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

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1answer
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What does shomo-a tishm'u in the shema prayer mean?

The second paragraph of the shema begins with "and it will come to pass that if you continually hearken to my commandments..." Apparently shomo-a tishm'u means continually hearken but I would like ...
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3answers
230 views

Pronunciation of חשמונאי

A friend today told me that the word חשמונאי traditionally pronounced "Chashmonai" should really be pronounced "Chashmunai" with the vav being read as a shuruk vowel instead of a cholom. Is this ...
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0answers
22 views

Where can one find a complete guide to Hebrew numerals?

I am looking for an instruction resource on Hebrew numerals that is comprehensive, insofar as it: lists all (or nearly all) of the euphemistic exceptions in frequent use (such as "chai" for 18, רחץ ...
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1answer
40 views

How to change someone's hebrew name?

I am wondering how to change officially someone's hebrew name. I have seen in the Tora that Hashem changes people's names. Like Sarai became Sarah, Avram became Avraham,Yaaqob became Yisrael, Yetkuel ...
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0answers
46 views

Why would one paraphrase and not quote a pasuk?

In the second bracha before Shma in the morning, there is a line which is taken from Tehillim 86:11 which reads, "יַחֵד לְבָבִי לְיִרְאָה שְׁמֶךָ". The construction I found in the Artscroll reads (I ...
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0answers
40 views

Any Tanach transliteration website which give every possible meaning under every word?

Is there any website that give a Hebrew-English transliteration and give every English meaning under every Hebrew word ?
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0answers
49 views

Do brachot speak of time or place?

In the formulation of a bracha we use the words "melech ha'olam" which is translated as "king of the universe" (Koren and Artscroll). But "olam" is used through tanach as "forever" (or at least a long ...
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1answer
88 views

What is the meaning of the term יום טוב (Yom Tov)?

I did a search in Tanac"h for the term יום טוב (along with any prefixes to the term) The term appears a few times in Esther, esp. in the 2nd to last chapter. One example is: Esther 9:19: ...
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1answer
72 views

How to say Mi Yodeya's version of Echad Mi Yodeya in hebrew

A selcetion of the Mi Yodeya series is being prepared for the hagadah mi yodeya 14 are the books of the Rambam. 15 were the cubits of the Flood. 16 are the maneh of the myrrh. 17 were the ...
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1answer
30 views

Usage of “Making Aaliyah”

I had heard that "Making Aaliyah" is informally used to mean anyone going to Israel (not necessarily moving there, and not necessarily Jewish) for religious reasons. I was more recently informed that ...
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0answers
87 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 ...
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0answers
23 views

What are good grammars to help me understand the language of Rabbinic Literature?

I have recently finished my grammar book on Biblical Hebrew, and I would like to get a grammar that would help me start to read rabbinic literature, specifically, the Talmud, and the commentaries of ...
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1answer
526 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 ...
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2answers
122 views

What do you call a female Chosid?

I have encountered a lot of different words purporting to be the feminine version of Chosid (Hasid/Hassid/חסיד). I have seen or heard: Chosides (~Chosidit?) Chasideh/Chasida Most recently, ...
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2answers
189 views

What is the meaning of this painting?

I am in possession of this mysterious painting with Hebrew characters, but I do not know what words mean. I suspect that they may provide a clue to what is being represented in each of the painted ...
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2answers
40 views

Stringing nuts together: a question on the Bartenura, Uqtzin 2:5

In explaining the Mishna, the Bartenura often clarifies obscure words by providing a cognate word in either Hebrew or Aramaic - the latter usually taken from the Targum, but sometimes from the Bavli ...
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0answers
24 views

The Addition of the letter 'he' in Yonatan and Yosef's name

I've been trying to understand the significance to to addition of the letter 'he' in the name of Yonatan in 1 Shmuel 19:1 and after and in with Yosef in Tehillim 81:6, making them Yehonatan and ...
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1answer
65 views

How holy is Aramaic?

I've always thought that Hebrew is the Lashon HaKodesh, the language G-d speaks, and the language of Judaism. And that Aramaic is also important but somewhat secondary. But based on this answer, it ...
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1answer
85 views

Translation please Yiddish and roshai taivois about getting married fast

Please help me translation (understand) Igres kodesh 24 pg 227 (second paragraph) I understand the last line that "whoever shortens the time between the decision (to get married) and the marriage ...
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2answers
132 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 ...
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2answers
40 views

what is the etymology of “Nebat”?

Brown Driver Briggs, usually unabashed at offering extra-canonical etymology, offers only "proper name" as the etymological parse of נבט, given that it is only ever found in the phrase " יָרָבְעָ֣ם ...
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1answer
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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0answers
64 views

Does Rabbinic Literature misunderstand the infinitive absolute?

The infinitive absolute is a conjugation classified generally by a qametz under the first consonant, and a holem or holem - vav by the second. According to the Cambridge Introduction to Biblical ...
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1answer
138 views

Evolved minimal Hebrew pronunciation in halacha

Inspired by comments on this question: Say a person travels from place to place where there are certain traditional havarot (pronunciations) such that what were likely originally distinct sounds, are ...
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4answers
1k views

Most original form of the Hebrew Bible/Tanach

Not sure if they are the same thing (the Hebrew Bible and the Tanach). I read in this link that "there are many different Jewish translations of the Hebrew Bible". This kind of confuses me because I ...
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0answers
47 views

Prayer for the Government if the President or VP is female

The prayer Hanosen Teshuah as recited in the US has the line את הנשיא ואת משנהו. To me, these terms sound masculine. If the President and/or Vice President of the United States were female, would this ...
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1answer
203 views

Is there a difference in meaning between קָדֹֽשׁ and קֹֽדֶשׁ?

I am helping my son lain parshat Emor. He's having a hard time seeing the difference between קֹֽדֶשׁ and קָדֹ֥שׁ esp. when they are written the same. Usually, when I train students to lain, I try to ...
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4answers
402 views

What's “chelek Eloak 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 ...
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1answer
65 views

Plural of yasher koach?

Many expressions in Hebrew take different forms when referring to women or groups. What is the correct way to say yasher koach/ײשר כּח to multiple people?
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1answer
43 views

Real green hair?

I've seen people with their hair dyed green, but I was under the impression that nobody has naturally green hair. But Rashi says (Tazria 13:37) שער שחר - מנין אף הירוק והאדום שאינו צהוב? תלמוד ...
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2answers
2k views

What's the meaning of “Hashmal” (electricity in modern Hebrew) in the bible? (Ezekiel 1:4)

Ezekiel 1:4: I saw, and behold, there was a stormy wind coming from the north, a great cloud with flashing fire and a brilliance surrounding it; and from its midst, like the color of the Hashmal ...
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1answer
729 views

What coin is this?

It is a little over an inch diameter, thicker and heavier than any coin would be. The lettering almost seems random....or maybe the middle word is a name? Can someone help me identify this coin? ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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7answers
15k views

What does Kadosh really mean?

What do the terms קדוש (Kadosh), קדושים, קדושה, and קדיש really mean?
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2answers
152 views

Is there a reason or pattern as to when the Torah uses אֵת instead of אֶת?

I noticed a mix of the two forms of the Hebrew objective marker commonly pronounced אֶת. in the Torah. (There is no English translation of this word. It is used only to notify that an object follows ...
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4answers
4k views

Correct response to tizku l'mitzvot

What is the correct response to someone saying, "tizku l'mitzvot" after you do a mitzvah, or something helpful? For example, after helping someone make an Eruv Chatzeirot they might say "tizku ...
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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 ...
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1answer
99 views

What language did Pharaoh speak?

Specifically, I am looking for sources that address this issue/topic. Namely, if he spoke fluent Hebrew, as the Torah records his words, how did he know the language? If, on the other hand, he spoke ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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3answers
210 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 ...
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2answers
55 views

What is the hebrew name verse for the name טלי (Tali)

What is the hebrew name verse for the name טלי (Tali), there isn't one in the artscroll
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2answers
79 views

What is the official name for the “additional readings” on special torah-reading days?

On certain special Shabboses, like the four parshiyot, there is a special torah reading that replaces Maftir after the weekly parsha is read. Is there a name for this extra not-from-the-weekly-parsha ...
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2answers
152 views

Is there a book / document that explains the proper use of kamatz katan in the Torah?

I am a Ba'al Kri'ah. I am quite confused regarding the rules of "kamatz katan". Another Ba'al Kri'ah explained that a kamatz katan occurs when a kamatz is used in a word (usually a verb) when the root ...
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1answer
47 views

Identify/translate this text

Could anyone please identify this text, or translate it? To put into context, it originates from some artwork displayed in a Freemason's Lodge. I ask here as I believe it is Hebrew, and relates to ...
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2answers
35 views

What do the words (“SheTishreh” & “Milfanecha”) mean?

What do the words ("SheTishreh" & "Milfanecha") mean? Do they have a source in Tanach? I found them in Avraham Fried's song "Matzliach". Yehi ratzon milfanecha Shetishreh shechinah bema’asey ...
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5answers
180 views

Difference between אֲנִי and אָנֹכִי

Throughout the Tanakh, I have come across אֲנִי (ʾani) and אָנֹכִי (ʾanokhi) many times, which both mean "I". What is the difference between the two words in Tanakh?
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2answers
1k 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?
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4answers
5k views

Where can I get the free Hebrew text of the Siddur or Benching?

Where can I get the text of the siddur/prayer book (or at least benching/grace, mincha/afternoon prayer, and/or ma'ariv/evening prayer) in a free computer friendly format? I'd like to be able to make ...
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1answer
264 views

How to pronounce the name of the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet?

I have heard mixed answers as to how to pronounce the letter תּ Is it taf or tav? (I'm referring to the halachic pronunciation not the common street way.) Is there a difference between Ashkenazi or ...