Questions tagged [language]

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3answers
169 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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1answer
86 views

Why this common greeting: Tzom kal?

Tzom kal (easy fast) is a common greeting before the 9th of Av, but why? It runs counter to the adage, "No pain, no gain". The no pain adage seems similar to L'fum tzaara agra – according ...
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0answers
75 views

What is the difference between 'a minori ad majus' and 'a majori ad minus'

Good afternoon, I'm attempting to understand the "Thirty-Two Rules of Elezer B. Jose Ha-Gelili" and have come to the 5th rule and have a question; 1. Summary of Problem In reading the ...
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1answer
117 views

How can we say the Torah uses words of later-day languages? [duplicate]

My friend told me how the word das, which we use to mean halacha or religion, like k'das Moshe veYisroel, is actually a Persian word. If this is true, then how can commentators explain the word ...
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2answers
91 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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1answer
318 views

Aramaic in a baraisa

I always understood a major difference between a mishna/baraisa and the text of the gemarra is the former is in Rabbinic Hebrew and the latter is in Aramaic. The other day I chanced upon a gemarra in ...
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1answer
107 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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1answer
47 views

Does אנא ever connote thanking?

Does anyone know of an instance where אנא is interpreted as thanking as opposed to a plea or request?
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3answers
66 views

How often does the word “truth” appear n the Torah? [closed]

I am interested in knowing how often the word "truth" or "emet appears in the Torah
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0answers
81 views

Evolution of the Term “Ger”

According to Plaut ("The Torah a Modern Commentary", Revised Edition, p. 530) the term "ger" has changed over time. Ger was the term applied to resident non-Israelites who could ...
2
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0answers
78 views

Origin of the use of “G-d”

I'm wondering about the earliest uses of the abbreviation "G-d". Obviously, it's used as an extension to avoiding saying Hashem's name in vain, but was this practice common from the ...
2
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1answer
125 views

Is there any particular halachic reason why the Maccabean Martyrs would insist on speaking Hebrew?

I was reading 2 Maccabees chapter 7, 7 After the first brother died in this manner, they led forward the second one with mockery. They ripped off the skin of his head along with the hair and demanded,...
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0answers
40 views

What is the root/deeper meaning of ממילא? [closed]

I am trying to understand what the word means and what its root is. How it comes to translate into "automatically" or "by itself", etc. What words is it related to? What is the ...
1
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1answer
54 views

How do you spell maila? [closed]

I've looked in the Jewish Languages dictionary and other places but I can't find anyone who gives a Hebrew spelling of the word maila,‎ meaning positive quality,‎ opposite of חסרון.‎ I'm guessing that ...
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0answers
74 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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0answers
110 views

Is there any evidence of a Jewish demon named Khoyzek?

The Yiddish term khoyzek refers a "mockery" of something else. According to Dov Sadan (cited here) this word derives from Khoyzek a demon in Jewish folklore. I looked high and low and could ...
1
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1answer
61 views

What are the sources that the soul possesses the knowledge of a language?

@AvrohomYitzchok asked me this question to support the assertions for another question: "why-dont-newborns-speak-outright. What are the sources that the knowledge of a language is a quality of ...
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1answer
221 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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1answer
78 views

Are there targums in other languages besides Aramaic?

There are various definitions of Targum. I'm interested in editions, translations, paraphrases, or retellings of the Tanakh in languages besides Aramaic which incorporate commentary and other ...
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1answer
119 views

inscription on Chagall's “White Crucifixion”? [closed]

What does the inscription on Chagall's painting White Crucifixion say? Isn't John 19:19 ("Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews") written ישוע הנצרי ומלך היהודים in Hebrew?
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1answer
496 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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0answers
91 views

Foreign language words similar to Hebrew words [closed]

I started compiling a list about a year ago of all of the times I noticed that an English word was very linguistically similar to a Hebrew word phonetically and semantically (i.e. in meaning). Many ...
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0answers
69 views

Is there a list of non-Hebrew words and names in the Torah?

Not all words in the Torah are in Hebrew. A famous example is Lavan calling the Gal-Ed "Yigar Sahadutah" which is the Aramaic version of Gal-Ed. Another example is what the gemara says about ...
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3answers
82 views

The panav of HaShem [duplicate]

Exodus 33:28 and 23: לֹא תוּכַל לִרְאֹת אֶת-פָּנָי:  כִּי לֹא-יִרְאַנִי הָאָדָם, וָחָי. וְרָאִיתָ, אֶת-אֲחֹרָי; וּפָנַי, לֹא יֵרָאוּ. Looking at these verses G-d clearly says that no one can see ...
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1answer
90 views

How does one say Pesach in a foreign language? [closed]

It is debatable whether Pesach means Passover, as it is called in English, or "hover over" like in Isaiah 31:5. I am wondering if other languages besides for English use the term Pesach (in their ...
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1answer
53 views

Tzitzit an appearance in visible form

Rabbi Hirsch seems to have written something like: “tzitzit; indeed it is called tzitzit from the Hebrew root meaning “to appear in physical form.” Which root is that? And what does this mean in ...
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2answers
273 views

What is the origin of the “divine name” of דיקרנוסא

I noticed this kabbalistic holy name "דיקרנוסא" mentioned in the Amidah of a Edot haMizrach siddur in the extra supplications, and apparently it is not allowed to be pronounced. It sounds like it is ...
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0answers
58 views

Overly broad definition of Chametz in sale contract

I was reviewing the language of a mechirat chametz contract I had been sent and noticed some unusual specific language defining the parameters of the sale: ...The term 'Chometz' shall refer to any ...
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0answers
46 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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2answers
157 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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0answers
34 views

May you live until one hundred and twenty [duplicate]

The phrase: May you live until one hundred and twenty (עד מאה ועשרים) is a famous one derived from different verses of the Tenach. But I would like to know if there is any deeper (gematrial) meaning ...
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1answer
53 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
61 views

Awesome or aweful - נורא

Looking at verses such as Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:21 and 10:17 those seem to talk about a awe-inspiring and awesome G-d. Yet the word נורא also means aweful or terrible or dreadful. So how should I ...
2
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2answers
289 views

To find favor in one’s eye?

What does the idiom: מצא חן בעיני (to find favor/grace in one’s eyes) express, what does it really mean and when is it used in the Tenach? I noticed it’s almost always connected to a request of some ...
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3answers
215 views

Were the Jews aware of their fate?

When Haman hatches his plot to kill the Jews, and get Achashverosh to sign on, a message is sent out to all people, (Esther 3:12) מְדִינָ֤ה וּמְדִינָה֙ כִּכְתָבָ֔הּ וְעַ֥ם וָעָ֖ם כִּלְשׁוֹנ֑וֹ In ...
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0answers
61 views

Why is a side of a Talmudic page called “amud”?

On some occasions, I have heard one side of a Talmudic page called tzad meaning "side". The more common term I have heard is amud meaning "pillar". Why is that term used, and when did this term first ...
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2answers
80 views

Old French in commentaries

Why are there references to "Old French" in some commentaries? I don't have any examples to show but if that is required I could research.
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1answer
101 views

How should Rashi's comment about Noah's belief be parsed?

Rashi in his commentary to Genesis 7:7 writes: אף נח מקטני אמנה היה מאמין ואינו מאמין שיבא המבול ולא נכנס לתיבה עד שדחקוהו המים I see (at least) two ways to read this: Noah believed in general (in ...
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2answers
925 views

What is “okinta”?

A friend of mine, a professional translator and interpreter, was stymied in her work by a word that some rabbis keep using when quoting Talmud, baraitot, Rambam, even Rav Kook. To her ear (she is a ...
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1answer
51 views

What does it mean that G-d calls names to things?

In the process of Creation G-d eventually calls names of different things: וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה ...׃ God called the light Day, and the darkness He called ...
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0answers
53 views

Question about the comma in Psalm 82:1

I've a short question about Psalm 82, verse 1. The hebrew reads: מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף אֱלֹהִים נִצָּב בַּעֲדַת־אֵל בְּקֶרֶב אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁפֹּט So how should one read these verse? 1. Is it that G-d will ...
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0answers
48 views

Where does HaShem stands and in which council?

Psalm 82 teaches that Elohim (אלהים) stands (נצב to position oneself) within the council/congregation (עדת-אל) of El, among/amidst (בקרב) elohiem (אלהים) He judge (ישפט). Someone told me to look at ...
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0answers
31 views

Does language change affect what hyssop is valid for the ḥatat ritual?

In Parah 11:7, we learn that hyssop that is called simply "hyssop" (אזוב) is valid for use in sprinkling mei ḥatat, but hyssop that has an accompanying name (such as "blue hyssop", etc.) is unfit. Is ...
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1answer
180 views

How is it “well-known” that Esav hates Ya'akov?

Rash"i in Breishit 33:4 cites Sifrei, by stating: הֲלָכָה הִיא בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁעֵשָׂו שׂוֹנֵא לְיַעֲקֹב It is a well-known halacha that Esav hates Ya'akov How is this "well-known"? Based on ...
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0answers
1k views

What is the true definition of the word Kadosh in Hebrew? [duplicate]

This question may be simple but I was curious if we have a true definition for it. People talk about living in a (Kadosh) or holy way. The word gets used a lot but I don't necessarily think I've ...
0
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1answer
115 views

Origin of the word dati (דָּתִי) [duplicate]

Is there any Talmudic sources that claim the origin of the Hebrew word “dati” (דָּתִי) comes from the Avestan word daena?
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1answer
686 views

Plural form of shabbat - is it ever shabbatim?

I am curious if the word shabbat שבת has ever taken the plural form of shabbatim? I had a dream about this word. In this dream, it was used in a spoken two word phrase with "shabbatim" being the ...
4
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2answers
105 views

'Alcoholic drinks' and 'reward' are both “שכר”

Alcoholic drinks (and drunkenness) and reward seem like rather disparate ideas! Is there a reason why they might imply one another and do any commentaries interchange between the two to bring some ...
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0answers
30 views

Does the verse וארשתיך… count as the language of Kiddushin?

Following the discussion about different formulations of non-Orthodox Ketubahs on this site. A couple wishes to find a milder non-Orthodox formulation of the Kiddushin. So they chose that the groom ...
3
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0answers
42 views

What's the basis for “דברה התורה כלשון בני”א" (Torah used common language)?

The Sages used the "דברה התורה כלשון בני אדם" excuse (acc. to the WIKI page) in two ways - in the Gemmorah to resolve [the problem of] repeating languages in the Torah (like עלה נעלה or פדה תפדה) and ...

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