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13

"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 ...


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 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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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, ...


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.


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 ...


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

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 Maskil LeDavid on this Rashi asks the same thing. If changing clothes is easier, than why didn't the Amalekim do it? He gives an answer that he admits is a stretch. He says that it is possible that they didn't change their clothes because they had some kind of witchcraft in their clothes, and didn't want to give that up. [My note - Rashi in Shemot 17:9 ...


5

This is addressed directly in the link to Rashi you provide: [Midrash Aggadah , Yalkut Shimoni from Midrash Yelammedenu . Note that in these sources, the Amalekites changed their dress as well, and that version is found also in the Reggio edition of Rashi . The Yemenite manuscript, however, conforms with our reading. See Chavel fn. 87, Yosef Hallel , ...


5

Quick answer: Yes and no. Any religious or doctrinal aspects of a kesubah itself cannot be enforced under American laws because of Constitutional issues involving the free exercise and establishment clauses to the First Amendment. However, courts have and can enforce strictly secular sections of kesubahs or separate secular agreements between a Jewish ...


5

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 ...


5

Both words are Aramaic, and while etymologically distinct they have coalesced in this form and both possess (effectively) the same meaning. The information below comes from Jastrow's Talmudic dictionary, Alcalay's "Complete Hebrew-English Dictionary" and morfix.co.il: להלן has as its root the word הלן, cognate to Hebrew הלא, meaning "[over] there". הלאה, ...


5

Tzefanya 3:9 states: כי אז אהפך אל עמים שפה ברורה לקרא כלם בשם ה' לעבדו שכם אחד For then I will convert the peoples to a pure language that all of them call in the name of the Lord, to worship Him of one accord. The Metzudos there explains that "a pure language" refers to Loshon Kodesh, which even the gentiles will change to speak in when Moshaich ...


5

Do English-speaking Jews read the Bible in English, or is that too Christian for them? First, English is not a Christian language. If anything, it's a pagan language, but really it's just a language. There are many translations of the Bible into English. Most are explicitly Christian. A handful are scholarly works (e.g., Everett Fox's translation). ...


4

The sefer Binyan Ariel explains that since the gemara in Sotah implies that Pharaoh did know Hebrew (Loshon Hakodesh), it was not the language of the land of Canaan, and so they were safe in assuming that the interpreter also only understood the Canaan language (the language which they had been using to speak to Yosef) but not Hebrew. Therefore they were not ...


4

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.


4

Firstly, the צמח דוד, referred to in another answer, was actually first printed in 1592. Secondly, the first source I've found is מכילתא דרבי ישמעאל; the term can also be found in סמ"ג, in ספר חסידים, in Maharsha, and in numerous other seforim. On the other hand, the incidence of this term is not particularly frequent. If we replace 'Zionism' with 'Modern ...



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