Questions tagged [hebrew]

Questions pertaining to the Hebrew language, as related to Judaism. See the help center: http://judaism.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic

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2answers
179 views

Does the Torah have a gender?

Within the talmud, is the Torah as an entity referred to with with a particular gender and if so are there exceptions?
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2answers
148 views

Was the man who wrestled with Jacob, God?

It seems to me that the most plain reading of the passage in Genesis 32:22-32 suggests the man who wrestled with Jacob was somehow God, as crazy or as insane as it may sound. I'm looking for ...
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3answers
273 views

Does Betulah really mean virgin?

Ok hear me out first. If Betulah really means virgin, my question is why does Genesis 24:16 which uses this word to describe Rebekah, feels the need to also say "no man had known her" ...
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1answer
183 views

What is the difference between Almah vs. Ha-Almah?

My understanding is that adding "Ha-" at the beginning of a noun in Hebrew is the same as adding "The" to the beginning of a noun in English. In other words, it means you're ...
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1answer
68 views

What do these abbreviations mean? נ''י & מו''ה

I am filling out an authorization form for medical treatment. I am not 100% on what the abbreviations נ''י & מו''ה & mean. זֶה לאשׁר בי מו''ה (מורי וחמי?) ______ נ''י (נרו יאיר?) ...
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1answer
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Do any Jewish commentators or any targum or midrash see Haggai 2:7 as a reference to the messiah?

Haggai 2:7 speaks about the coming of "the desired of nations". Christians say this is a reference to the messiah. But I'm wondering if any of the sages - the commentaries or targum or ...
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1answer
55 views

What does the word s'chach סכך have to do with anointing or pouring?

What does the word s'chach סכך (the roof of a sukkah or succah) have to do with anointing or pouring? The word s'chach סכך appears to come from the verb to anoint or to pour, as in the following ...
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1answer
199 views

What do the words בֶּאֱמֶת אָמְרוּ teach us in the Mishna?

Mishna Shabbat 1:3: לֹא יֵצֵא הַחַיָּט בְּמַחְטוֹ סָמוּךְ לַחֲשֵׁכָה, שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁכַּח וְיֵצֵא. וְלֹא הַלַּבְלָר בְּקֻלְמוֹסוֹ. וְלֹא יְפַלֶּה אֶת כֵּלָיו, וְלֹא יִקְרָא לְאוֹר הַנֵּר. בֶּאֱמֶת ...
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1answer
539 views

What is the history behind ascribing a heading to each of the Psalms?

For exmple, in my English book of Psalms, the 59th Psalm (attributed to David) informs us that it is a miktam and then gives a heading: When Saul had sent men to watch David's house in order to kill ...
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What is the difference between "גזרה רעה" "גזרה קשה"

Is there a difference between the concept of the Hebrew words of "גזרה רעה" an evil decree versus a "גזרה קשה" a difficult decree? See Machzor Rosh HaShana on the annulment of ...
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3answers
274 views

Are we commanded to colonize Mars?

The first commandment of the Torah is to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth/land (הָאָ֖רֶץ). The question is whether Mars (and other terrestrial planets and moons) should be included in the ...
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1answer
60 views

Are there words in the Hebrew bible where we find the letter Hei/Yod subsituted for an Alef?

For example, עמק הבכא in Psalams 84:6 is often translated as "Valley of weeping", even though we should expect the word weeping to be בכי, and not at all with an Alef. Do we have more ...
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1answer
78 views

Changing Beitza to Bei'a [duplicate]

I understand that there’s a yeshivish tradition of referring to Masekhes Beitza as “Bei’a”, by way of using the Aramaic word for ‘egg’ in place of the Hebrew. In two separate online shiurim that I ...
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147 views

English prayers, mix in hebrew?

Some prayers can be said in any language, and many people use the English translation in siddurim to daven directly, the question is is one allowed to mix in both hebrew and English when first ...
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3answers
194 views

Why Hebrew wasn't the spoken language in the Gemara times?

Why was Hebrew NOT the spoken language of the Jewish people after the Mishna? And why was a scholarly text, which was created for individuals who also obviously understood Hebrew, written in Aramaic? ...
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191 views

Composing your own Tefillah

Is there a source (either for or against) that mentions composing your own Tefillah prayer? Such as a yehi ratzon or the like. Granted, anyone can daven at any moment for anything they want in any ...
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Does the scope of "נערה/Naarah" used in Mishle/Proverbs 31 include wives and/or concubines?

In Mishlei/Proverbs 31:15 it states: She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth food to her household, and a portion to her maidens. וַתָּקָם, בְּעוֹד לַיְלָה--וַתִּתֵּן טֶרֶף לְבֵיתָהּ; ...
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Praying in English or Hebrew

I have searched and don’t think this is a duplicate and want to explain why this question is different from this one. In the above linked question, the answer clearly states that it’s best to daven in ...
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Rav ha Meiri's interpretation of the term "notzrim" in Talmud Bavli-Avodah Zarah 6a and 7b

According to the legal determination established in Talmud Bavli -Avodah Zarah 6a and 7b, the halachic status of christians (“notzrim”) appears to be that of idolaters: Avodah Zara 6a Avodah Zarah 7b ...
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1answer
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Is there a particular reason Ezra HaSofer name is spelled with an "א" instead of with a "ה"?

In 1st Chronicles 4:17, a man from the tribe of Yehudah by the name of Ezrah is listed as follows: And the sons of Ezrah: Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon. And she bore Miriam, and Shammai, ...
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1answer
78 views

How is בריא connected to ברא?

IIRC, the word ברא applies exclusively to God's process of creation throughout the scriptures (see ברא on Sefaria). The word בריא is used to denote health (actually fat in cattle, like "...
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1answer
68 views

Does וְאִכָּבְדָ֤ה בְּפַרְעֹה֙ in 14:4 שמות also suggest weightier authority over Pharaoh?

While in Exodus (שמות) 14:4 the primary meaning is "glory through Pharaoh," does וְאִכָּבְדָ֤ה בְּפַרְעֹה֙ give the sense of showing Ado-nai has weightier authority over Pharaoh, especially ...
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39 views

Pronunciation of הַּ with mappiq [duplicate]

For example, as in לִגְבּוֹהַּ is the הַּ pronounced as A or ACH or AH with a very subdued H?
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62 views

When does the rule of אתא מרחוק apply?

I was told that there is a rule that if a word has the stress מלעיל (i.e. not on the last syllable), then the first letter of the next word should have a dagesh. I can not find anywhere where this ...
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1answer
196 views

Does Talmudic-Era Hebrew or Aramaic Distinguish Between Teaching and Learning?

In English, teaching and learning are two distinct verbs, but this is not the case with (many) other languages, where the same word is used to express both concepts. Whilst pondering upon the ...
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2answers
143 views

Why וַעֲלָמ֖וֹת and not בְּתוּל֖וֹת to be used in Song of Solomon 6:8?

According to Heiser, Michael S. and many Christians, outside of Isaiah 7:14, the word almah occurs only six times in the Old Testament. In all but one of those occurrences, the context provides no ...
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115 views

Do any historical Jewish sources mention the translation and production of the Peshitta?

There seems to be much scholarly debate surrounding when the Peshitta was translated from Hebrew to Aramaic, and whether it was the work of Jews or Christians. In light of this, I am wondering if any ...
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2answers
99 views

How many taamim/cantillation/trop marks are there?

I know there are different nusachot, but is there a maximal amount?
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0answers
87 views

Chayei olam: "everlasting life" or "long life"?

I am an Italian noahide. I see that, in the translations of the Tanakh and of the Hebrew sources in general edited by Jews , the expression "chayei olam" is constantly rendered with "...
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1answer
210 views

Do the words "Omer" (as in counting the Omer) and "Amar" (to speak or to say) have a connection to each other?

Do the words "Omer" (as in counting the Omer, starts with Ayin) and "Amar" (to speak or to say, starts with Alef) have a connection to each other? If so, what were the ...
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0answers
42 views

Why the change in phrase with the morning blessings?

In the morning blessings, there is a small but seemingly important variation in word usage across three blessings. In the blessing about the distinction between day and night, G-d is described by the ...
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61 views

Are 'speaking' and 'desert' related in Hebrew?

"Bamidbar" means "In the desert" or "In the wilderness". But the root dalet/bet/resh also refers to speaking. Are the two related, and if so, how? (This is not purely a ...
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3answers
237 views

What is the connection between the natural world and sinking? (טבע)

Do any commentators explain a connection between the shared root of the word "טבע" for sinking (as in Shemos 15:4 - טֻבְּעוּ בְיַם) and the natural world of טבע?
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113 views

The meaning of Yaldah [closed]

There are several terms in the bible that indicate "children": zehrah, bakar, yanek, gamul, taph, 'owlel, elem, naar, yathowm, etc. Does the term "Yaldah" in the bible mean child (...
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2answers
78 views

What is the difference between קדד, כרע, and שׁחה?

The DCH and BDB lexicons list these words as all meaning the same thing - "to bow down." Is there some finer nuance between these words?
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2answers
96 views

Is וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם in Shema with Shva Na or Shva Nach

My daughter goes to a chabad school (nusach ari?) and has been taught in class that וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם in the shema (end of first paragraph) is with a shvah na on the כְ. She also says it has the asterisk ...
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1answer
110 views

Sacred vs Holy: why the same word in Hebrew?

English and other languages (e.g., Russian & Greek) distinguish between "holy" ("святой", "άγιος") and "sacred" ("священный", "ιερός"). ...
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108 views

"ruach elohim" in Genesis 1.2 translated with "a very strong wind"

I read, in some biblical forums, the intervention of Israeli Orthodox Jews according to which the most correct translation, in Genesis 1: 2, of "ruach elohim" is "a very strong wind&...
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2answers
94 views

What is the precise meaning of the word "avicha"?

I search the meaning of the word "Avicha" (not sure how it is written in hebrew. I have seen it used in the terms "Mussar Avicha", "Birchos Avicha", "elohai avicha&...
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1answer
70 views

What does the word "חַיִל" mean?

Gideon was famously called "a Mighty Man of Valor" by the Malach/Messenger and the word is most famously utilized in Proverbs 31 in the description of the Virtuous Woman. Doing research into ...
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41 views

Why say bircat hamazon instead of plainly thanking HaShem for the food?

A niece asked me why do we need to say bircat hamazon which is lengthy and with words we don’t understand instead of just saying in English something along the long the lines of “thank you HaShem for ...
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2answers
143 views

Why are some Matzah labeled as not being kosher for Pesach/Passover?

What brought me to inquire about this topic (besides seeing products as being labeled not kosher for Pesach) was the name Matzah itself. Matzah by definition means unleavened bread. I understand that ...
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1answer
166 views

Are these passages really found in the Jewish prayers? If so, where can I find the original Hebrew text?

In this book, a Christian writer by the name of John Hutchinson alleges that the following passages are found in the Jewish prayers, and that when collected together, compose a form similar to the ...
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135 views

Meaning of the word "Devash"

Sometimes, when Devash is mentioned in scriptural passages, Rashi observes that the Hebrew word is general and included many sweet fluids. For example, Leviticus 2:11 commands “For you shall not cause ...
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1answer
350 views

The grammatical nature of וָאִמָּלְטָה in the context of Job 1:15. How exactly did the only surviving servant "slip away"?

In Job 1:15, we read that the Sabeans fell upon and took Job's cattle and she-asses. Then they killed the young men, or servants, of Job, by the sword. Only one of these servants got away, and it is ...
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28 views

Was the Jewish month of Tammuz named after the pagan god Tammuz of the Babylonian? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia: "The name of the month was adopted from the Assyrian and Babylonian month Araḫ Dumuzu, named in honour of the Mesopotamian deity Dumuzid" If so what's the implication ...
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2answers
70 views

Does the Midrash show any examples of adjectives attached to Rabbi when addressing a Rabbi?

Are there any historic examples, such as in the Midrash, that show someone addressing a Rabbi with an adjective such as רַבִּי הַטּוֹב?
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1answer
43 views

What words and intentions are to be stressed at the end of Neilah?

I have heard different ways of stressing the words that we repeat seven times at the end of the Neilah service on Yom Kippur: יי הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים. Are there any recorded thoughts on what is recommended ...
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1answer
115 views

What is the correct word for the way the letter Hebrew are classified in Sefer Yetzirah?

In the Wikipedia page for the Sefer Yetzirah I found this: along with ten calibrations of empty space, twenty-two letters [of the Hebrew alphabet], [of which] three are principal [letters] (i.e. א מ ...
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2answers
41 views

Esther 8:17 - Is the phrase פַּֽחַד־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים synonymous with יִרְאַ֚ת יְהֹוָ֨ה?

When studying Esther 8:17, we read: And in every province and in every city, wherever the king's order and his edict reached, [there was] joy and gladness for the Jews, a banquet and a festive day, ...

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