Questions about the definitions, meaning and use of words specific to Judaism or words that carry unique meaning in Jewish law.

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1
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2answers
151 views

Why is it called Ayin Hara?

Why is it called Ayin Hara (singular) shouldn't it be Anayim Raos (Plural)?
5
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4answers
356 views

Talmudic Terminology

There are a number of English language works which to one degree or another discuss Talmudic terminology, i.e. the wider implication of certain phrases commonly used in the Gemara. Can anybody suggest ...
3
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1answer
319 views

Kel (Melech) Chanun V'Rachum — do you say Melech?

Some siddurs have the phrase "Ki Kel Melech Chanun V'Rachum Ata" at the conclusion of Ya'aleh v'Yavo. Some have Melech in parentheses; some don't have it at all. Can anyone tell me something about ...
5
votes
3answers
308 views

Why masechet “Beitza”?

Why do we call it masechet Beitza now, and not masechet Yom Tov, as was apparently once common? Unlike the parshiot, which are named after their first words, masechtot are all named after topics, ...
2
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2answers
224 views

Variant vowelizations in Selichot

The repeated paragraph in Selichot that introduces the Thirteen Attributes includes the phrase "increasingly grants pardon to careless sinners and foregiveness to willful ones" (Artscroll Siddur ...
7
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3answers
431 views

Posek vs. Rabbi?

It seems to me obvious that certain sheilos are best dealt with by only the leading Rabbanim. At the same time colloquially we often say a Rabbi has "paskened" a sheilah when the answer is fairly ...
4
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4answers
1k views

What in the world is a shtender?

Who made up the name shtender, and who started using the term?
18
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2answers
502 views

Why do we say Mazel Tov? Shouldn't we thank Hashem?

Why do we say "Mazel Tov" when something good happens to a person? Doesn't that mean "good luck?" Are we saying that what happened, happened because of luck?
5
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2answers
322 views

What does Yarmulka mean?

What does the word Yarmulka mean?
7
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2answers
286 views

Definition of Leitzanus

I have often seen leitzanus, mockery, defined along the lines of making a joke out of serious matters. Intuitively this is a good definition, but does anyone have a source which spells it out? And to ...
4
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3answers
501 views

What is “chad gadya” really all about?

Why do we sing "chad gadya" at the pesach seder? What is it supposed to be about? Also, as a side question, is it "d'zabin aba" or "dizvan aba"?
25
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5answers
705 views

When blogging/emailing/etc., do I use “God” or “G-d”?

Is there a religious problem with typing out the name: "G-o-d"?