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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10
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3answers
376 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?
0
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0answers
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?
2
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0answers
58 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
179 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
89 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, ...
8
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

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

Why do some say “hagEfen”, while others say “hagAfen”? Any difference?
2
votes
2answers
152 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
504 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?
2
votes
0answers
81 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
50 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
118 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.) ...
2
votes
2answers
100 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
1
vote
1answer
50 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 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? ...
9
votes
3answers
406 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
180 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
151 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"?
0
votes
1answer
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
87 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
228 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
46 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
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
votes
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
votes
0answers
98 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
1answer
79 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
72 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.
2
votes
1answer
61 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
508 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
200 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
519 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
455 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
13k 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
205 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
184 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
79 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
44 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
33 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 ...
8
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
93 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
251 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 ...