What is the etymology of the word "Vasikin", used for the Minyan that starts Shemona Esrei at sunrise? Also, is "Vasikin" Hebrew or Aramaic?

  • If you add into the question what you know about the word (e.g., where you saw it or what it means), that could help people answer the question. – msh210 Jan 12 '12 at 0:20
  • I know nothing other than it is used for the Minyan that starts Shemona Esrei at sunrise. – Gershon Gold Jan 12 '12 at 2:28
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    The minyan is praying כותיקין, which I always (perhaps wrongly) took to mean "praying like the ותיקין", where "ותיקין" describes people (as in josh waxman's answer). – msh210 Jan 12 '12 at 2:37
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    The gemara in Berachot 9b and 25b use the term vatikin to refer to those who finish kriat shema just before sunrise. Rashi there defines "vatikin" as those who are humble and love mitzvot. – Double AA Jan 12 '12 at 2:43

Jastrow (page 375) on the word ותיק:

Jastrow on the word ותיק:

And then from Vatikin as a description of the men who did this -> the practice.

I think Mishnaic Hebrew, with a comparison to Arabic and Biblical Hebrew.

  • I think Hebrew, considering that all his quotations are Hebrew. (I didn't, however, check the citations he provides from which he does not quote.) +1. – msh210 Jan 12 '12 at 1:25
  • @msh210: it's pretty rare for native Hebrew words to begin with vav. – Alex Jan 12 '12 at 4:05
  • actually, I think msh210 is right. so, Mishnaic Hebrew. I'll correct. – josh waxman Jan 12 '12 at 12:23
  • @Alex, I didn't say it's native (in the sense of "not borrowed"), merely that it's Hebrew. – msh210 Jan 12 '12 at 16:47

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