Questions tagged [grammar-dikduk]

Questions about Hebrew grammar as related to Judaism.

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135 views

Are there any cases in the Tanakh where the form of the word could ambiguously have either the root יָרֵא (fear) or רָאָה (see)?

Abijah originally asked this question in Biblical Hermeneutics (https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/52502/translating-forms-of-yirah-as-fear-or-seeing). Abijah stated how the question ...
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31 views

Should one read the story of the cursing of Canaan in a different way?

The verses of Genesis 9: 24-27 are generally believed to be part of a larger context, including the verses 9: 20-23. In other words, that these verses together tell one (a complete) story. But what if ...
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2answers
123 views

Where in the Tanakh, on a peshat level, is “Yetzer HaTov” derived?

Where in the Tanakh, on a peshat level, is "Yetzer HaTov" derived? Rashi seems to derive "Yetzer HaRa" from Genesis 8:21 (because the words "yetzer" and "ra" ...
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50 views

Final Pay ף ??? - Exists or Not? [duplicate]

Just confirming that there doesn't exist anywhere in Tanach a final Pay (not Fay but rather a ף with a Dagesh). If so, it is a fascinating that it doesn't.
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Plural and singular in Shmuel 2:24:14

In Shmuel 2:24:14 it says: "David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for His compassion is great; and let me not fall into the hands of men.”" ...
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19 views

Isaiah 52:14 what does it say?

I’ve some trouble with translating and understanding Isaiah 52:14. The words me’ish (מאיש) and mi’bnei adam (מבני אדם) to me seem to translate: from/out of man (like in Genesis 2:23 or Psalm 18:49) ...
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182 views

Does the Hebrew word “Torah” originate from BOTH the words “Hora’ah” (meaning, Teaching) and “Orah” (meaning, Light)?

Does the Hebrew word "Torah" originate from BOTH the words “Hora’ah” (meaning, Teaching) and “Orah” (meaning, Light)? The accurate meaning of “Torah” is twofold. Firstly it comes from the ...
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99 views

The second yod in Mechiyael

Bereishit 4:18 contains the word: וּמְחִיָּיאֵ֗ל There is no vowel under the second yod, so I assume that it is not pronounced at all. What is its function? Is it a mater lectionis? Is a yod ever ...
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61 views

Prophecies about past or future events?

Why are some prophecies described as if they already happend, as if they occurred in the past, while at the time/moment the prophecy is spoken it all still has to take place and talks about the future....
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59 views

Was there a traditional Hebrew equivalent of a Sator Square? [duplicate]

It seems a lot of old Latin stuff liked this Sator Square, five five-letter words that form a palindrome: S A T O R A R E P O T E N E T O P E R A R O T A S Was there ever a Hebrew equivalent to this? ...
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23 views

Why does Al Chet not have the definite article, i.e., Al HAchet?

Since the phrase is translated, "for the sin," and it isn't smichut, why is there no definite article?
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Chirik: the long and short of it

My understanding is that (according to at least some Hebrew grammarians) a chirik is classified as a short vowel if it is part of a closed unstressed syllable, and otherwise it is long. A 'short' ...
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Smichut or Noun and adjective in Lashon remiya (Tehilim 120)

In Tehilim 120:2 and 3 we find lashon remiya (לשון רמייה) where lamed has qamets: יְֽהוָ֗ה הַצִּ֣ילָה נַ֭פְשִׁי מִשְּׂפַת־שֶׁ֑קֶר מִלָּשׁ֥וֹן רְמִיָּֽה׃ מַה־יִּתֵּ֣ן לְ֭ךָ וּמַה־יֹּסִ֥יף לָ֗ךְ ...
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Isaiah 40:4 — is the word pronounced “geh” or “gay”?

כָּל גֶּיא יִנָּשֵׂא (In Isaiah 40:4, and therefore also the Haftarah for Nachamu, just after Tisha B'Av.) It's a segol under the gimmel so I'd say "geh" ... but then there's a yud, but it's ...
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He Hayedyia before the letter Chet. Segol or Patach?

in Achare Mot the verses say: וְהִקְרִ֖יב אֶת־הַשָּׂעִ֥יר הֶחָֽי׃ כא וְסָמַ֨ךְ אַהֲרֹ֜ן אֶת־שְׁתֵּ֣י יָדָ֗ו עַ֣ל רֹ֣אשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר֮ הַחַי֒ The first occurence on the end of a verse is Hechay, and ...
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Gendered text for Gomel

related to Bentching Ha-Gommel after a Birth Do women bentch gomel less often? According to some opinions, a woman can say the thanksgiving blessing ("bentch gomel") The text that one says ...
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Could the trop of מה-פעל אל be a me'ayla?

כִּ֤י לֹא־נַ֙חַשׁ֙ בְּיַעֲקֹ֔ב וְלֹא־קֶ֖סֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כָּעֵ֗ת יֵאָמֵ֤ר לְיַעֲקֹב֙ וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מַה־פָּ֖עַל אֵֽל׃ ‏ Bamidbar 23:23 The word פעל is mile'eil (according to R' Breuer's conclusion ...
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150 views

Reason for different punctuation of the prefix vav?

In the Siddur, the prefix vav is seen with various punctuations (e.g., shva, kamatz, patah, shuruk). When is each of these different punctuations used with a prefix vav and how does each affect the ...
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173 views

Correct pronunciation of Kaddish

The opening two words of Kaddish begin with the words: יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ Both the gimmel and the dalet of 'Yisgadal' carry a dagesh as does the dalet in 'veyiskadash' - normally a function ...
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114 views

What is the correct translation of Exodus 6:3?

According to BHS, Exodus 6:3 reads: וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב בְּאֵ֣ל שַׁדָּ֑י וּשְׁמִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖עְתִּי לָהֶֽם׃ This all almost universally translated as ...
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166 views

Function of a dagesh

Occasionally Hebrew letters in Tanach have a dagesh mark. I saw one in a khaf sofit, as at the end of the second line of the Priestly Blessing and the 4th line of Ashrei, and it sparked my interest. ...
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221 views

What are the rabbinic (hebrew) words that could equate to “Anti-Torah”?

What are the rabbinic (hebrew) words that could equate to "Anti-Torah"? I am hoping there is only one. In English, I would say the word "Anti-Torah" equates to "lawless" or "lawlessness". When I ...
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134 views

“Tekhelet” and “Shechelet”?

Might there be some relationship between the words "tekhelet" (תְּכֵלֶת ; the Biblical blue dye) and "shechelet" (שחֵלֶת ; one of the four named ingredients of the holy incense, listed in Exodus 30:34)...
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Help finding source ונטמתם

There seems to be this teaching (gemarah) in the Talmud (Yoma 39) on Vayikra/Leviticus 11:43 regards the phrase ונטמתם. Because this is written without the expected alef it could be read as v’nitamtem ...
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Where can I find how many roots the author needs to compose for each book of the Tenach

For example: I am reading now the book of Joshua in Hebrew. It looks to me quite simple language. The author uses often the same terms. Poetry and wisdom-litterature is much more complex. My ...
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2answers
107 views

Genesis 18:21 then I will know?

I find it strange that Genesis/Bereshit 18:21 seems to imply that G-d has limited knowledge of what's going on in Sodom and Amorah, so I wondered if the word eda'ah (אֵדָעָה) could be translated as: ...
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1answer
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Translating וידבר using BDB Lexicon and Gesenius' Grammar

Context I am practicing my biblical Hebrew by translating the weekly Parshah. As resources, I have the Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB) Lexicon (coded with Strong's concordance numbers) and Gesenius' ...
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1answer
79 views

“Good trees” grammar in the blessing on trees

I see* various versions of the blessing on seeing trees: most seem to refer to good trees as "אילנות טובות", while some refer to them as "אילנות טובים". (Grammatically, as far as I know, "טובים" is ...
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51 views

Does Avraham invite one of his visitors inside?

I've a question regards the following phrase from Genesis 18:10: "וְשָׂרָה שֹׁמַעַת פֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וְהוּא אַחֲרָיו". "And Sarah was listening at the opening of the tent, and it was behind him." "And ...
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1answer
169 views

What or is there a difference in Adonai and Adonoy?

I have just started learning Hebrew and I found a transliteration for the after meal blessing which includes Adonai and Adonoy; what is the difference between the two? “Baruch ha-gever asher yivtach ...
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Is A Plural Verb Indicative on Singular or Plural When Modifying Elokim

Rashi on Shemot 32:1 says bnei Yisrael desired many gods (ד״ה ״אשר ילכו לפנינו״) because as Be’er Mayim Chaim points out, the verse uses the plural verb ילכו instead of ילך. There really should be no ...
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2answers
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Yeraeh el HaAdon, or Yeraeh es HaAdon

The mitzvah of aliya leregel, the thrice-yearly pilgrimage festival, appears a few times in the Torah. In Exodus 23:17 it's written: שָׁלֹ֥שׁ פְּעָמִ֖ים בַּשָּׁנָ֑ה יֵרָאֶה֙ כָּל־זְכ֣וּרְךָ֔ אֶל־...
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51 views

HaShem's Name After The Letters of ו / כ / ל / ב

Not sure if this was asked before... Statement: When the letters of ו / כ / ל / ב , (which spells the word “and Kalayv”) come in front the names of HaShem of: אֲ-דֹנָי / אֱ-לֹהֵי / אֱ-...
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What is the correct pronunciation? 'Mesirut nefesh' or 'mesirat nefesh'? [closed]

Which is correct? Mesirut nefesh or mesirat nefesh? I have always used mesirut, but see mesirat also.
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Put a samech in Kel Adon?

The piyyut Kel Adon (below), the Song of Creation which we recite or sing on Shabbat morning, is an acrostic: Each verse begins with a different letter of the alphabet, in order. Except for "Smechim ...
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103 views

Why is the word כטוב spelled sometimes with a Sheva and other times with a Patach?

Why is the word כטוב spelled sometimes with a Sheva (as in Ester 1:10), and sometimes with a Patach (as in Ester 3:11)? Ester 1:10: בַּיּוֹם, הַשְּׁבִיעִי, כְּטוֹב לֵב-הַמֶּלֶךְ, בַּיָּיִן--אָמַר ...
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78 views

Why switch to the singular in Sh'mot 17:3?

In parshat B'shalach, the people complain a bunch. They do so in the plural form unless the verb is connected to their identity as a nation, a collective singular. However, in 17:3, the text moves ...
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Exodus 15:11 Parasha Beshalach [duplicate]

In Exodus 15:11 the first chaf doesn’t have a dot (dagesh) but the second one does: Mi-chamocha, and then Mi kamocha. The meaning of both phrases is the same: “Who is like you?” The first Mi-chamocha ...
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67 views

Dikduk- yud suffix on a hebrew verb

In Parshas Bo 10:1 it states למען שתי the yud here indicates that Hashem is doing the placing. I was wondering that generally, the yud indicates possessiveness on nouns, however over here it is ...
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59 views

Targum of Shem HaShem

Why do we find that there is no differentiation in targum between the The four letter Shem HaShem and Elokeinu, they are both translated as Yud Yud.
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Two Consecutive Segol's at End: When They Change To Kamatz & When Not [duplicate]

I used to think it was a hard fast rule that when a word ends in two consecutive segols such as: אֶרֶץ (or כסף) it will change the first Segol to a Kamatz as in אָרֶץ. However, it was pointed out to ...
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62 views

Difference between “face of” and “faces of” in Hebrew

If you want to say "face of gold" (sing.) in Hebrew, you say פני זהב. If you want to say "faces of gold" (plural) in Hebrew, you say _______. Part of the difficulty is that the Hebrew word for "...
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75 views

Silent sheva after long vowels

I assume most have heard about the 5 famous rules of Elia Levita regarding the vocal sheva. His rules tend to work well in practice, even the third, much debated rule about the concept of long vowels (...
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36 views

Pesukim in Chumash where Rashi adds in extra words or switches order

I have been trying to remember examples in chumash where Rashi uses dikduk rules to significantly change the order of words or add words to a passuk so that it has another meaning. What are some ...
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82 views

What is the explanation of spelling the same word with a Patach instead of a Sh'va in Megillat Esther?

In Megillat Esther, why is the word "maidens" spelled with a sh'va under the first letter (נְעָרוֹת) in verses 2:2, 2:8, 2:9, but with a patach (נַעֲרוֹת) in verse 4:4?
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104 views

Yehoshua 8:30- יבנה= built or will build?

Yehoshua (8:30) אָ֣ז יִבְנֶ֤ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לַֽיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל בְּהַ֖ר עֵיבָֽל׃ At that time Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, (Sefaria ...
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0answers
75 views

Closed one-syllable words — patach or kamatz?

For closed one-syllable Hebrew words that take only a patach or kamatz (יָ֥ד, עַ֖ל, רַ֛ק, etc.), is there any rhyme or reason as to which ones can only take one and which the other, or is it just ...
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2answers
112 views

Dikduk question on psalm 93

This question bothers me every Friday night; I have looked at various Bible translations and traditional commentators but have not found an answer. In Psalm 93 we have the phrase: נָֽשְׂא֤וּ ...
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1answer
98 views

How Many vav Hahipuchs in each of the 24 books of Tenach

How Many vav Hahipuchs (Conversive vav) are in each of the 24 books of Tenach compared with the number of letters / verses in that book. As far as I know they are only in Tenach rather than Mishna or ...
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1answer
139 views

Why isn't המלך המשפט a grammatical mistake?

During these ימים נוראים we finish the 11th blessing of the amida with the words המלך המשפט. What does this exactly, literally mean? Melech and mishpat are both nouns, so it would seem that we need a ...

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