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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2
votes
2answers
220 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
votes
3answers
344 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
votes
4answers
1k views

What in the world is a shtender?

Who made up the name shtender, and who started using the term?
16
votes
2answers
447 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
votes
2answers
266 views

What does Yarmulka mean?

What does the word Yarmulka mean?
7
votes
2answers
262 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
votes
3answers
400 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"?
19
votes
3answers
492 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"?
30
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “mi yodeya” mean?

What does "mi yodeya" mean?