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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7
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1answer
265 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 ...
2
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1answer
34 views

Writing Responsa in English

I was reading the introduction to Rabbi Yehuda Henkin's book "Responsa on Contemporary Jewish Women's Issues" and he wrote something that I found interesting: Whether Halachic response should be ...
1
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2answers
57 views

What does the word נחירה mean

In Modern Hebrew it means "snort", but what about in Classical Hebrew? I have found this word in Simla Hadosho 1:21. This states that if you want to feed your animals meat but you do not know the ...
1
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1answer
59 views

Did Moses divorce Tziporah? [duplicate]

Exodus 18:2: וַיִּקַּ֗ח יִתְרוֹ֙ חֹתֵ֣ן מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־צִפֹּרָ֖ה אֵ֣שֶׁת מֹשֶׁ֑ה אַחַ֖ר שִׁלּוּחֶֽיהָ׃ And Jethro, Moses’father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’wife, after he had sent her away ...
3
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1answer
54 views

Assist with understanding Shada"l regarding grammatic usage in Shemot 18:26

Exodus 18:26 (minor modif. to Sefaria English): וְשָׁפְט֥וּ אֶת־הָעָ֖ם בְּכָל־עֵ֑ת אֶת־הַדָּבָ֤ר הַקָּשֶׁה֙ יְבִיא֣וּן אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה וְכָל־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַקָּטֹ֖ן יִשְׁפּוּט֥וּ הֵֽם׃ And they ...
1
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1answer
32 views

Meaning and function of Va'yechulu

What does Va'yechulu mean literally in Hebrew? What is the function of Va'yechulu during worship?
6
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4answers
158 views

Is there a substantive difference in meaning when the Torah uses the Hebrew verb root דבר rather than אמר?

Is there a substantive difference in meaning when the Torah uses the Hebrew verb root דבר rather than אמר, or do they both pretty much mean "to say" or "to speak"? Do any sages see the choice of one ...
5
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3answers
219 views

The letter Dalet

The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is "dalet" and not "daled." Why, then, do Ashkenazi Jews not pronounce it as "dales." I have heard an answer that "dales" sounds too much like "dalus", ...
0
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2answers
113 views

Why is hebrew, the holy language, so messy?

Something that has always bothered me and I've never really understood is why Hebrew is so messy. If it is the language of G-d, the language in which the world was created and the language in which ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Why is the term דגה frequently used to refer to Egyptian (Nile) fish?

I ran a word search using Snunit's tool on the appearance of the word דג in the Bible. The search revealed 17 occurrences, and all of them had that word or some form of the word such as דגים (plural ...
3
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1answer
73 views

How do we know when the word ידע means intercourse or just (brain) knowledge?

I shall cite 3 verses. What I state below in terms of "plain" knowledge vs. intercourse is confirmed by Rash"i and / or other commentaries on each verse: 1 - Genesis 4:1 (excerpt): וְהָ֣אָדָ֔ם ...
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2answers
52 views

Why is כל written with Kamatz?

When praying with the siddur and reading Torah, I've asked myself why is the word כל written with Kamatz if it sounds Kol and not Kal. I've also seen other words like this, but with less frequency. ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

What does the word “Mevoar” mean in “NaKh Mevoar”?

I often see books titled "NaKh Mevoar" or "Rashi Mevoar". What does the word "Mevoar" mean?
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1answer
44 views

What is the hebrew Word for the rationalist approach [closed]

What is the hebrew term for the rationalist approach of the Rambam, the Ran, the Rivash, Ralbag etc.?
1
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1answer
115 views

Is/Where is Tefillot (or Tefillah) ever spelt with a yud?

I have almost always seen the word Tefillah and I suppose Tefillot, spelt with no Yud. Tav, Feh, Lamed, Vav, Tav. (Tefillot) Tav, Feh, Lamed, Heh (Tefillah) But the Sacks singers siddur spells it ...
2
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1answer
29 views

Understanding a Hebrew expression: בטלה דעתו אצל כל אדם

The Bartenura, in his commentary to Kelim 27:3, notes that the rules concerning the admixture of cloth with sack, sack with leather and leather with matting only apply to those specific combinations ...
4
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1answer
2k views

According to Jewish sources: which language came first, Hebrew or Aramaic?

I've heard that Aramaic and Hebrew are similar languages in vocabulary, syntax, and structure. There is, however, some debate about which is the older, or original, base language. After a bit of ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Difference between Slumber and Sleep

In Tehillim 121, David says of Hashem "הִנֵּה לֹא-יָנוּם, וְלֹא יִישָׁן שׁוֹמֵר, יִשְׂרָאֵל." At first glance, this appears redundant, נום means slumber and שנה means sleep. What is the difference ...
2
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0answers
13 views

Is nechoshet copper, brass or bronze [duplicate]

In the bible the word נחושת means what? I saw a few translations: copper, brass, bronze. What is the definition of the word
27
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4answers
456 views

Female praying in masculine language

When women daven (pray), even by ourselves, it is convention to daven with male-gendered words ("modeh" vs "moda" as one of many examples). Why is this; are there sources that say we should be doing ...
1
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1answer
93 views

Why is birkas kohanim in the masculine singular?

If the kohanim are blessing the entire people, one would think that it should be worded, "יברככם...וישמרכם" Why is it in the singular form? On a related note, if a father places this blessing on his ...
6
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1answer
102 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 ...
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0answers
35 views

Why are there so many Nikkudot? [closed]

1) Why does every vowel has more than one way to be written? 2) Does every nekkud has a slightly different pronunciation?
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0answers
12 views

Origins B'zrat Hashem (בס״ד)? [duplicate]

It's a very common practice to write "בס״ד" (whit the help of G-d) at the top of letters, notes, texts, etc. People from different cultures and regions seem to do this, but what are the origins of ...
2
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2answers
87 views

Alleged mistranslation in Genesis 17:19 and 17:21

I have recently read in a Muslim website claims that verses 17.19 and 17.21 of Genesis are misinterpreted by Jews, because 1) The word אֲבָל "abal" used in 17.19 means "Yes indeed" in Hebrew, not ...
14
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4answers
13k views

Proper recitation of Hamakom Yenachem

Is the proper phrase to console a mourner always the plural המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים or should it be changed depending on whom it is said to (singluar, feminine, etc.)?
2
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3answers
79 views

What is the connection between “שיח” as prayer and “שיח” as a bush?

פרשת וירא (כא טו): וַיִּכְלוּ הַמַּיִם מִן הַחֵמֶת וַתַּשְׁלֵךְ אֶת הַיֶּלֶד תַּחַת אַחַד הַשִּׂיחִם Genesis 21:15: And the water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the ...
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0answers
19 views

Why is Elokim plural? [duplicate]

There are many names of G-d and all of them seem to be written in a singular form. But Elokim is the only name I know that has an "-im" termination. What is the meaning behind this?
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Origin Of Hasidic Pronounciation [closed]

Does anyone know when and by whom the Hasidic Pronunciation started? I mean "burich" as opposed to "boruch". The same goes for Yiddish.. "vus" as opposed to "vos". I've heard that it was in opposition ...
4
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4answers
437 views

What is an appropriate hebrew translation of 'ought to be put into geniza'?

I have some texts that are not religious (like dictionary) but contain The Name. And because it's not obvious that one should not recycle them, but rather put to geniza, I want to mark them somehow. ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

Using hebrew as a day-to-day language

I've heard that many Rabbis (including the Lubavitcher Rebbe) say that one shouldn't use Lashon Hakodesh (hebrew) as a daily language, because hebrew is too holy for mundane speech. It sounds very ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Is this a mistake in a Torah scroll or intended decoration?

In the following pictures, is the superscript addition a correction or intended decoration? Are corrections like this kosher?
2
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1answer
71 views

Why does the language in a typical bracha (blessing) change from an individual request to mentioning a group?

A typical bracha starts (or ends) ברוך אתה ה hich seems to be an individual praise, as you are individually acknowledging that He is your (personal) G-d (As I understand, אדוני means my Lord). Then, ...
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2answers
84 views

hebrew names for girl child

I want to name my new born baby girl as Nessa which means miracle but want to know Which verse in the Hebrew bible mentions the word Nessa
6
votes
3answers
428 views

What is an appropriate greeting for Yom Kippur?

What is an appropriate greeting for Yom Kippur? "Hag Sameach" doesn't seem to work. Is it "Have a good fast," or something similar? I'm interested in knowing Hebrew and English.
6
votes
1answer
218 views

What are these marks with the numbers designating the Jewish years on this calendar?

I can see that the Hebrew is Elul 775 to Tishrei 776. What are those marks prior to the Hay and the Vav?
10
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2answers
240 views

What exactly does “Lord of Hosts” (צְבָאוֹת) mean?

When I think of the Judaism, I don't think of Angelic armies attacking the armies of evil directly. G-d usually works in far more subtle ways than this, e.g. appearing as a burning bush to motivate ...
0
votes
3answers
181 views

Rosh HaShanna glossary: What do hain, hesed, and rachamim mean?

There are many words in the siddur and in the machzor for Rosh HaShanna that seem central to the prayers for the season including hain, hesed, and rachamim, and also words translated as: help, save, ...
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7answers
25k 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?
0
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1answer
173 views

Can someone translate this “hidden” message from Hebrew to English? [closed]

Can someone translate this "hidden" message? I would have pulled out the letters, but it is difficult for me not being very familiar with Hebrew to even identify some of the letters. This is a ...
7
votes
4answers
192 views

What is the correct translation of הֵילֵ֣ל?

Shalom everyone, new visitor here. The term הֵילֵ֣ל may be found in Isaiah 14:12, but I have not been able to find it in any Hebrew dictionaries. English translations range from "morning," to ...
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0answers
40 views

What Hebrew must I know in order to read the Minchas Shai?

I am interested in understanding the Tenach better, as well as rules related to leining. I have resources for learning biblical Hebrew. Vocabulary lists, and charts showing verb conjugations. If I ...
3
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4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
236 views

Origin of the term Motza'ei Shabbos

I often hear that מוצאי שבת means "departure of the Sabbath," but it seems to me that the phrase for this should be צאת שבת (or יציאת שבת). The phrase מוצאי שבת seems to me to mean המוצאים של שבת, ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Shva na after meteg on short vowel

When a long vowel has a meteg, there is a difference of opinion if the shva after it is na or nach. What about a short vowel with a meteg? Is it vayihi chen or vayhi chen? Is it tihiyeh or tihyeh? Is ...
0
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1answer
80 views

Can אֲדֹנָי refer to a person or just to God?

In Book of Ezra chapter 10 No.3 the Bible uses the Hebrew word אֲדֹנָי to talk about Ezra. I thought this word was used only when talking about God. What does this word mean?
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0answers
14 views

Explanation of Gemara's Interpretation of מצא

The Gemara Bava Kamma (113b) states that the term ומצאתה implies physical acquisition (rather than mere finding as the word would seem to imply): אמר רבינא {דברים כב-ג} ומצאתה דאתאי לידיה משמע ...
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0answers
48 views

When did the Hebrew language officially get documented? Dictionary and grammar? [closed]

What is the oldest Hebrew dictionary and grammar book? I would also be interested in learning when the script and actual sounds was documented. I'm trying to understand how the language officially ...
0
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2answers
88 views

Different types of giants in Tanach

What's the difference between the ענקים and the רפאים of Tanakh? Both seem to be very large people. Is one a subset of the other? Some Sources: Bamidbar 13:33 and Rashi there, Devarim 3:11