Questions pertaining to the Hebrew language, as related to Judaism. See the help center: http://judaism.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
1answer
105 views

Studying the Written Torah in English

In terms of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, when studying the Written Torah, must one learn the translation in tandem with the Hebrew words? Or is it sufficient to understand the meaning, ...
4
votes
3answers
115 views

Why is the reading from the Prophets on Shabbat called הפטרה?

The reading from the prophets that is done on Shabbat morning, is called הפטרה. This seems to come from the root word פטר meaning "to exempt". What, if anything, is being "exempted"?
1
vote
2answers
38 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
10
votes
4answers
255 views

What's “chelek Eloka mimaal”?

I have frequently heard the human (or only the Jewish?) soul referred to as "חלק אלוק ממעל", literally "portion/section/piece/allotment of God (from) above". What does this mean? Who's the first to ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Living Trust in Hebrew

For the purpose of a kethubah the groom is writing that the living trust that is in the bride's name shall remain her property. But i don't know how to render "living trust" in Hebrew. Does anyone ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Pronunciation of אַשְׁרֵי

אַשְׁרֵי in Psalms 1:1 is pronounced with 3 syllables in Mechon-Mamre's mp3 file t2601. It is pronounced with 2 syllables in the last verse of Psalms 2 in Mechon-Mamre's mp3 file t2602. My question ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Meaning of the (Hebrew?) abbreviation Ka"H

I saw this on a frum forum: It bothers me when my daughters keep hearing about their (ka"h) appearance,and no one talks about character. I had never seen this abbreviation before. Does anyone ...
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

What is wrong if a wife rebukes her husband and(/or) does not watch over him

In this list אם מקללתו בחנם או מזלזלת אביו ואמו והוכיחה בדברים ואינו משגחת עליו (My translation "if she (the wife) curses him (the husband) without a reason, disrespects his parents, rebukes him ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

What is the difference between these two brachot? [duplicate]

During Shacharit (the morning service) and Ma'ariv (the evening service), these are two blessings that seem quite similar. After the Shema, one says "Baruch ata Hashem, go-al Yisrael." A few minutes ...
3
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Why is it called “Matzah shmurah”?

The term "מצה שמורה", means "watched matzah". AFAIK, in making "shmurah matzot" The wheat is being watched, not the matzah, itself. Perhaps, from the time it comes out of the oven until it's packaged, ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Is there a connection between פסח (Pesach) and פה (peh / mouth)?

Is there a connection between פסח (Pesach) and פה (peh / mouth)? They sound similar. Plus, we are commanded to do lots of symbolic eating on the holiday. Has it been written about or discussed? ...
1
vote
0answers
61 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Hebrew being Lashon HaKodesh, is the inclusion and exclusion of certain phonemes and sounds in the language significant?

For instance, the English sounds of "J", "W","Th", and "Ch" are for the most part unused in Hebrew. Although as an exception, I've seen a Yemenite Chazan use some of these sounds while reading the ...
4
votes
0answers
33 views

What's “צרה שלא תבא”?

There's an expression I've read many times in slightly variant forms: "איזה צרה שלא תבוא" or "על כל צרה שלא תבא" or the like. It means something like "any tragedy that should not happen" and it's used ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Why דָּת in Esther but דַּת in kidushin?

There are two places "דָּת" appears in Tanach in a form that means "the law of": Esther 2:12 and 9:13. In both places it appears as "דָּת" with a kamatz.[1] Yet, when we marry, according to the ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Uniqueness of the phrase “Shabbat Shalom”

Why does only Shabbat get described as "Shalom," as in the greeting "Shabbat Shalom"? I don't hear anyone saying "Yom Tov Shalom" or "Purim Shalom", etc.
1
vote
2answers
44 views

What does ראש חודש אדר ה׳תשע״ה mean?

I understand Rosh Hodesh Adar but not the last abreviation. What does it mean? I need to know the meaning of each letter of this abreviation.
14
votes
5answers
11k views

What does Kadosh really mean?

What do the terms קדוש (Kadosh), קדושים, קדושה, and קדיש really mean?
2
votes
1answer
27 views

What is the difference between akh and ekha [closed]

For example, retsonekha, retsonakh. Kodsheha, kodshakh. What is the reason for this difference? I see this difference in several places in the jewish prayer books, for example in Yedid Nefesh or in ...
5
votes
3answers
444 views

Is there a chart available displaying all Hebrew letters and vowels?

I'm looking for a nice chart that will give me the following things, so I can print it out and keep it handy: Picture of each letter in traditional "book" font = Picture of each letter in ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

Why werent Rashi letters changed back

What is the basis of the change in Rashi's letters from the standard Hebrew ones? And if it was something that was dependent on a specific factor then, why weren't they changed back?
3
votes
1answer
465 views

What is this medallion?

This was given to me on my bat mitzvah several years ago, and I have no idea what it's about. Can you please explain/translate what this is? Does it have an official name? I'd like to read more about ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the original meaning of the world “hevel”?

I am not religious myself, but lately I have found myself somewhat attracted to Ecclesiastes. Reading about it, I am fascinated about what seems to be endless meanings and interpretations of the word ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

What is the prayer uttered by Michael Ginberg's dad in Mad Men?

In the second last scene of episode 5x03 of Mad Men, Michael Ginsberg (one of the Jewish characters on the show) comes back home from the grocer's to be greeted by his dad. The latter encourages ...
12
votes
6answers
17k views

Nefesh, neshama and ruach as words for “soul”

All three words can mean something like "soul", e.g., neshama in גלגול נשמות, and ruach in וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם (Bereshit 45:27). So, what is the difference?
7
votes
1answer
8k views

what is “kodesh”?

What does the word קֹדֶשׁ (sometimes קודש), kodesh, mean? Its form is that of a noun, like אֹכֶל or בֹּקֶר or לֹבֶן. But קדושה is a noun, and (I'm pretty sure) it means "the state/quality of being ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

“Qof, Qof” What does this mean?

An old (formerly used) synagogue building in my town has this sign on the front of it: The text says "Shaaray Torah", the name of the congregation, but what is the meaning of the two qofs above it? ...
10
votes
1answer
176 views

Request document Identification (Ancient Scroll?)

Hi I have a document from Tunsia that I can't identify. Can anyone help me with this?
5
votes
2answers
68 views

The word 'Halakhah'

When and under what circumstances did the word "halakhah" (also spelled "halacha", "halachah" or, in Hebrew, הלכה) come to mean Jewish law?
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Are all hiriqs the same or is there a distinction if a yud or other silent letter follows?

For example, what would be the difference in pronunciation of the hiriq in these two words: נִקּוּד and תִּינוֹק? What about רִאשׁוֹן? Is it "Rishon" similar to "pit" or "Reeshon" similar to ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Is there a term for doing a mitzvah the same way every time?

I read in a book (why can't I find it when I want it?) that among the reasons that a tallit gadol has an atarah on it is because there is value in doing a mitzvah the same way each time. If it did ...
7
votes
7answers
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Origin of the Ashkenazi Pronunciation? [closed]

What is the actual story behind the Ashkenazi way of pronunciation? I am uncertain as to whether Ashkenazim consider their form of pronunciation older than Sephardi, just an alternative, or... Any ...
4
votes
3answers
133 views

Have any of you ever heard anyone pronouncing ayin as “ng”?

I have read historically the letter ayin was pronounced by some Dutch, Portuguese, and Italian Jews as a velar nasal consonant (ng as in sing). Reference to this can be found here, here, and here. I ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

How do you pronounce numbers 248, 365, and 613 in the siddur?

In the meditations before putting on the tallit and tefillin in the morning, there are three numbers — 248, 365, and three instances of 613. They’re written out in standard Hebrew letter notation in ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

Applications of word tzipor

Can the Hebrew word "tzipor" mean any kind of flying creature in Genesis 1, or is the word only referring to fowls such as sparrows, hawks, etc.?
8
votes
2answers
176 views

Are there any studies that compare Biblical Hebrew to modern Hebrew?

(I am a Hebrew speaker) When reading the Bible, one encounters sometimes words whose meaning in modern Hebrew clearly does not correspond to what was meant in the text (in Kohelet for example, "מסכן" ...
10
votes
1answer
291 views

What is the source of the expression המבין יבין?

The Forward writer Philologos in his most recent column claimed that the earliest uses of the expression והמבין יבין are found in the Ra'avad and in the Radak. Based on the fact that both these ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Two words for “redeem”: what's the difference?

When we talk about "redeeming" a first-born son or a captive, we use "pidyon" (root פדה). When we talk about what God does for us we use "goel" (גאל). My dictionary translates both of these roots as ...
0
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Why are the names of some mitzvos changed to from “al” or “lo” to “bal”

For example, אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם (al t'shaq'tzu...) is commonly called בל תשקצו (bal t'shaq'tzu), אֵת ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

What are clear and concise translations of the various meanings of “Ruach HaKodesh” in English?

The Wikipedia entry for "Holy Spirit (Judaism)" identifies this English term with the Hebrew term Ruach HaKodesh1, but also indicates that Ruach HaKodesh can mean a higher spiritual state of an ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Is Moisheva (or Mosheva) a female version of the name Moshe?

Is Moisheva (or Mosheva) a female version of the name Moshe? Are there any examples of this? Is the Hebrew word for "settlement" moshav/moshavim or moshava/moshavot? Background: a rabbi has ...
11
votes
1answer
888 views

Relationship between Samekh and Sin

What is the relationship between the letters samekh and sin? Did they ever have distinct sounds? Why do they exist as separate letters?
2
votes
3answers
492 views

Best way to learn Hebrew to read Torah

I didn't have the opportunity growing up to learn Hebrew. My goal is to be able to sight-read the Hebrew in Torah. I have taken several classes in grammer and syntax, and my vocab is moderate. What ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

(Online) Hebrew Babylonian Talmud

I sometimes need to show things from Gemorra for someone who knows both Modern Hebrew and Lashon Hakodesh, but not Aramaic. I do not need inserted explanation, like the Hebrew ArtScroll or Mesivta, ...
-1
votes
2answers
51 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What mean Cholek, Chozer, modey and Gozer?

When studying Masseret Ketubot with a Rabbi, he often says "He is Cholek", "He is Chozer", "He is Modey" or "He is Gozer". These four words seems related. It seems, according to the context, that they ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

How do I write in Hebrew for a Ketubah, “On the first day of the week, the thirtieth day of Adar I in the year fifty-seven seventy one”

How do I write in Hebrew for a Ketubah, "On the first day of the week, the thirtieth day of Adar I in the year fifty-seven seventy one"? Question was asked by Stephen Spiegel, I'm just posting it ...