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12

The discussion is in the Talmud Sanhedrin 22a. The background is the disagreement among the Rabbis if the Torah was originally in Ivri or Ashuri. The Talmud says that according to the view that it was in Ivri, Ashuri script was first seen when the Angel wrote it on the wall, thus the Jews were not familiar with it - this is why they couldn't read it. ...


6

Rav Saadiah Gaon writes in Chapter 2 of his commentary to Sefer Yetzirah lays down the correct pronunciation of the Hebrew letters, saying that not only is there בגד־כפת letters, but that even the ר has an alternate pronunciation with a dagesh so more like בגד־כפרת according to him. He basically says that Hebrew and Arabic share all the exact same sounds, ...


5

The מהר'ל in תיפארת ישראל , chapter 63 explains in length that these ketarim are actually secrets and deep ideas, related to concepts foreign to the materialistic perspective of the world. דע כי יש כתרים ותגין על אותיות התורה, שכשם שגוף התיבות מורים על דברי תורה עצמם, כך התגין שהם על האותיות שבתורה מורים על השגות דקות מאוד מאוד יוצאים מן התורה עצמה, ...


5

Machon Mishmeret Stam published a book on Mishnat Sofrim with a commentary. In an appendix, they deal with this exact issue: (I couldn't find an online version...sorry) Based on this text, I can answer your questions: Why did the Chofetz Chaim effectively seek to passul nearly all existing sifrei sta"m of his day? Why wasn't the existing פ ...


4

Hayom Yom, 3 Tishrei The Tzemach Tzedek had yechidus with the Alter Rebbe on Monday of Teitzei, 6 Elul 5564 (1804); the Rebbe told him: "On Shabbat Tavo 5528 (1768), my Rebbe (the Maggid of Mezritch) said a "Torah" beginning V'shavta ad Havayeh Elokecha1 He explained that the avoda of teshuva must attain a level at which Havayeh, transcendent Divinity ...


4

The addition of a nun is referred to in some grammars as "nunation"; this particular type of nun is the "paragogic nun", and its usage is controversial. It appears over 300 times throughout Tanakh (mostly in Deuteronomy, incidentally - 56 times), primarily on the ends of 3rd person and 2nd person plurals, but sometimes also on the end of a 2nd person ...


4

Many of your point are only relevant to Modern Hebrew, which is a distinct language from Biblical Hebrew, only the latter being a holy language. In fact, many orthodox Jews distance themselves from Modern Hebrew (to the point of prohibiting its use in their synagogues) because of what is deemed to be its inherent un-holiness. Nevertheless, let me address ...


3

From here, it seems there may only (?!) be that verse from Psalms (7:3): פן יטרף כאריה נפשי פרק ואין מציל If you're okay with the last word beginning with a ל (rather than ending with one), you could also use from אשת חיל (cited here): פיה פתחה בחכמה ותורת חסד על לשונה Or, if you're also okay with it being a quote from the Shabbat prayer service ...


3

The Hebrew language is considered the holy tongue, but not because it is ascetically pleasing from a grammarian's view point. It is holy because holy people use it to convey holy ideas, and it is ill suited (in its original incarnation) for speaking on profane matters. The Rambam writes: I have also a reason and cause for calling our language the holy ...


3

Torah, mezuzot and tefillin, or legal documents are written without nekudot (vowels). This includes the dot of the shin/sin. So there would be no halachic difference, being that there's no difference of the letter. This is only for writing. When praying, reading the Torah, etc., you'll need to say it correctly. Edit: I just realised that you wrote ...


2

Israel Yeivin, Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah (ed. E.J. Revell; Scholars Press, 1985) discusses these "large" and "small" letters (among other peculiarities pertaining to letters) on pp. 47-48 (§§ 84-85). He refers to the Masorah's listing of "a few dozen" examples of large letters, although in the list provided in a previous answer there are 29 ...


2

I know this is a bit late, but some may find this useful: Israel Yevin says that "rolled up pe" (פ' לפופה) and other "curved letters" (אותיות עקומות) appear in Masoretic notes. He says "such forms were only used in a few MSS. The rolled up pe, for instance, is much used in Yemenite MSS." (Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah, p. 48).


2

To summarize from Yishai's answer, the Talmud says there was something funny about the way it was written; "in columns" is one possible interpretation. Assuming Manasseh ben Israel gave Rembrandt a sketch of what the letters should look like, I'd find it far more likely that Rembrandt was faithful to the sketch he was given (i.e. it was in columns) than that ...


1

The Yud in the Heh - ה In Hilchot Safrus we consider the ה to be made up of a ד and an upside down י In סימן לב - סדר כתיבת התפלין sometimes it's called the inside leg of the Heh other times it's called the leg of the Heh נִקַּב רֶגֶל פְּנִימִי שֶׁל הֵ '' א אֲפִלּוּ לֹא נִשְׁאַר מִמֶּנּוּ אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁהוּא כָּשֵׁר לְהָרֹא''שׁ אִם נָגְעוּ רַגְלֵי ...


1

I don't see any connection between the broken פ that looks like 2 letters sitting one on another - and the פ you show in the Tikkun, the Mishnat Sofrim and the Chabad sites, which are not neatly curved (like modern script) but the letter has a clear - albeit crooked/curvy - continuum. Point being, that there are 3 פ's - and not 2, as you claim: The פ ...


1

There are two points I'll make. But I do hope someone else has a sourced answer. First of all, this is something 'in the Torah' that these heretics are careful about. Therefore, they have believability as per the first chapter in Chulin regarding the Cuthim. Second, the Tshuvas HaRashba Hamyuchas LiHaRamban siman 232 which is brought in the Meiri's Kiryas ...


1

The variant i'm used to hearing is that daleth without a dagesh should sound like the "th" sound in the english word "the." Here is a video according to this tradition, a Mizrahi accent, non Yemenite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSAu-wBvYHg


1

First of all, the dilemma presented by this question is based on an equivocal use of the word "change". The Orthodox position that the Torah we have today is the same as it was given to Moses refers to the content of the Torah. Our Sifrei Torah display a diversity of styles with regard to the script and are not presumed to be visually identical with the ...


1

I have found an answer to my question after a long time of copying and pasting. In Tanach, there are 1196825 letters. This does not include kri, but only the ksiv. It includes the 9 inverted nuns.


1

See the introduction to the Jerusalem Bible by Koren Publishers. They go to great lengths to explain how they crafted a font so as to solve the issue you raise: they differentiate between the Cholem and the Shin/Sin dots by height and weight so that you can see both - and not confuse them. So, as DoubleAA already commented, what you are referring to is ...


1

R. Aryeh Kaplan, in his article "Reverence of the Sacred," writes that י-ו is written as טז, not because it's a divine name (unlike י-ה, which Avot DeRabbi Natan 34:2 and others write is actually a biblical name of God). Rather, its lettering is changed because י-ו "resembles a divine name." This exemplifies our sensitivity to desecrating God's name (other ...


1

Not all columns do start with vav, not all columns must start with vav, and the custom to make all of them start that way became far more popular some 30 years ago according to http://lavlor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/how-many-lines-should-my-torah-scroll.html (H/T to Zvi's accepted answer on the linked question). Before Davidovich's tikkun, I understand the ...


1

I believe that many current printings are changing the Rashi script into block script. One reason to use Rashi script is a very technical one: When multiple commentaries are printed on a page, it presents a visual difficulty. By writing half of the commentaries in Rashi script, it is easier for a person to visually track and read each commentary.


1

I am not a speaker of modern Hebrew, but am a beginning level learner of Biblical Hebrew. However I did study about ancient Hebrew pronunciation, linguistics, and specifically phonetics quite a bit. I lean heavily in three areas, 1. "logical" phonetics, belief that original/Biblical Hebrew is designed and there should be logical rules to discover when ...



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