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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Leshabeichacha and loseis/latet shevach

Towards the beginning of the נוסח אשכנז version of davening, in the section beginning לעולם יהא אדם ירא שמים, we say as follows: לפיכך אנחנו חייבים להודות לך ולשבחך ולפארך ולברך ולקדש ולתת שבח ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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Proper Reading of the Word זועה

The word זועה appears six times in tanach: Yeshayahu 28:19 Yirmiyahu 15:4 Yirmiyahu 24:9 Yirmiyahu 29:18 Yirmiyahu 34:17 Divrei Hayamim II 29:8 In each one of these instances except the first, the ...
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7 votes
0 answers
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Meaning of grammatical gender in Hebrew for inanimate objects

For English (and many other languages) grammatical gender in Hebrew constitute a serious problem: how come that in Hebrew a book (ספר - ספרים) is masculine and a lamp (מנורה - מנורות) is feminine? Do ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Whence "בחזקת בשרי"?

Besides the main categories of meat, dairy, and pareve (non-meat, non-dairy) foods, two special subcategories of pareve foods are relevant to halacha (e.g. Yore Dea 93): pareve food cooked using clean ...
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6 votes
0 answers
252 views

Use of speaking "Baruch HaShem" in 1492 Spain

I am writing a play that takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. A Rabbi is walking home from the King's court and his belongings are tossed to the ground by hooligans. A young Spanish girl picks ...
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6 votes
0 answers
722 views

Knowledge of meanings of Hebrew names in Daniel

I have being doing a study on Daniel and the meanings of the names of Daniel and his friends and wondered how these would be understood between the friends. For example my name is Stephen, meaning ...
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6 votes
0 answers
1k views

Saying "Elokim" when not referring to Hashem

People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "...
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6 votes
0 answers
210 views

Good resource for learning vowel pronunciation

In trying to improve my leyning, I'm trying to get the finer points of vowel pronunciation down. What is a good resource to learn, e.g., the difference between a patach and chataf-patach or a ...
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5 votes
0 answers
135 views

The letters aleph-lamed are sometimes blended into a single figure in certain texts. What is the origin/purpose of this?

My first guess was that it was a way of avoiding writing out a Divine name, but the texts where I've seen this, the same page may indeed include a full Divine name, so there must be another reason. I'...
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5 votes
0 answers
171 views

Why did Rashi choose Hebrew over Aramaic?

Rashi chose a form of Medieval Hebrew to write his commentaries, which facilitates the life of many students, as the Aramaic content in his writing is very low compared to the Gemara or contemporary ...
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5 votes
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Are all hiriqs the same or is there a distinction if a yud or other silent letter follows?

For example, what would be the difference in pronunciation of the hiriq in these two words: נִקּוּד and תִּינוֹק? What about רִאשׁוֹן? Is it "Rishon" similar to "pit" or "Reeshon" similar to "pizza"?...
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5 votes
0 answers
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What is the Hebrew term for the drawing of the hands inward during lighting of Shabbos candles?

Someone elsewhere asked what is the Hebrew term for the drawing of the hands inward during lighting of Shabbos candle. For example, Chabad.org describes the custom, Extend your hands over the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
511 views

Gentiles praying in Hebrew

Can a gentile pray in hebrew, and recite the Psalms? I am a Noahide (Chassidic Gentile) who is interested in going through the conversion process to Reform Judaism. Is it okay for me to pray the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
58 views

Question on the wording of Ezra 2:67

In Ezra 2:65-67 it says: מִ֠לְּבַד עַבְדֵיהֶ֤ם וְאַמְהֹֽתֵיהֶם֙ אֵ֔לֶּה שִׁבְעַ֣ת אֲלָפִ֔ים שְׁלֹ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים וְשִׁבְעָ֑ה וְלָהֶ֛ם מְשֹׁרְרִ֥ים וּֽמְשֹׁרְר֖וֹת מָאתָֽיִם׃ סוּסֵיהֶ֕ם ...
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4 votes
0 answers
107 views

What software to use to write a multi-section sefer?

What software is available that allows Hebrew and English and multiple sections? i.e. the main section and then a footnote/pirush (section #2) on that, and then a 3rd section which footnotes items ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Does Hebrew allow for this conception of the pronunciation of the "Tetragammaton"?

Disclaimer: I know no Hebrew. I'm trying to find out if the Hebrew argument that this article makes concerning the pronunciation of the divine Name is cogent or not. As an outsider they seem to know ...
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4 votes
0 answers
105 views

Why does Echad mi Yodeia switch languages in middle?

Why does echad mi yodeia switch from hebrew (eg. אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ? אֶחָד אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.) to arameic (eg. שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא), back to hebrew (eg. ...
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4 votes
0 answers
69 views

Do brachot speak of time or place?

In the formulation of a bracha we use the words "melech ha'olam" which is translated as "king of the universe" (Koren and Artscroll). But "olam" is used through tanach as "forever" (or at least a long ...
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4 votes
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135 views

what determines what parts of the talmud(if any) are in hebrew rather than aramaic?

I read in this question https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/226412/origins-of-turn-over-in-his-grave-turn-over-in-her-grave-etc-etc/226478?noredirect=1#comment576934_226478 That this line ...
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  • 1,959
4 votes
0 answers
363 views

The difference between Chazal and Razal

I have heard it said before that Chazal (חז"ל = חכמינו זכרונם לברכה; "our sages of blessed memory") refers to sages of the Mishna and Gemara, while Razal (רז"ל = רבנים/נו זכרונם לברכה; "our/the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
143 views

Difference between 'rafa' and 'ripa'

The root רפא, "heal", is used in various places in Tanach, sometimes in binyan paal and sometimes in binyan piel. I wonder what the difference is between these. Does any Tanach commentator, or the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
251 views

Why is the term שליט"א more commonly used for a rav than the term נ"י?

As a follow up to this answer to a M.Y. question, why is שליט"א more commonly used after a notable Rav's name than the term נירו יאיר (or נ"י, as an abbreviation)? A wise person, such as a rav is ...
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3 votes
0 answers
148 views

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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3 votes
0 answers
136 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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3 votes
0 answers
47 views

Clarification on Ben Ezra's cancellation of the idea of grammatical gender

To continue the topic of "genders in Hebrew" I stumbled upon Torah Temima's commentary on the Posuk "דרך ילכו בה" and his citation of Ben Ezra: "את הדרך ילכו בה. [מכאן דדרך לשון נקבה] כטמדלא כתיב ...
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3 votes
1 answer
158 views

Use of definite article (ה) in יהי רצון ... מצות התלוים

The paragraph after the ברכה (b'racha) of ציצת (tzitzis) ends with the expression " וְתַרְיַ"ג מִצְות הַתְּלוּיִם בָּהּ". My question is why does the word "התלוים" start with "ה"? It appears like ...
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3 votes
0 answers
72 views

What's the difference between נכה and הרג?

In בראשית chapter/verse 4:15 and in various other places the words הכות) נכה) and הרג are used which both seem to be interchangeable in english translations. וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל ־ ...
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  • 369
3 votes
0 answers
99 views

Prayer for the Government if the President or VP is female

The prayer Hanosen Teshuah as recited in the US has the line את הנשיא ואת משנהו. To me, these terms sound masculine. If the President and/or Vice President of the United States were female, would this ...
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  • 4,338
3 votes
0 answers
87 views

Jewish word definitions?

I am new to this site and wish to be involved in questions and answers ( As one who has studied the trinity doctrine for many years I may be of some help). As I read through various posts I see terms ...
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3 votes
1 answer
132 views

What books/texts for Modern Hebrew

Which of these books/texts would be possible to read when you know only Modern Hebrew? Kizur Shulchan Aruch Shulchan Aruch Mishnah Berurah Mishnah Babylonian Talmud Jerusalem Talmud Comments by: ...
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  • 151
3 votes
2 answers
876 views

Is a gentile permitted to learn the original Hebrew of the Torah?

I've been reading the Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and came across this in Part I 5:2 note. 91 "...(1) It is also prohibited for a Jew to teach Torah to gentiles in the canonised Hebrew or ...
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2 votes
0 answers
119 views

What will be the official language of the Kingdom of Israel?

This question assumes the correctness of the Shita that it is forbidden to use Lashon Koidesh for mundane language today. Rather I'm asking if this will or will not be the case in the restored Kingdom ...
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2 votes
0 answers
46 views

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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2 votes
0 answers
48 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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2 votes
0 answers
264 views

Is ‘kol tuv’ a religious phrase?

I often hear religious people saying the phrase ‘Kol tuv’ - May everything be good by you. Is there any history behind the wide usage in religious communities, other than it being said in Hebrew?
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2 votes
0 answers
149 views

Does ehad mean "one" or "first" when used together with "rishon"?

How should ehad be translated in this phrase and why? וְשַׂ֣ר׀ מַלְכ֣וּת פָּרַ֗ס עֹמֵ֤ד לְנֶגְדִּי֙ עֶשְׂרִ֣ים וְאֶחָ֣ד י֔וֹם וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִֽיכָאֵ֗ל אַחַ֛ד הַשָּׂרִ֥ים הָרִאשֹׁנִ֖ים בָּ֣א לְעָזְרֵ֑נִי ...
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2 votes
0 answers
47 views

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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2 votes
0 answers
166 views

Where is a free online copy of the Torah with the "correct" number of letters in it?

First off, my intention is to create a pretty decent replica of the Hebrew text close to the formatting of the Sefer Torah or a Tikkun, for personal documentation purposes. My question though is 2-...
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2 votes
0 answers
72 views

Minhag Hebrew Pronunciation each letter

Is the pronunciation of the Hebrew letters a minhag or is the pronunciation of each individual letter each an individual minhag itself? For example would the pronunciation of the letter dalet be one ...
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2 votes
0 answers
100 views

Seeking easy-Hebrew, high-interest books on Jewish topics for 8 year old boy

Seeking titles of books and names of authors of high-interest children's books on Jewish topics in easy Hebrew with nikudot. (Indications of reading grade level would be helpful.)
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  • 7,317
2 votes
0 answers
104 views

A list of doubled words

In the tanach, there are times when certain words are doubled (generally verbs but I'm open to other combinations) with one form of the word, followed by a second form which is in a future tense, I ...
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2 votes
0 answers
114 views

Usage of final nun with kamatz

Frequently, in Tanac"h, the 3rd person female plural uses an end nun with a kamatz ןָ rather than nun-heh נָה. Is there any reasoning of preference of one usage vs. the other?
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2 votes
0 answers
41 views

in what ways are the songs of ascent characterized by epigrammaticism?

According to Wikipedia, the Songs of Ascent are "characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by epanaphora [i.e., repetition], and by their epigrammatic style.... " Epigrams are defined as "brief, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
94 views

How come Torah does not have a distinctive word for "wife"?

[Edited] In Bereshit, Torah says the woman will be called Isha, that comes from Ish and is parallel to Ish. Later, Torah says Adam gave to אשתו a new name Chava. Now אשתו appears (out of nowhere) as "...
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2 votes
0 answers
55 views

Expressing benefit in the Pentateuch

Regarding the prohibition of deriving benefit from a murderous animal (shor haniskal), the gemara (e.g. Bava Kamma 41a) suggests (in an initial interpretation) that, from the fact that the Torah uses ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Was Kaddish ever said in Hebrew?

The Kaddish that we say is in Aramaic. However the Talmud (Brachos 3a) quotes an excerpt from Kaddish in Hebrew: בשעה שישראל נכנסין לבתי כנסיות ולבתי מדרשות ועונין יהא שמיה* הגדול מבורך (*The ...
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  • 492
2 votes
0 answers
169 views

Is there a problem for a Jew to say the word "penis"?

There appear to be some sources that claim that Lashon Ha'kodesh is holy because there are no words in the language for the male or female genitalia. Instead the word "yerech" (thigh), "raglayim" (...
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2 votes
0 answers
47 views

Would anyone know of good places in the NYC area which teach Biblical Hebrew?

I was not raised with any foundational Hebrew education. Most of the places that I've researched which teach Hebrew are all "Modern Hebrew" (spoken in Israel) courses and not Torah Hebrew (The ...
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2 votes
0 answers
112 views

"Bli neder" and shevuot

As far as I understand from the discussion here, a "neder" is a vow forbidding or consecrating objects, whereas a "shevua" governs personal actions. For example, one would make a neder to declare wine ...
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2 votes
0 answers
138 views

In Genesis 6:3, How Should the Context Affect Interpretation of "To Contend/Plead"?

Disclaimer: There are A LOT of pieces to this I don't understand, which is making it very difficult to ask: I would appreciate your suggestions! 1. Question : Genesis 6:3 -... My Spirit will not ...
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