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
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2answers
79 views

Can you explain these Halachic terms please?

I'm new to this, can you please very briefly explain what these terms mean: Shinui, Makkeh Befatish, Besh'as Hadehaq, Shvut D'Shvut, Thanks in advance
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Shabbat, Shabbatot, Shabbaton?

Are there any halachic implications from the Torah's choice of the terms Shabbat, Shabbatot and Shabbaton? And to what are they referring? And what does the Torah mean when it calls the Shabbat a ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

What is Chassidut meantioned by the Misilat Yeshorim?

The Misilat Yeshorim writes: There are many who deal with Halachic discussions, others with Midrash and others with legal decisions. There are few, however, who devote thought to true ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Yaale Veyavo in the Hagada. From Tefilah to Geula

The topic of this question is the building process of Geula We see in Hagada (Parshat Bikurim, Deuteronomy 24) a succession of verbs witch describe the preliminaries of the Geula, from prayer to ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Makkot 7a: מעגילה

The Mishnah mentioned some sort of roller to spread plaster over rooftops. Why is this called מעגילה especially since it only called that way on the way down?
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Does anyone discuss the similarities between these?

I noticed that the משנה ברורה and בראשית both talk about רוח ,מים, clothing, and 'ה seeing all in the beginning. The משנה ברורה seems to be alluding to the חומש here. The first thing after the famous ...
4
votes
6answers
622 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"?
2
votes
3answers
101 views

Definition of the term “Talmud” in the phrase “Talmud Torah”

What is the definition of the word "Talmud" used by Chazal in the expression talmud Torah? Does it mean learning Torah, or teaching Torah? I seem to remember this discussed in an article (perhaps on ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Explain differences in terms used for “prayer”

Please explain the differences in the types of "prayer" that is meant when these terms for "prayer" as found in Tanac"h are used. I have intentionally omitted English translation for these verses, as ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

what talmudic manuscripts (if any) have jesus instead of balaam? (/ what Does MS.M. Jesus mean)

what manuscripts (if any) have jesus instead of balaam? I'm aware that some claim that balaam is a codeword for jesus. I know Rabbi Gil Student makes a good argument that it cannot be I have read ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

What is the definition of Zera Yisrael? Please read description

Shalom Aleichem, I am considering a halachic conversion to Judaism after having converted (along with several family members of mine) with a reform rabbi several years ago. In my research and studies, ...
6
votes
4answers
94 views

etymology of the word “Kittel”

What is the etymology of the word "Kittel"? (Kittel is a white garment worn by many at the Pesach Seder and on Yom Kippur by Davening)
5
votes
2answers
148 views

What is Shalom Aleichem?

What does Shalom Aleichem mean? Is it a question (peace unto you) or a blessing or both? מסכת ברכות פרק ב ב,א היה קורא בתורה, והגיע זמן המקרא--אם כיוון את ליבו, יצא; ואם לאו, לא יצא. ובפרקים ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Pas (Pat) vs Lechem

In Tanach/Mishna/Gemara sometimes the word Pas is used, and sometimes Lechem. Do Chazal say anything about when and why one is used vs the other? Edit I was asked for an example: In Mishna Brachos ...
-1
votes
3answers
59 views

The word Torah in the Psalms.

I was wondering if the word for torah is used anywhere in the Psalms. If so, can you please tell me where exactly?
2
votes
3answers
107 views

What's the difference between לְמִינוֹ and לְמִינֵהוּ?

B'reshis 1:11–12, :25; Sh'mini 11:15–22; and R'e 14:14–15 seem to use "לְמִינוֹ" and "לְמִינֵהוּ" interchangeably, and both words are generally translated the same way (usually ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Translation of lmino and lminaihu [duplicate]

In Parshat Shmini (Vayikro 11:22), the Torah uses two different words for "species" in listing species of kosher insects: "אֶת־הָֽאַרְבֶּה לְמִינוֹ וְאֶת־הַסָּלְעָם לְמִינֵהוּ" What is the difference ...
11
votes
4answers
395 views

What's “chelek Eloak mimaal”?

I have frequently heard the human (or only the Jewish?) soul referred to as "חלק אלוק ממעל", literally "portion/section/piece/allotment of God (from) above". What does this mean? Who's the first to ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

HaShem's day, what is it refering to?

I would like to know what Yom HaShem is refering to and when it will have it's impact Isaiah 2:12 Yom L'HaShem Tzevaot Ezekiel 13:5 Yom HaShem, 30:3 Isaiah 13:6 & 9 Joel 1:15, 2:1, 2:11, 3:4, ...
15
votes
6answers
15k views

What does Kadosh really mean?

What do the terms קדוש (Kadosh), קדושים, קדושה, and קדיש really mean?
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vote
2answers
213 views
6
votes
5answers
260 views

Is it possible to be chasidish without wearing the garb and keeping all the minhagim?

Can someone be chasidish (or a chasid) if they don't dress in a distinctively "Jewish" way or don't keep all the minhagim such as "cholov yisrael", saying tehillim on rosh chodesh, etc? Does it ...
10
votes
2answers
104 views

Where is Shabbos called “the most precious of days”?

In our Shabbos tefillos, we say that חמדת הימים אותו קראת You (Hashem) called it (the Sabbath) the most precious of days. In the Shabbos poem "Baruch Keil Elyon" (composed by HaRav Barukh ...
3
votes
0answers
30 views

Difference between the words מיחייב and חייב

Rava in masheches megillah 7b famously said that one is obligated to drink until he cannot differentiate between Haman and Mordechai. My question is: Rava used the loshon of מיחייב instead of חייב. ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

What's “צרה שלא תבא”?

There's an expression I've read many times in slightly variant forms: "איזה צרה שלא תבוא" or "על כל צרה שלא תבא" or the like. It means something like "any tragedy that should not happen" and it's used ...
9
votes
4answers
812 views

Where does “probeh” come from?

Every time recently that I've heard of an Orthodox congregation conducting a search for a rabbi, the stage at which the rabbi visits the community for a Shabbat and auditions for the position is ...
10
votes
8answers
305 views

What do people mean when they say “Kaballah”?

I recently spoke to someone who said she was interested in learning Kabbala but could not find any classes. I mentioned to her she may want to try learning Tanya because there is a lot of Kabbala in ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Are Jews allowed to use the expression “fingers crossed”?

Not to worship idols is one of the 10 commandments; according to a quick Google search "finger crossed" originates from either the Christian cross or other superstitious beliefs. Does this mean that ...
6
votes
0answers
56 views

What is the function of “Eloheinu” in blessings?

Many blessings open with the familiar formula: ברוך אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם In additions, many blessings close with the familiar shorter formula: ברוך אתה יהוה Now, we know (Berakhot ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

Has anyone found any reliable sources for tefilin meditation?

I recently began putting on tefilin, and I had heard of meditations that one can do when putting on the tefilin. Does anyone know of any good meditative practices surrounding tefilin? Or is their any ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

Where is the land of Sinim?

In Isaiah Perek 49 Pasuk 12 it says: הִנֵּה-אֵלֶּה, מֵרָחוֹק יָבֹאוּ; וְהִנֵּה-אֵלֶּה מִצָּפוֹן וּמִיָּם, וְאֵלֶּה מֵאֶרֶץ סִינִים Behold, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the ...
6
votes
2answers
387 views

What is meant by the term “midina”/“provinces” as in the 127 ruled by Ahasuerus?

Esther 1:1 says: Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus -- he was the Ahasuerus who reigned from Hodu to Cush, one hundred twenty-seven provinces. For historical context, the period of the ...
9
votes
2answers
541 views

What is the difference between the words “tzur” and “selah” (which both mean rock)?

Beshalach (Shmot 17:6): ... you shall strike the rock (tzur) and water will come forth from it ... Chukat (Bamidbar 20:8): ... speak to the rock (selah) before their eyes and it shall give ...
3
votes
0answers
22 views

Gerah as a coin and cud (and more)

Is anyone familiar with any exposition on the connection between gerah גֵּרָה as cud (ma'aleh gerah) and as a measure of 1/20th of a shekel? Is there any connection drawn to the root for the word ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

What word is in the middle of the Torah?

The Torah has 304,805 letters and different counts of words (such as 79,976 words). The first word is Bereshit and the last is Israel. I was just wondering (no real reason, just for curiosity): What ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

What is the official name for the “additional readings” on special torah-reading days?

On certain special Shabboses, like the four parshiyot, there is a special torah reading that replaces Maftir after the weekly parsha is read. Is there a name for this extra not-from-the-weekly-parsha ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

What's the difference between שמחה and חדוה?

The Gra was quoted to me (I think from the Aderes Eliyah, but I'm not sure) as saying that during the shofar blowing on Rosh HaShanna a person should be in a state of simcha and chedva. I would like ...
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
0answers
42 views

Tahor and Tamei

Tahor and Tamei are often translated as clean and unclean or (ritually) pure and impure. But what exactly do they mean, what are the definitions for tahor and tamei? How does one render "ritually" ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

targum to Ex. 32:27

Why do the targumim to Sh'mos 32:27 ("וְהִרְגוּ אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו וְאִישׁ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ וְאִישׁ אֶת קְרֹבוֹ") use g'var twice and then enash? For example, Onkelos: וקטולו גבר ית אחוהי וגבר ית חבריה ...
5
votes
2answers
143 views

Why does Onkelos translate “לֹֽא יוּכַל” as “לָא יִכּוֹל” rather than “לֵית לֵיהּ רְשׁוּ”

The verse in Shemos 19:23 says "וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־יי לֹֽא־יוּכַל הָעָם לַֽעֲלֹת אֶל־הַר סִינָי." Rashi says that although it uses the words "לֹֽא־יוּכַל" it means they're not allowed. Onkelos ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Targum on Obadiah 1:3 a Reference to Rome?

The prophecy of Obadiah concerns the fate of Edom. Obadiah 1:3 reads, זְדוֹן לִבְּךָ הִשִּׁיאֶךָ, שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי-סֶלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ; אֹמֵר בְּלִבּוֹ, מִי יוֹרִדֵנִי אָרֶץ. The pride ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

Ger Tzedek/Tzadik earliest sources and definition

As I understand a "Ger Tzedek/Tzadik" is a fully converted follower of the Torah of Moshe. According to Hilchot Melachim 10:3-4, a "Ger Tzedek" is defined as someone who has confirmed their conversion ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

The definitions of Judaism and Jew

An infinite loop: Judaism according to Google is "the monotheistic religion of the Jews". And Jew is "a member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

In what way were David's descendants kohanim? (2 Samuel 8:18 וּבְנֵי דָוִד, כֹּהֲנִים הָיוּ) [duplicate]

In 2 Samuel 8:18 it says: VeBnei David kohanim hayu English translations translate the word kohanim as "chief ministers" or such titles. Any clarification? I'm confused since only Aaron's ...
5
votes
1answer
36 views

Is there a difference between Simlah and Salmah?

In Parshat Mishpatim (22:8), the text, discussing guarded and stolen items, the list includes the word Salmah ("garment") which the Onkelos translates as "ksu". A similar word, Salmat, is used in ...
12
votes
5answers
169 views

Difference between אֲנִי and אָנֹכִי

Throughout the Tanakh, I have come across אֲנִי (ʾani) and אָנֹכִי (ʾanokhi) many times, which both mean "I". What is the difference between the two words in Tanakh?
10
votes
37answers
2k views

words often mispronounced [closed]

What are some words commonly mispronounced? (Not by elision/reduction (like ה׳‎→אדְני‎) or assimilation (like תזכרו‎→תשׂכרו‎), but rather words that are pronounced wrong ...
4
votes
3answers
159 views

Define the terms used for “types” or “grades” of tefillin

Follow up on this M.Y. question: The questioner mentioned these grades of tefillin: Peshutim Mehudarim Dakos Gassos Gassos Prudos I have heard of some of these terms, but there may be others on ...
3
votes
2answers
300 views

What does the word לאַטקעס (latkes) mean? [closed]

לאַטקעס is the Yiddish word used for the potato pancakes commonly and commemoratively eaten on Chanukah. Where does the word לאַטקעס come from originally? What exactly does it mean?