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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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 ...
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2answers
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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
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1answer
88 views

Adon vs. Baal, what's the most obvious difference?

I know I'm not supposed to ask about basic hebrew, but I can't find a place to post this to, given that there's no hebrew language section here at stackexchange. So, allow me to complicate things a ...
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1answer
101 views

What is the reason that the Torah uses a ן (final “Nun”) at the end of 2nd person plural verbs?

Frequently, the Torah uses a final nun (ן) at the end of verbs. They seem to be 2nd person plural verbs. An example: Deuteronomy 5:30: בְּכָל־הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֜ה יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֛ם ...
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1answer
101 views

How to translate Olam in the Torah?

Bereshit 3:22: ‏…וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם In search for a definition of the word עֹלָם, Olam, as in this verse, I found different translations: 'Universe', ...
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82 views

Is “tirtzach” 'murder'?

The way I was taught it (and confirmed by this answer and the comment on it), the Hebrew word "tirtzach" refers to murder, and is distinguished from the H-R-G and M-T roots which mean "kill." ...
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Use of speaking “Baruch HaShem” in 1492 Spain

I am writing a play that takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. A Rabbi is walking home from the King's court and his belongings are tossed to the ground by hooligans. A young Spanish girl picks ...
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59 views

what determines what parts of the talmud(if any) are in hebrew rather than aramaic?

I read in this question http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/226412/origins-of-turn-over-in-his-grave-turn-over-in-her-grave-etc-etc/226478?noredirect=1#comment576934_226478 That this line in ...
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1answer
57 views

In Kiddush Levana, what does the phrase עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן refer to?

There is an interesting metaphor used in the bracha for Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the moon): עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן translated (loosely) as "A crown of beauty to those ...
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1answer
74 views

What is the source and reason for saying “Yeyasher Kochacha” or “Chazak Ubaruch”?

Follow up to this M.Y. question Why do congregants say to a person who has received an aliyah or was shaliach tzibbur (there may be other situations, but I can't think of any others) either "Yeyasher ...
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5answers
346 views

What is the nature of the numeral “ashtei-asar” (11)?

What is the nature of the numeral ashtei-asar (meaning 11) as in (BeMidbar 29:20, Parashat Pinchas): וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי פָּרִים עַשְׁתֵּי-עָשָׂר What is the basic word? Is this using ...
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48 views

Why does the Torah use the term עַשְׁתֵּֽי־עָשָׂ֥ר instead of אַחַ֨ד עָשָׂ֥ר for the number 11? [duplicate]

There are two places in the Torah that I can recall (if there are others, please inform me) where the term עַשְׁתֵּֽי־עָשָׂ֥ר is used for the number 11. Numbers 7:72: בְּיוֹם֙ עַשְׁתֵּ֣י עָשָׂ֣ר ...
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3answers
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Hebrew document found in grandfather's attic—what does it state?

I found this document in my grandfather's attic and would be thankful if someone could tell me (a) what this document is, (b) whether there are any names written, and (c) which, if any, religious ...
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6answers
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Etymology/connection between Ari, Aryeh, Yehudah, Leib, and Leibel

What is the relationship between the following names that often go together is some combination? Ari/Aryeh Yehudah Leib/Leibel I've encountered many men, young and old, with the following first ...
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1answer
174 views

What is the meaning of “Rav”?

I see that some names have the word "Rav" in the name, names like Rav Yitzchak Meir Morgenstern and Rav Berg. I don't know much about Judaism. I want to know what is the meaning of "Rav".
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3answers
379 views

Why is the Machzor called a Machzor?

The Siddur we use for Yom Tov is known as a Machzor. What does it mean and where did this originate?
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38 views

How did Bilam become Balaam? [duplicate]

How did it come about that Bilam came to be known as Balaam in the non-Jewish world?
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59 views

Jewish word definitions?

I am new to this site and wish to be involved in questions and answers ( As one who has studied the trinity doctrine for many years I may be of some help). As I read through various posts I see terms ...
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1answer
192 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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1answer
66 views

ב (bet) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What are the correct ways to pronounce the ב (bet)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
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2answers
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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, ...
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3answers
4k views

What is the original meaning of the word “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 ...
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1answer
30 views

What is the practical application or message in the expression המבין יבין והמשכיל ידום?

Follow up to this M.Y. question. I think that I have seen Rash"i or perhaps the Gemarah use this expression, occasionally, Loosely the phrase translates as: "The one that understands will, and the ...
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1answer
90 views

ד mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

The gemara (Brachoth 13b) records that one is supposed to draw out the ד of "אחד" in the first verse of the Shema: .תניא: סומכוס אומר: כל המאריך באחד מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו אמר רב אחא בר ...
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1answer
51 views

Could you translate this Hebrew poetry to English? [closed]

Shalom aleichem, Could you translate this Hebrew poetry to English? I listened to this poetry (but in form of a song) in Idan Raichel's first album. It is of R. Shlomo Shabezi. Im Tepetzchah (If ...
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1answer
220 views

“hagEfen” or “hagAfen”? what is the reason behind the enunciation difference?

Why do some say “hagEfen”, while others say “hagAfen”? Any difference?
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2answers
154 views

In relation to the verb to shoot, what does torah mean?

In relation to the hebrew verb to shoot YaRaH, what does torah literally mean? If the word torah comes from the hebrew verb, to shoot, then what does torah literally mean? does it mean "shooting" or ...
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1answer
559 views

what is the hebrew word for new, renewed, fresh, etc [closed]

If the ancient Hebrew word CHaDaSH means NEW, then what is the Hebrew word for RENEWED? If the ancient Hebrew word CHaDaSH means RENEWED, then what is the Hebrew word for NEW?
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84 views

ג (gimel) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

From a halachik perspective, what are the correct ways to pronounce the ג (gimel)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the ...
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0answers
51 views

א mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What is the correct way to pronounce the א (aleph)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
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0answers
81 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 ...
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2answers
124 views

Is the Hebrew vocabulary used in the Tanakh/(other recognized Hebrew books) the same as the what is considered Hebrew today?

There are many Hebrew resources available in the mainstream world, i.e. Webster's, Google, etc. Is the Hebrew used in the Tanakh/(other recognized Hebrew books, i.e. the Mishna, Rambam, etc.) ...
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2answers
104 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
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1answer
52 views

Is a ש after a holam always a “shin” and never a “sin”?

In some siddurim that are printed in certain Hebrew fonts, you will find words such as משה (Moshe) or חשך (darkness) that do not print with two nekudot. The most explicit way to point these words ...
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What is the origin of the Chassidish pronounciation of hebrew? [duplicate]

If I am not mistaken initially there were Ashkenazic Jews which later on branched off into Chassidim via the leadership of the Baal Shem Tov. Does this mean that prior to the Baal Shem Tov all ...
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0answers
72 views

Why is the term שליט“א more commonly used for a rav than the term נ”י?

As a follow up to this answer to a M.Y. question, why is שליט"א more commonly used after a notable Rav's name than the term נירו יאיר (or נ"י, as an abbreviation)? A wise person, such as a rav is ...
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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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32 views

Book, commentary, or other source that explains the Biblical usage of “compass” directions

IIRC, there may have been a M.Y. question that referred to a source that explained the Biblical usage of the 4 directions. I.e. it explained why: קדם is East ים is West נגב is South צפון is North ...
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1answer
60 views

Is the phrase הקדוש ברוך הוא gramatically incorrect?

Based on the answer to this M.Y. question, stating that קדוש is an adjective, wouldn't the expression הקדוש ברוך הוא be grammatically incorrect? Shouldn't it be הקודש ברוך הוא , since קודש is a noun? ...
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3answers
421 views

Did Rembrandt really get the 'mene, mene' inscription in his painting of Belshazzar's Feast wrong?

Forgive me if you feel this is not the best forum to ask this question on, but it seems the most apposite one out of those currently available. The inscription that appears on the wall in Daniel 5:25 ...
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2answers
184 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, ...
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3answers
154 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"?
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43 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 ...
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92 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 ...
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1answer
263 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 ...
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1answer
47 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 ...
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25 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 ...
2
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1answer
51 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? ...
2
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0answers
99 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
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1answer
81 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.