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8
votes
1answer
358 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
154 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?
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Why does the Torah use the non-Hebrew word 'Totafot'

Related to this question. Rashi, on Shemot (13:16): "...וְהָיָה לְאוֹת עַל יָדְכָה וּלְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ " writes: and for ornaments between your eyes: Heb. וּלְטוֹטָפֹת, tefillin. Since ...
2
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

“Ashkenazim” and “Sephardim,” for example

Please excuse the crossword-puzzle-clue style of the title... What is a or the technical name for the distinction between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and/or the class or category that both of these ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 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?
5
votes
0answers
438 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" ...
4
votes
0answers
104 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
119 views

Language of a ketubah for marriage

Can I write a ketubah in English or possibly in Hebrew? Or must it be in Aramaic? The problem is that my friends and I do not speak Aramaic any longer. Our Babylonian-Jewish ancestors did, but we ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

Shamor and Zachor beyond Shabbat

Much is written about the relationship of Shamor and Zachor in relation to Shabbat but Shamor and Zachor are also used for Pesach (at least the first day) - Shmot 13:3 Moses said to the people, ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

Must all parts of Hatarat Nedarim be said in a language which we understand, or only some parts?

Introduction Before Rosh Hashanah, it's customary to do the "annulment of vows" ceremony. There are good reasons for this ceremony. Though the ArtScroll Siddur commentary warns: Annulment is ...
3
votes
0answers
55 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
72 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
64 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, ...
3
votes
0answers
81 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
130 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Counting Sefirah in a made up language

Can one fulfill the mitzvah of counting the Omer by counting in a language that only he/she understands? What if a few people understand? An entire goup?
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Correct usage of “Ashkenaz”/“Ashkenazi”/“Ashkenazic”/“Ashkenazim”?

...Also, of course, Sefard/Sefardi/Sefardic/Sefardim. I see these terms used interchangeably, and use them myself that way, but would rather use them correctly. All are, at least marginally, ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

Why does the gemara sometimes use a mashal to explain a statement?

Sometimes the gemara (or a braysa) will say something and then give a mashal (parable) to explain the true intent of what was previously said. Why does the gemara do this? Why not simply make the ...
-2
votes
0answers
23 views

What do we call the spoon, feather, and candle used for bedikas chometz?

What are traditional (Sefardi? Ashkenaz?) names for the items used for the ceremonial search for chometz done Erev Pesach?