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16

"I davka haven't seen that movie." I purposely haven't seen that movie. or I specifically have NOT seen that movie. "He doesn't eat peanut butter, b'shita" He doesn't eat peanut butter, on principle. (or "as a matter of principle"). "Mamash" in proper Hebrew usage should translate as "tangible"; that works sometimes. "He's mamash the ...


16

I don't see it as a "punishment" any more than one is punished by having to read Shakespeare in his Elizabethan English, rather than in an "updated" text. It's not because the language is sacred, it's because that's the one that it was written in. After all, every translation is a commentary; are you really satisfied with limiting yourself to those composed ...


12

The following is adapted from Dovid Katz, "The Phonology of Ashkenazic," in Hebrew in Ashkenaz: A Language in Exile, ed. Lewis Glinert (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 61-65. Apparently, at least from the 16th century onwards, there was a distinction among (some) Ashkenazim between the sounds of kubbutz and shuruk, with the former being pronounced like ...


12

In his commentary to I Kings 6:7: ומקבות" - דלוט"א בלשון רוסיא" Although it seems quite likely that this is a later interpolation; it doesn't appear in early prints of Rashi. In several places, though, Rashi refers to לשון כנען, which was a popular term at the time for the Slavic languages (based on the equation of "Slav" with "slave" and the ...


11

The Talmud (Shabbos 33a) states (using Is. 9:16 as a prooftext) that obscene speech causes various national troubles, G-d forbid. It then goes on to say: "Rabbi Chanan bar Rava says: Everyone knows why a bride enters the bridal chamber. Nevertheless, if one speaks obscenely about it, even if there was a Divine decree that he enjoy seventy years [the average ...


9

See this YU lecture and I believe this one summarizing it. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that all pronunciations are legitimate (even vis-a-vis the chalitza ceremony, which must be performed in Hebrew), and added that there's no way to tell which are more accurate than any other. (Which may sound naive to some linguists.) Rabbi J. David Bleich, ...


9

The term "pharisaical" is offensive to many Jews (me included) because it denigrates some of our most respected rabbis. When Jews think of Pharisees, they think of the sect at the end of the Second Temple period (circa 0 CE) that became the basis for rabbinic Judaism. This group could be contrasted with other parties of the day such as Zealots (who wanted a ...


8

The Rambam in Perush Hamishnayos Avos Perek 2:1 says that a Mitzva Kala is learning Loshon Kodesh. Harav Yitzchak Yosef in Yalkut Yosef Hilchos Talmud Torah Seif Koton 78 also says it is a Mitzva.


8

Whether that statement means that the angels don't understand Aramaic, or that they can understand it but consider it vulgar, is a topic of debate among the various commentaries. There is a summary of the whole issue, with extensive sources, in Beis Aharon, s.v. אין מלאכי השרת מכירין בלשון ארמי. Maharsha (to Sotah 33a) explains that the specific mention of ...


8

Evidence against there being such a prohibition includes: Speaking (and writing) other languages has been widespread practice for more than two millennia. While it's hard to prove a negative, I've so far never heard of an objection to this. Some prayers were specifically written in Aramaic, the language of the people, rather than Hebrew. As pointed out by ...


8

Usually if English-speaking Jews want a translation of the Jewish Bible they'll use a Jewish translation. As for exposure to the other part of "the Bible", i.e. the New Testament, my guess is some Jews who believe in extra exposure will have read bits of it in a survey course or the like. There's a huge range of degrees to which Jews are exposed to general ...


8

It is inexact to say that the Pharisees were a "small sect". Most common Jews followed the teachings of the rabbinic Pharisees, as opposed to those of other sects like Sadducees (see Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews 8:10:5,6). Modern talmudic/rabbinic Jews (including most frequent users of this site) consider themselves as following in the tradition of the ...


8

I don't know if it counts as a study, but how about a relevant textbook? The book Biblical Hebrew for Students of Modern Israeli Hebrew looks like it will help you. It's used in the rabbinic program at Hebrew Union College and probably other places (though I only have first-hand knowledge of HUC). Several non-yeshiva programs I'm aware of start by ...


7

The rumor is false. The earliest I can find the phrase 'Shimshon HaGibur' goes back to 1831, long before modern zionism or Hertzl. It can be found in the book צמח דוד Google books also shows other phrases such as Shimshon our Hero from books in 1801, but those are in English and not the exact phrase. I would not be surprised to find it occurring even ...


7

If I'm not mistaken, Dayan Gukovitzky's Targum HaLaaz has a transliteration guide. It seems that Rashi did have a specific set of rules for doing this.


7

It's a Yiddish abbreviation for Kein Ayin Hora - or in Hebrew Bli Ayin Hara. Simply stated without the evil eye; we're not discussing [something] in order to get [it] punished due to our jealousy.


6

The definitive work on this topic is Frumspeak, by Chaim Weiser. You might also find the Wikipedia entry on Yeshivish to be enlightening, and perhaps humorous too!


6

See Igros Moshe Even Haezer 3:35 where he says it is a mitzvah to speak lashon hakodesh based of Sifri (Devarim Piska 46) which is quoted by Rashi on the verse of l'daber bam (Devarim 11:19). (The tshuvah is focused on non Jewish names.)


6

It seems that according to scholars of history it isn't, though, on a theological level, Hebrew represents the primary language with which Hakadosh Barukh Hu (God) communicates. Perhaps we can say that Hebrew is therefore the spiritual root of all languages. Hebrew belongs to the Canaanite group of languages. In turn the Canaanite languages are a ...


6

Ralbag suggests a fascinating approach to understanding the incident. He explains that these people did not sin in any way. They were not dispersed as a punishment. Instead, they were dispersed in order to assure the preservation of humanity. Concentration of the entire human race in a single location created the possibility of sudden extinction. A localized ...


6

The substitutions come from censorship of printing over the years. Christian censors were generally more comfortable with עכו"ם - meaning worshiper of stars and constellations, as those Christian censors felt it did not include them. It is not really known in many cases what the original term of the text was due to this censorship, but now that we no longer ...


6

According to Tiferes Yisroel the gemara was redacted multiple times by Ravina and Rav Ashi. The reformatted the words to make them more contemporary. The Masechtos they didn't get around to have uncommon words. But apparently even they didn't pull off a complete switcharoo. Over those centuries Latin and other languages were interpolated. But no complete ...


5

The Sifsei Chachamim on that Rashi explains that the interpreter had been there in previous conversations, but right now wasn't present. I think that's what Rashi meant -- the interpreter had been there for all conversations WITH YOSEF -- but as those conversations had ended, he wasn't there now.


5

"Beseder" OK "Gevaldik" Great "It was bizyonos" It was embarrassing (Givaldiger bizyonos would be greatly embarrassing. Are you catching on?) "I can't be masig why he'd do such a thing." I can't fathom why he'd do such a thing. "Lchoyra it was because it wasn't shayach." Presumably, it was because it wasn't possible. ...


5

Those that were helped were included in the booklet (Pinkas). http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%9C_%D7%90%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%9B%D7%99%D7%9D ביישוב הישן, המונח כולל שימש לציין ארגוני חסד ובעיקר 'חברה' (או כיום מעין עמותה) שאליה השתייכה קבוצה מאורגנת, בדרך כלל מעיר או ארץ מוגדרת. יהודי חוץ לארץ תרמו להחזקת הכוללים, כדי לממן את ישיבתם של ...


5

The first thing that comes to mind is the Me'am Lo'ez, by R' Yaakov Culi. It's a commentary on the Bible written in Ladino. In the course of commentary, it ranges widely into exposing all areas of Torah. There's an English translation called The Torah Anthology, by R' Aryeh Kaplan.


5

The Fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe writes that one should not speak Lashon Hakodesh as a day-to-day language. As Lashon Hakodesh is a holy language, one shouldn't use it for mundane speech. Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai said that if he would have been by Mt. Sinai, he would have asked for Jews to have another mouth, one to talk about one's needs and one with which to ...


5

Maybe we could call it "chareidar"! (Although I guess that would work better in Israel.)


5

The Eliyah Rabbah on the Levush (101:9) says explicitly that Arabic is as bad as Aramaic if we say the reason is because of the language being a corruption of Hebrew.



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