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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12
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5answers
151 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?
18
votes
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?
12
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
108 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
25 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
vote
2answers
51 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
54 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
30 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
votes
4answers
153 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
votes
3answers
209 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", ...
1
vote
1answer
53 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: ...
0
votes
2answers
100 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
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
354 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
42 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
29 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?
1
vote
1answer
42 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
vote
1answer
109 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
votes
1answer
28 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
votes
1answer
1k 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
45 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
votes
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
26
votes
4answers
423 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
vote
1answer
87 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
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
31 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?
0
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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
votes
2answers
79 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
votes
4answers
11k 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
votes
3answers
74 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
39 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 ...
1
vote
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
74 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
votes
4answers
432 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
149 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
70 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
73 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
384 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
212 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
votes
2answers
209 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
166 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, ...