Where in the rabbinic writings are there examples of the word "Elul" that mean or imply "harvest" and/or "search"? Which word in Aramaic means "search" that uses the similar spelling of "Elul"?

My question came from reading the following:

The name of the month Elul ... originated from the Akkadian word for "harvest".

The word "Elul" is similar to the root of the verb "search" in Aramaic.


  • 1
    Wow, it was +1 and someone just downvoted this, during this 40 day season that leads up to Yom Kippur. May Hashem bless you, whoever you are. I definitely do not want to offend you, as I would hate asking for your forgiveness.
    – ninamag
    Aug 21, 2020 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


For the first one: there's an Aramaic term עללתא, meaning "crop" or "harvest" (see Talmud, Nedarim 55a, and Targum Onkelos to Vayikra 25:3). Could be that the Akkadian cognate, if there is one, had an aleph instead of an ayin. (In fact, according to Wikipedia, Akkadian lacked an ayin sound.)

For the second: the Aramaic word for "spy" (one who searches out information) contains the root אלל. (For example, when Yosef accuses his brothers of being spies and they defend themselves, Onkelos (Bereishis 42:9 passim) translates מרגלים variously as מאללין, אלילי, מאלילי.)

  • do you have an Onkelos example for the Aramaic term עללתא?
    – ninamag
    Aug 23, 2020 at 8:33
  • 1
    @ninamag Added one.
    – Meir
    Aug 24, 2020 at 13:50

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