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3
votes
1answer
96 views

Who translated the original version of the Torah into each of the 70 languages?

In Devarim 27:8, the Torah says to "write all the words of the Torah explained well" (- "Ba'aer Hetev". Rash"i, citing Sotah 35b, says that this was translated into 70 languages. Sifsei Chachamim ...
13
votes
4answers
137 views

Is pharisaical - or any similar allusion to the Pharisees - offensive to modern Jews?

This question is inspired from an English Stack Exchange question: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/182014/what-is-the-word-for-a-pious-person-who-never-helps-others In short, is the term ...
4
votes
3answers
120 views

What are your suggestions for learning Yiddish?

I would like to learn Yiddish in order to further my understanding of Chassidus and other Torah topics that are presented in Yiddish. What are your suggestions for sources to use that would focus on ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

What was the language spoken by Jews in Israel in 16th century

Did the Jewish inhabitants of Safed and Jerusalem (contemporaries of Rav Yosef Karo and the Ari) speak Hebrew when they learned Torah or did they speak Arabic, Ladino or some other language? I saw a ...
-1
votes
1answer
32 views

what does the hebrew word chavivus - חביבות - mean

The Gemoro mentions the concept of chavivus - חביבות - in numerous places. what would be the most acurate english translation / explanation of chavivus?
9
votes
1answer
87 views

אמת at the end of קריאת שמע when not saying the brachot

When saying k'riat sh'ma al hamitah, many (all?) people say the word emet at the end of the third paragraph. Also, I believe that the common practice when saying keriat sh'ma without the brachot (for ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Why is Chad Gadya a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic?

Chad Gadya (recited at the end of the Passover seder) is written in a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic. Specifically, most of the verbs are in Hebrew, except for זבין (bought) and אתא (came), and most of the ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Can sign language be used for public Torah reading?

We would like to perform a minyan for the deaf. All the participants can speak verbally, but cannot hear, including the Torah reader. Can he sign the words that he is reading during Kri'at Hatorah, or ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Explaining if the terms 'Father' and 'son of G-d' are used in Jewish books

Within Judaism and their books, was it a custom of the time to refer to G-d as the Father? Is the term son of G-d used in any of your works? I heard this term is used to refer to an observant ...
4
votes
5answers
140 views

Prominent Spanish Language Rabbinic Works

Does anyone know of any Jewish religious works written in Spanish or Ladino by a prominent Jewish scholar (eg, Ibn Ezra, etc.)?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Translating and explaining Aramaic stipulations for an oath

Here is an example of the complexities of Hilchos Shvuos, excerpted from an actual sworn oath: What does the above mean? Please translate and explain each expression.
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Why doesn't the Torah use more efficient ways to say “both” or “each” when describing the Mishkan utensils?

In Parshas Terumah, in the description of many of the utensils of the Temple, the Torah seems to be very repetitive in its description of parts that are meant to be the same. For example, chapter 25 ...
10
votes
2answers
673 views

Different traditions in Hebrew pronunciation

The theme of Hebrew pronunciation is one that facinates me and, as such, I want to get some feedback on some issues I've been thinking about for years. I have already discussed some of these issues ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

How did names of foreign gods find their way into the Torah and Hebrew language?

After having found one explanation that the origin of the Hebrew word "Shachar" שחר which is used in the context of "Alos HaShachar" is the name of a foreign god. As well that "Shemesh" שמש which we ...
5
votes
0answers
173 views

Saying “Elokim” when not referring to Hashem

People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "elokim" for "elohim" ...
7
votes
3answers
151 views

Why did Yosef's brothers speak freely in the presence of the interpreter?

In Parashat Miketz, Yosef's brothers encounter him disguised as the viceroy of Egypt, and he accuses them of espionage, jails them for three days, and makes a demand that they know their father would ...
5
votes
2answers
272 views

When did the use of Rashei Tevot, Heh Kuf, הק׳ in writings, books, letters, etc., begin?

Perhaps I'm among the last to have found this out, but it took me quite a while to understand why, in a signature, the name was preceeded by a הק׳. THe Ozar Rashei Tevot book has 31 different ...
2
votes
0answers
100 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

How many languages were used by Shem's descendants?

Parshat Noach, 10:31: These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their languages, in their lands, after their nations. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-שֵׁם, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִלְשֹׁנֹתָם, ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Hard Yeshivish phrases to translate

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Is Hebrew the mother of all languages spoken today in the world?

I often wonder what language Adam, Seth, Noah and Abraham (may peace and blessings be upon them) used to speak. What was their native tongue? Was it classical Hebrew? If yes, then would it be right to ...
8
votes
1answer
139 views

What are some good resources for finding the meaning of unfamiliar Hebrew and Aramaic words in Acharonim?

I have no trouble using Jastrow for Tanach and Shas but I find it difficult to apply to Acharonim. How might I use it more effectively? Are there peculiarities of grammar I'm missing? For a few ...
4
votes
2answers
299 views

Source of appellation “Shimshon HaGibor”

I've heard it claimed that the expression "Shimshon HaGibor" (Samson the Mighty) [as a descriptive of Shimshon in Tanach] was invented by the Zionists, to promote their "strong Jew" narrative. Is this ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

What effect did Migdal Bavel have on world languages?

In 1764 BCE (or about 1930 BCE adjusting for the missing years (Wikipedia link), everyone (perhaps under Nimrod's command?) had built the Migdal Bavel, and that Hashem caused a dispersion and ...
3
votes
2answers
241 views

Do English-speaking Jews read the Bible in English?

Do English-speaking Jews read the Bible in English, or is that too Christian for them? Maybe they like to get the gist of the Torah or Tanakh by reading in the vernacular English and then they may ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Shema in any language - Kel Melech Ne'eman?

I have heard that it is permissible to recite the Shema in any language, if one does not know Hebrew. Rama quotes one opinion that reciting the words Kel Melech Ne'eman when praying without a minyan ...
0
votes
0answers
106 views

What type of language should a man use when talking to a woman?

The g'moro in pshochim 3 says one should (generally) use 'nice' language, like not use the word 'tomai' but 'not tahor'. The g'moro in Eruvin 53b (the last line on the page) says that when a man is ...
5
votes
4answers
231 views

Amalekim's disguise as Canaanites in Chukas

Rashi (in parshas Chukas perek 21 pasuk 1) says that Amalek attacked the Jews, and that the pasuk calls them Canaanites because the Amaleikim had learned the Canaanite language (so the Jews would pray ...
7
votes
0answers
130 views

What is the source of the expression המבין יבין?

The Forward writer Philologos in his most recent column claimed that the earliest uses of the expression והמבין יבין are found in the Ra'avad and in the Radak. Based on the fact that both these ...
-2
votes
1answer
150 views

What allowed Jews to change the way they pronounced words?

The way we pronounce words has changed over many years and we now have many different customs. Many of the changes derive from Jews moving to different geographic locations and adopting similar ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Will all Jews speak Hebrew when Mashiach comes?

This question just kind of popped into my head, so I'm not sure whether it is really a good question for this site, but I wonder if anybody has written about it. I would imagine that since when ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

Why is the Haggadah written in Hebrew?

The Haggadah was written during the Talmudic period, so I would expect it to be written in Aramaic. Especially since the entire purpose of the Haggadah is the telling over of the story of ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Is the ketuba enforceable in American law?

The Ketuba is written in Aramaic, so it might not be easily understood by an English-speaking judge; however, it is still a contract. On the other hand, the ketuba is not (necessarily?) signed by ...
9
votes
3answers
242 views
3
votes
2answers
357 views

Different words for clothing

Whats the difference between kasah (covering) and labash (covering)? And when we look to clothes then what's the difference between kesut and lebush? And what about beged (cloths) ? Please show me ...
6
votes
2answers
84 views

Is there a difference between “להלן” and “לקמן”?

There are many times when Sefarim and commentaries reference something that is brought later on. Sometimes the word "לקמן" is used (example) and sometimes the word "להלן" is used (example). Is there ...
5
votes
4answers
338 views

Why was the Gemara written in Aramaic?

The Gemara (the Bavli and Yerushalmi) are the fundamental texts that we possess of the Oral law. Why were they written in Aramaic? At first glance, Ravina and R' Ashi probably knew that this will be ...
0
votes
2answers
498 views

What is a good bilingual (English-Hebrew) concordance of the Tanakh and Talmud?

Are there free online concordances of the Tanakh and the Talmud with hyperlinked text in English and Hebrew? I find such resources extremely helpful in the study of a language. Here is an example: ...
6
votes
1answer
82 views

Why is the kesuba not written in a native language?

The kesuba (marriage contract) is written in a smattering of Hebrew with Aramaic thrown in. It is possible that onr or both parties may not know what all the words in the kesuba mean. Furthermore it ...
4
votes
0answers
109 views

Writing HaShem's actual name in English

Is it permissible to write out HaShem's actual name (the "Tetragrammaton") in English (or any other, non-Semitic, language)? Does it make a difference how you spell it, ie., whether you write it in ...
8
votes
3answers
544 views

What is Rashi proving with words in different languages

There are many places in Rashi's commentary where he uses a foreign language to translate a word used in the Torah. For example, Bereshit 6:14: בכפר: זפת בלשון ארמי. ומצינו בתלמוד כופרא With ...
5
votes
5answers
464 views

Arabic and Angels

The angels in Heaven are said to not be able to understand Aramaic because it represents a deviation from the Hebrew language. My question is: Do they understand the Arabic language (as is very close ...
9
votes
2answers
147 views

Is there a law against saying obscenities?

Is there a law against saying obscenities? If yes, what is considered obscene? Does it apply to any language or only to Hebrew?
2
votes
4answers
214 views

Why G-d had to confuse people's languages in the land of Shinar?

Why G-d had to confuse people's languages in the land of Shinar and scatter them across the Earth with diverse languages? What moral does Genesis 11:5–8 coveny to mankind execept the fact that "in ...
3
votes
0answers
72 views

What is Ashdudis?

This Artscroll sidur mentions "Ashdudis" in its introduction. This language being spoken by a portion of the Jewish population at the time of Ezra is apparently attested by Nechemya 13:24, although ...
4
votes
4answers
257 views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Source for abrah kadabrah

I remember seeing a passuk that has the phrase "abrah kadabrah," or maybe a Rishon. Does anyone know a source?
7
votes
2answers
164 views

Speaking Yiddish vs. the host language at home

I understand that, before World War Ⅱ, the Jews of Hungary and Germany mostly spoke Hungarian and German, respectively, amongst themselves (at home), whereas the Jews of Poland mostly spoke Yiddish ...
7
votes
1answer
531 views

Keeping in mind the meaning of every word of prayer, vs. being mindful of general concepts

If I were to sit down with my prayer book, I could translate it. I know what the words mean, and I know what they are saying conceptually. However, when I'm praying, if I try to translate in my head ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

Does G-d only hear one language?

I'm a little confused by Rambam Hil. Tefilla 1:4. Consequently, when someone would pray, he would be limited in his ability to request his needs or to praise the Holy One, blessed be He, in ...