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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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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2 answers
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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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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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"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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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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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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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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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6 votes
3 answers
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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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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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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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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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1 answer
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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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5 votes
1 answer
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Why is the final Heh in Ha'Shem's name different in K'thav Chabad/Alter-Rebbe?

Now I'm no Sofer by any means, although I do have a strong interest in the different Hebrew calligraphic traditions. All of which I find extremely beautiful in their own way. While studying the style ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Original meaning of the word Segulah - סְגֻלָּה / and its current connotation

Shemos 19:5 - the verse reads ועתה אם שמוע תשמעו בקלי ושמרתם את בריתי והייתם לי סגלה מכל העמים כי לי כל הארץ. Targum translates Segula as beloved - חביבין Rashi translates Segula as a beloved treasure ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Do you know what the name Edja means and is it commonly associated with a certain Hebrew name? [closed]

My family is trying to figure out some details for my grandmother's headstone. Her Hebrew name is forgotten, she went by Edith for as long as I've known her but her Polish name was Edja. I can't find ...
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3 votes
6 answers
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What does שליט"א stand for?

I thought that שליט"א came from the Aramaic word שליט (Ruler). But a Rabbi I told this to, pointed out that שליט"א is always written as with " , in the Middle so each the letters must ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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How to apply the Masoretic note, "2x, once plene and once defectively" to Ruth 1:1?

In Ruth 1:1, there is a Masoretic note on שְׁפֹט which I do not understand: The picture is a little unclear, but the note says (I have highlighted the letters with a dot above them): ב חד מל וחד חס ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does the Hebrew name Kohath/קהת mean?

While reading this Apocryphal book about the sons of Yisrael (Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: Book of Levi Verses 51-52) it is stated that קהת means "beginning of majesty and instruction&...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the translation of הרכבה מזגית / הרכבה שכונית?

In the introduction to Shev Shmattsa letter 'מ' he talks about various cases of two things that combine to become one (the guf and the neshama, a mule, someone who is half eved half ben chorin, etc). ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why are the words for "heavens" and "waters" so similar?

Genesis 1:9 mentions waters and heavens: "הַמַּ֜יִם מִתַּ֤חַת הַשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙". The words "mayim" (waters) and "shamayim" (heavens) are very similar. Is this a coincidence, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Spelling of בארי in the Rambam

I noticed in several places in the text of the Rambam presented in Rav Nachum Rabinovitch's Yad Peshuta (e.g. in hilchoth nachaloth) that instead of the expected spelling/word "בריא" (a ...
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1 answer
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Understanding עָרוּם in bereishit [duplicate]

I just began to study the Torah. It was interesting to see that both man and snake are described as עָרוּם, translated to english, in my version, as "naked" with respect to man, and "...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Hebrew verbs in the Creation [duplicate]

Genesis 1 uses three distinct verbs when describing the Creation: Strong's # Hebrew Transliteration English Verses H1254 בָּרָא bara' to create 1, 21, 27 H1961 הָיְתָ֥ה hayah to be 2, 3, 14 H6213 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
118 views

What does the word "גֹּשֶׁן‎" mean?

Reading this week's Torah portion (וַיִּגַּ֨שׁ), amongst the various storylines The Israelites moved and dwelt in the land of Goshen. What does the name גֹּשֶׁן‎ mean? Is there a connection between ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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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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2 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of phrase in Hannukah song

I'm having trouble understanding the concluding phrase in the famous Hannukah song O Hannukah, which is על הנפלאות אשר חללו המכבים. What root is חללו and what is its meaning here? How to translate ...
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4 votes
2 answers
158 views

כּלּה kallâh "bride, spouse" < כּלל kâlal "to make perfect"?

Reading Strong's Real Hebrew dictionary, I discovered that כּלּה kallâh "bride, spouse" < כּלל kâlal "to make perfect". What does a bride have to do with perfection? cf. Hebrew ...
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Biblical Hebrew words for “sister” & “bride” interchangeable? “sister” can mean “friend”?

Paul M. Conner, O.P., Celibate Love p. 23 (PDF p. 27), claims: In Hebrew the terms "sister" and "bride" do not always have literal application. Often they are interchangeable. ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Is there any particular reason why Haran (חָרָן) is spelled as חָרָנָה in B'resheith 27:43 & 28:10?

Going through this week's Parsha (Vayetze), I came across these specific verses and was confused about why the ה is attached to חָרָן. Does anyone know why and are there any references for such? ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Clarifications on Mishneh Torah (Ishut 10:16)

הַמְאָרֵס אֶת בִּתּוֹ קְטַנָּה וּתְבָעָהּ הַבַּעַל לְנִשּׂוּאִין. בֵּין הִיא בֵּין אָבִיהָ יְכוֹלִין לְעַכֵּב שֶׁלֹּא תִּנָּשֵׂא עַד שֶׁתַּגְדִּיל וְתֵעָשֶׂה נַעֲרָה וְאִם רָצָה לְכָנְסָהּ כּוֹנֵס. ...
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Ribono Shel Olam pronunciation

I haven't studied Hebrew in 50 years and cannot read it anymore. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions on how I can get the pronunciation of Rabbi Nachman's phrase "Ribono Shel Olam" both ...
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1 vote
0 answers
77 views

What is this text over the door?

I'm adding this post for Albert, who posted this in Biblical Hermeneutics. His question: Hi i got some people rent a house, and they put this signs which i think is hebrew on the top of the entry ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What phrase are people saying about 'ה and רחם?‎

I hear a certain phrase a lot.‎ Are people saying ה' ירחם,‎ that השם should be merciful,‎ or ה' מרחם,‎ that השם is merciful?‎ Thanks!
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1 vote
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What is the origin of the word פְּלַסְתֵּר?

The Gemara Berachos (31b) writes אֵלֵךְ וְאֶסְתַּתֵּר בִּפְנֵי אֶלְקָנָה בַּעֲלִי, וְכֵיוָן דְּמִסְתַּתַּרְנָא מַשְׁקוּ לִי מֵי סוֹטָה, וְאִי אַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה תּוֹרָתְךָ פְּלַסְתֵּר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״...
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Translating Maggid Mishneh (Issurei Biah 12:10)

My previous three questions on this topic dealt with the Rambam's original text, touching upon matters of both translation and interpretation, the two being inexorably linked; in this follow-up, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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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2 votes
1 answer
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Learning to read Mishneh Torah

I have taken a number of classes covering Hebrew grammar and basic vocabulary and my proficiency level is basic but sufficient to navigate the Siddur, and with a dictionary (looking up many words) I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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While Torah means instructions, does this explain it equaling commands? [closed]

How do Jewish scholars view the conclusion some make from the Hittite Instructions in The Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd ed. with Supplement, p. i). Pritchard, J. B. (...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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83 Bent Yod in Torah. Anyone know them?

I came across this word קָטֹנְתִּי in Gen 32:11. On page 295 of Artscroll's Davis edition of the Baal HaTurim's commentary there is a footnote which says that there are 83 bent Yod in Torah, of which ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Ambiguity in the Rambam: Does בְּזָדוֹן Imply Mutual Consent?

This is a follow-up to my previous question: In the following excerpt, does the term בְּזָדוֹן imply mutual consent, or simply a unilateral decision on the part of one of the two people involved, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the original meaning of the Hebrew word שְׁכִינָה?

While שְׁכִינָה doesn't occur in the תנ״ך, the verb of its root שָׁכַן does, as well as שֵׁ֫כֶן … n.m. dwelling [physical structure]; שָׁכֵן … adj. inhabitant, neighbor; מִשְׁכָּן … dwelling-place, ‘...
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1 vote
1 answer
712 views

Looking for the Lost tribes : Are Bantus speaking Ancient Hebrew? [closed]

On YouTube many videos link the Bantu languages to the ancient Hebrew. Would you know if any scholar ever studied the link between both languages do understand how they influence each other? Could the ...
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2 answers
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Ambiguity in the Rambam: Who Is Pursuing Whom?

The following has already been translated, but upon closer examination, something seems amiss: אֲבָל יִשְׂרָאֵל הַבָּא עַל הַכּוּתִית ... כֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּא עַל הַכּוּתִית בְּזָדוֹן הֲרֵי זוֹ נֶהֱרֶגֶת ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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What would be an alternative to the Reuben Alcalay Hebrew-English Dictionary?

I've been looking for a decent copy of the well-known Reuben Alcalay dictionary, at a price that I can live with and in good condition. Unfortunately, I haven't found much. So now I'm looking for an ...
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2 votes
1 answer
132 views

Original Nikud for Raphael?

רָפָאֵל or רְפָאֵל What is the original nikud? I have seen some variation before and wonder if the name should begin with Kamatz or Sheva? Thank you for any help you can give.
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