I haven't worked through all the etymological dictionaries yet so the connection might be obvious, (Jastrow and Klein don't seem to make it explicitly) but I am looking for discussion which connects the idea of being m'tzuyan (noteworthy or remarkable) and Tziyon. The word is questioned here (53rd gate) but no answer is given.

Specifically, I would think that such a connection would be useful in a discussion of the unique identity of Bnei Yisrael when the tribes settled in Goshen and were "metzuyanim" (or metzuyanin) there. This is explained as being "distinguishable," quantified by some commentators as retaining names, food and practices which defined them as a distinct son-of-Israel culture. One could then tie this homiletically to a lesson about retaining a connection to Tziyon.

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    May be useful to start with: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion#Etymology Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 15:04
  • Indication, indicated
    – kouty
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 16:05
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    There's B'rachos 8a, אמר רב חסדא... אוהב ה' שערים המצויינים בהלכה יותר מבתי כנסיות ומבתי מדרשות, playing on T'hillim 87:2. But that exposition alone doesn't necessarily imply an etymological relationship.
    – Fred
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 19:55
  • @Fred I like that they are connected, but the sense of "Tziyon" is far removed. I'm ok if there is no etymological relationship but I would love to see more examples of crossing over in use/reference or a discussion of how the two could be related.
    – rosends
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 20:16
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    @Fred the Jastrow has " Ber. 8ᵃ (ref. to שערי ציון, Ps. LXXXVII, 2) שערים המצ׳ בהלכה gates prominent for learned decisions. Sifré Deut. 43 (ref. to Jer. XXXI, 20) היו מצ׳ במצות וכ׳ distinguish yourselves by observing (in exile) religious laws (meant for Palestine), so that they be not new to you, when you return;" so "prominent in halacha" is "metzuyan" but it is specifically in halacha related to Israel (Tziyon). -- the next entry reads "adorn thyself with the religious observances by which Israel was distinguished (in Palestine)"
    – rosends
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


As per the comment on the question where the OP said

I would love to see more examples of crossing over in use/reference or a discussion of how the two could be related

there is one section in the book "Mishne Sachir Al HaTorah" from Rav Teichtal where brings the Yerushalmi in Meguila in which is written that Rabi Chanina Bar Papa says that in the entire Tanach there is only one place where Am Yisrael is called "Zion", which is in Yeshayahu 51:16, Rav Teichtal then goes by saying Yeshayahu was making an allusion to the fact that Am Yisrael are "metzuyanim" in Torah and Mitzvot. He also brings the Midrash Shir HaShirim Rabbah 3:11 which makes the same connection:

צְאֶינָה וּרְאֶינָה בְּנוֹת צִיּוֹן, בָּנִים הַמְצֻיָּנִים לִי בְּתִגְלַחַת, בְּמִילָה וּבְצִיצִית

This part of Mishne Sachir Al HaTorah can be found here, is the piska which start on "החודש הזה לכם".

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