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8
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Are we allowed to work on a world language?

I am thinking on this because it seems, God wants us to speak on many languages, to not understand eachother. As I know, it is the punishment for the Tower of Babel. Trying to make world languages ...
2
votes
1answer
25 views

What does דיבור מצרית refer to?

In the chazzan's repetition of the Shacharis amida for the first morning of Shevuos, there is a supplication which reads: אז בכתב אשורית, ובלשון עברית, ובדיבור מצרית, הנחלת לבת עברית וכו׳. What do ...
4
votes
2answers
79 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.) ...
4
votes
2answers
161 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, ...
5
votes
5answers
480 views

Why should Bochurim learn Gemara in Aramaic?

Why is there so much emphasis in the Yeshivish world to learn Gemara in Aramaic? Why can't you find an English artscroll shas in most charedi yeshiva? It is not Lashon Hakodesh and it was written in ...
4
votes
3answers
216 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Non-Hebrew Seder Songs

In the haggadot which belonged to my grandfather ז”ל, there is a note on the translation for Adir Hu which mentions that they follow an old Yiddish version of the song, rather than the modern German ...
6
votes
1answer
202 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
67 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
414 views

Is there a rule for Rashi's French transliterations (Laaz)?

Rashi frequently uses French words in his explanation to Chumash or the Gemara. However, he doesn't write it in the original language, but he writes it in a "transliteration" of French in Hebrew ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

What is the relationship between the Tzitz and Tzitzit?

My friend and I were pondering the connections between the kohen gadol's tzitz and the tzitzit fringes of the average Yid. Aside from the obvious linguistic relationship (that we don't understand) ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Would a Greek sefer torah be read from in Greek?

If a sefer Torah was written in Greek, would it have been publicly read from in the Greek translation only, or would they also use a Hebrew scroll?
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
212 views

Are there any studies that compare Biblical Hebrew to modern Hebrew?

(I am a Hebrew speaker) When reading the Bible, one encounters sometimes words whose meaning in modern Hebrew clearly does not correspond to what was meant in the text (in Kohelet for example, "מסכן" ...
10
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Why are the names of some mitzvos changed to from “al” or “lo” to “bal”

For example, אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם (al t'shaq'tzu...) is commonly called בל תשקצו (bal t'shaq'tzu), אֵת ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

In which language is written the R' Hillel Lichtenstein's sefer Eth Laasot?

This sefer was written by Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein of Kolomaya. The letters are written in hebrew but when I read it, I do not understand the words. It seems that it is another language. Which one?
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Why does the language in the 13 Midot of Drasha shift?

In shacharit, we recite the 13 middot (already a strange word) through which a piece of Torah text is explained (explicated?) This comes from Braita d'Rav Yishma'el and, admittedly, I haven't look at ...
4
votes
0answers
64 views

What is a “royal language”?

In explaining the gemara (Avoda Zarah 10a) and Rashi, Tosfos write (sv שאין להם לא כתב ולא לשון): לכך פירש ר"י כתב לשון חשוב שהמלכים משתמשין בו כעין חכמת יונית....לשון מלכות קאמר‏ ...
11
votes
1answer
207 views

Was a sefer torah ever actually written in Greek?

This answer to a different question states that the only other language a sefer torah can be written in and be kosher is Greek. (Rambam, Hilchot Sefer Torah 1:19 says that this Greek no longer exists ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

May one make obscene gestures?

I was told that sign language does not qualify as actual speech (ergo one cannot make a beracha via sign language) as such would obscene gestures be permissible (since they would ostensibly not ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Why is talmud Yerushalmi in Aramaic

I assume that the Tanaaim and Amoraim in Eretz Yisrael spoke Hebrew, so why is the Talmud Yershalmi in Aramic not Hebrew?
5
votes
2answers
245 views

Akum, Nochri, and Goy

I see a lot of Halachic and Aggadic texts where the words גוי, נכרי, עכו"ם are all used interchangeably. Usually I notice it in places where two people are using different versions of a text (one from ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Does halacha forbid profanity? [duplicate]

This is obviously just for research sake. But what does halacha say about using profanity. Is it forbidden. Can it be used in times of emphasis and where is the line drawn for what is considered ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Vernacular Targum in Schul

In Teimani and Kurdish batei knesset, the minhag is, as far as I'm aware, to read a targum after each pasuk. Assuming that a schul wishes to adopt the kriat hatargum, would it be acceptable to adopt a ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה

The phrase "ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה" is used quite often in haskamos and introductions to describe people who devote their life to Torah study or supporting Torah study or other important Jewish ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Hebrew names of G-d written in English letters [duplicate]

I am referring to any of the seven Hebrew names of Hashem that are forbidden to be erased. Suppose I have a sheet of paper that has one of them written, but in English letters ("Ad-noy"). 1) Can the ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Is it forbidden to learn Hebrew/Aramaic during Tisha B Av?

Hebrew and Aramaic are languages of Jewish sefarim (religious books) and it is forbidden to learn/read sefarim during Tisha B Av because it gives joy to man to do so. Is it then likewise forbidden to ...
13
votes
4answers
224 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
299 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
42 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
103 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
156 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
106 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
95 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
148 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
64 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
69 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
893 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
122 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
323 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" ...
8
votes
3answers
174 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
288 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
54 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, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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
169 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
340 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
103 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 ...