aramaic. Regardless, it looks that these words are in the hitpa'el form (I'm ...
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
0answers
59 views

Dagesh in Ne'umecha

Most nouns with a pronoun suffix and end with a short vowel have a dagesh chazak added. Examples: עַמִּי, כֻּלּוֹ, בָּתֵּינוּ. However, the word כִּנְאֻמֶךָ (in Emes Veyatziv) does not have a dagesh ...
2
votes
0answers
240 views

Variable pronunciation of patach chataf in Lithuanian Hebrew

In theory, a "patach chataf" - a patach with a shva next to it, like this: חֲ is pronounced in Lithuanian Hebrew like a patach followed by a yud. This results in the common pronunciations (which I ...
2
votes
0answers
325 views

Two-letter shorashim and phonetic shorashim?

I have heard many times in the name of Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch that every Hebrew shoresh (usually defined with three letters) has a more basic root of two letters. I also heard in his name that ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Singular and plural language in Deut. 4:25

Why does the Pasuk (Deut. 4:25) switch between singular and plural when building up to the consequences of what "you will [do]"? "When you (sing.) will have children and grandchildren, and you (pl.) ...
1
vote
0answers
35 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Comparison of editions of Shas menukad

As far as I'm aware, there are at least three editions of the Talmud which are currently available with nikkud in the daf itself (the Steinsaltz/Koren, the Tuvia's Judaica, and the Oz Vehadar). In my ...
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
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" ...
1
vote
0answers
46 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? ...
0
votes
0answers
26 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
156 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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. ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 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 ...