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Star worshippers was a term invented by the editors of the printing process to avoid angering the religious majority amongst whom we lived. They would have been very insulted (to the point of violence) if we kept the old term as they knew we considered them worshippers of a foreign Deity. By using the term star worshippers we along with them got to point ...


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Rabbi Feinstein is addressing questions of local customs. Theoretically 400 years ago, you'd have all the Jews in Baghdad following the customs of Baghdad, and all the Jews of Krakow following the customs of Krakow. What happens today when a bunch of Krakow Jews and Baghdad Jews come together in New York City? What is the "local custom?" The halacha is that ...


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Megillah 10b: אמר רב אשי כל ויהי איכא הכי ואיכא הכי ויהי בימי אינו אלא לשון צער R. Ashi replied: In all cases, vayehi sometimes has this signification and sometimes not, but “vayehi in the days of” always indicates trouble. In fact, a few words earlier in the Gemara, the verse 'ויהי ערב ויהי בקר', 'Vayehi morning Vayehi evening', from Breishit 1, ...


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R' Samson Raphael Hirsch translates1 "לְנֶפֶשׁ לֹֽא־יִטַּמָּא בְּעַמָּיו" in Leviticus 21:1 simply as "regarding no person among his people may he render himself impure." "נֶפֶשׁ," then, is a generic person, apparently in contradistinction to the family members listed in the next verses, for whom the kohen does "render himself impure." For a great deal ...


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The word here (and in Lev 19:28) appears to refer to the tomb. For example, a few verses later in the same chapter (Lev 21:11) appears the phrase “resting places of the dead” (נַפְשֹׁ֥ת מֵ֖ת). The triliteral root (נ-פ-ש) includes the idea of Sabbath rest (see Exod 23:12; 31:17; 2 Sam 16:14). So, depending on the context, the meaning can mean tomb (resting ...


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The Rama is making a literary reference, to Mishlei 29:3: אִישׁ-אֹהֵב חָכְמָה, יְשַׂמַּח אָבִיו; וְרֹעֶה זוֹנוֹת, יְאַבֶּד-הוֹן "Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father; but he that keepeth company with harlots wasteth his substance." Rashi writes there: ורועה. מחבר לו זונות כמשמעו. ורבותינו אמרו האומר שמועה זו נאה אשננה וזו אינה נאה לא אשננה, וסיוע ...


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RaSh"I on Wayiqra 26:21 states: ואם תלכו עמי קרי: רבותינו אמרו עראי, במקרה ... And if you treat me as happenstance: Heb. קֶרִי. Our Rabbis said that [this word means] temporary, by chance (מִקְרֶה)


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As explained in What's the Truth About... Glatt Kosher the term glatt does only mean that the lungs are smooth and would not have to be checked further to make sure that the animal is kosher. BTW a giraffe is kosher as it is a myth that there is a problem because of the long neck. Actually, the long neck makes it easier to slaughter. The term has come to ...


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"Making Aliyah" is the phrase used for someone moving to Eretz Yisrael permanently. "Having an Aliyah" is used for someone being called to the Torah. We say on the yahtzeit (anniversary of a person's death" that the neshama (soul) should "have an aliyah" [rise in (spiritual) status]. In fact, someone leaving Eretz Yisrael is said to be making a yeridah ...


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Shinui Literally change, it usually refers to when a labor that it forbidden to be performed on shabos is performed in an unusual way (not the way done during the week (ie the most efficient/easy way)). Ah 328.12 Ah 321.16 Makkeh Befatish Literally A (final (special important)) hit with a hammer (of the blacksmith eather to flatten the object or to ...


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Rav Yosef Messas in his Otzar Michtavim(Siman 362) writes a very similar idea that @Alex mentioned. He notes thathat the phrase was מנזל טוב like the word nozal mentioned in @Alex's answer. However ,since it isn't easy to say מנזל it was changed to מזל,like משיב הרוח was supposed to be מנשיב הרוח originally.



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