Questions tagged [language]

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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
60 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 ...
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2answers
71 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
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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 ...
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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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1answer
88 views

For things that can be said in any language, how fully must you understand the language?

Sotah 7:1 gives a list of things that are said in any language, including the Sh'ma and the t'filah. Several commentaries I've seen explain that these texts are so important that you need to ...
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0answers
37 views

Megilat Ester linguistics - why inline translations?

M"E is full with "inline" translations or clarifications from Hebrew to Parsi and vice verse, for example: פור הוא הגורל הֲדַסָּה הִיא אֶסְתֵּר בחודש השנים עשר הוא חודש אדר This is pretty unusual I ...
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2answers
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What country is Tarsia / טרסי?

In Bavli Megilla 13b, we are told that Bigtan and Teresh were two טרסיים, translated by R. Steinsaltz as Tarsians. We are told that they spoke in the Tarsian language. In what modern country or ...
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1answer
155 views

How is כֹּרֵת בְּרִית interpreted as “make” instead of “cut”?

וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת בְּרִית נֶגֶד (Exodus 34:10) And Targum translates similarly: "וַאֲמַר הָא אֲנָא גְזַר קְיַם" Why כֹּרֵת relatively to the covenant end up being interpreted as "...
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Origin of the word “pushka” [closed]

European Jews tend to use the word “pushka” for ‘charity box’. What is the origin of the word? As far as I can tell, Slavic languages use somewhat similar sounding words for ‘container’. In ...
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How did Adam got his intellect?

The tradition says that Adam was created grown up and extremely intelligent. We know that his body was formed from the earth and his soul was blown into the body and then he became a living (talking) ...
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2answers
79 views

Why is the colour כחול ('blue') not mentioned in Tanach?

The colour כחול is not mentioned in Tanach. Given it's wide usage in later hebrew texts, why does it never feature in Tanach? Do any sources pick up on this? (There is a different debate about what ...
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1answer
113 views

Would Emoji halachically be considered a language?

While admittedly close to Purim, this is NOT a Purim Torah. 😂 Pretty much all of us know about emojis, as they're virtually everywhere nowadays. Emojis are increasingly being used as proof in court- ...
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62 views

Common language and the language of the Scripture used in 1st century BCE?

I read from the internet where most articles say: A. The common language used by the Jews around 1st century BCE to (at least) the beginning of 1st century CE was Greek and the Scripture they use is ...
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1answer
45 views

Why list קונם and קונס explicitly in Kol Nidrei but not other Kinuyim?

Nedarim 1:2 lists several kinnuyim, alternate expressions you can use for making a neder. In the Ashkenazi version of Kol Nidrei that I'm familiar with as well as the Nusach Sefarad one I found on ...
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1answer
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Is there no word for objects/'things' in Hebrew aside from referring to things as 'words'?

I read the following passage and wonder about the first couple of sentences, which are pretty practical and I wonder if they're 'empirically' true. In common Hebrew language, how are 'things' referred ...
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2answers
68 views

Does Judaism have a concept of “positive speech”?

Inspired by this question I am curious to know if Judaism has a concept of positive speech, i.e., turning a negative statement into a positive one. The original example given above is, using a car ...
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2answers
98 views

Torah Study in English

Will one receive the reward of Learning Torah if they read the Tanach, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, etc. in English if English is their mother tongue? Please cite sources.
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1answer
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make atonement - אכפרה

Shemot 32:30 teaches us that Moshe said to the people: “You have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up unto the Lord, peradventure I shall make atonement for you.” Bereshit 32:20 Likewise teaches ...
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68 views

What does “Esav soneh l'Ya'akov” means?

There is this famous statement (B"R 78:9): Esav Soneh l'Ya'akov. Although the Tenach states Esav bore a grudge (Genesis 27:41) in his heart, and showed great animosity in wanting to kill Ya'akov, ...
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2answers
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Is anyone aware of a good Dictionary/Lexicon style book to help expand a person's Hebrew/Yeshivish vocabulary?

I was curious if a good book existed which broke down common phrases or words related to religious practice and observance. Say a dictionary but it defines common phrases in observance. Example: Mi ...
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1answer
106 views

Do we have a religious obligation to “unify” the Hebrew dialects?

Let me start by saying that this question is not a criticism of any one community or their dialect. I'm asking this question from the mindset of there being possible religious obligations to use the ...
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68 views

Distinction between Samekh and Sin in the Yemenite tradition [closed]

As far as I know, in the Yemenite tradition there is a distinct sound for all consonants for the exception of Samakh and Sin. In the Wikipedia, it says that both sin and samakh are pronounced ...
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1answer
57 views

Why do people respond “Gam L'mar”?

During this past Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur, whenever I wished someone Shanah Tovah or (G'mar) Chatimah Tovah s/he responded Gam L'mar. I don't recall having heard that before this year. Doesn't ...
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0answers
34 views

מלא יד - full hand, meaning?

I've a question about the combination of words מלא יד as shown in verses like Shemot 29:35, 32:29, Vayikra 8:33, Bamidbar 3:3, 1 Divrei HaYamim 29:5, 2 Divrei HaYamim 6:4, 6:15, 13:9, 29:31 etc... ...
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2answers
80 views

Words for ‘a teaching’; d’var Torah, shiur, drash etc

Could someone explain me the differences or nuances between a shiur, d’var Torah, drash (and drashah) as they all seem to refer to ‘a teaching’. P.s. is there something in their roots which defines ...
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1answer
398 views

best Hebrew-English Tanakh in printed form, interlinear if possible?

I've been using the Artscroll Interlinear series to read the Torah and it's helping me make a lot of progress in finally learning Tanakh Hebrew. But outside of the five scrolls and the psalms, ...
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2answers
59 views

ענה how to define

I would like to know how to define the root word ענה, what actual meanings are given to this root and what is the common denomitor? [I’ve found this root in different verses, so I don’t want to ...
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1answer
90 views

Explain the Use of “Zachur Latov”

Frequently, when we refer to Eliyahu (Elijah the prophet), the term זכור לטוב ("Remembered for good things") is used. I vaguely recall seeing the Talmud use this term for someone else, but I don't ...
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54 views

Source for galuta d'galuta גלותא דגלותא?

I so clearly remember from my days of Talmud study the phrase גלותא דגלותא, meaning a place that was REALLY far away, seriously in exile, "deep diaspora", totally removed from eretz yisrael. Maybe it ...
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2answers
122 views

You shall not have any other gods

In Exodus 20:3 the words lo yihyeh ( לֹא יִהְיֶה־לְךָ) are often translated as: 'you shall not have'. The base word is היה (hayah) meaning "to exist." Which reminded me of the Adon Olam phrase: 'V'hu ...
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1answer
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Why does Hillel's teachings change to Aramaic in Ethics of the Fathers?

In Ethics of the Fathers chapter 1 (Mishna 11-13) three sayings are said in Hillel's name. Two are in Hebrew while one (Mishna 12) is in Aramaic. The rest of the chapter is all in Hebrew. Why the ...
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0answers
65 views

Rashi, Tosfot - Dialects

Is there a name for the dialect of Hebrew/Aramaic that Rashi and Tosfot use? Have there been any articles and/or books published on how to systematically approach Rashi and the Baalei Tosfot's ...
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1answer
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Bil’am cursing terminology - א.ר.ר, ק.ב.ב and ק.ל.ל

Within the story of Balak and Bil’am I noticed a shift in words for curse and cursing. In Numbers 22:6 Balak asks Bil’am to curse him the Israelites ארה-לי, of which the root seems to be ארר. Numbers ...
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1answer
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הם (heym) vs. המה (heyma)

Why does the Torah use the word המה - HEYMA - in these 19 psukim (20 times) instead of the more common and simple form הם - HEYM ? בראשית ו ד בראשית ז יד בראשית מב לה בראשית מד ג שמות יט יג שמות ...
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Unknown La'az in Teshuvot Rashi

In the Elfenbein (1943) edition of Teshuvot Rashi, in the teshuvot from Rashi to the rabbis of Auxerre ('סימן ג), Rashi writes "לשון דמות צלם" is "אאמיינדליי" in la'az. Elfenbein writes in his ...
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1answer
85 views

הָהֵ֔ם and הָאֵ֑לֶּה difference

I am an English speaking non-Jew but am studying the Hebrew Scriptures and need help in Hebrew language for my studies. It is quite a simple question but it will help me very much. What is the ...
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1answer
89 views

Hebrew word “return” in Zechariah

Forgive me, I don't know any Hebrew, nor am I technical enough to write the actual Hebrew letters in this post. In Zechariah 1:16 and 8:3 God says (as translated in English) "I am returned to ...
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3answers
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Chanting Haftarah in English

Must/should the Haftarah be chanted in Hebrew? Can it be chanted in another language such as English in English-speaking countries, Spanish in Spanish-speaking countries, etc.?
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2answers
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What is the difference between the roots א-מ-ן and ב-ט-ח? Between Emunah and Bitachon?

Both of the א-מ-ן and ב-ט-ח roots are used to imply some level of trust in G-d; i.e., faith in Him. Bereshit 15:6 opens: "And he believed (aman) in the LORD" 2 Melachim 18:5: "He trusted (...
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What is the most effective way to translate non-Hebrew translations found in Rabbinic literature?

Non-Hebrew translations are often included by our Sages when attempting to clarify words or concepts. There are myriad examples in RaSh"I (Shemot 5:7) and Hizquni (Wayiqra 11:16). For relatively ...
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1answer
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Russian original of Baad Kodesh?

I would like to find the Russian original of one of the presumably very few chasidic works written in that language. The work in question is בד קדש, addressed by the Miteler Rebbe, Rav Dovber of ...
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1answer
296 views

Why is twilight called “Bein Hashmashot”?

Inspired by this question, I'm curious why halachic literature calls twilight בין השמשות, which means, literally, "between the two suns"? The sun has set, and there is just one sun, anyway. What do ...
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1answer
429 views

Is the letter Aleph (א) also a word that means “to teach, inculcate”?

This Aish article about the meaning of the word "Adam" states the following: The letter aleph is also a word which means to teach or inculcate. It similarly indicates leadership, as implied by ...
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1answer
98 views

“Ben Ha'arbayim” vs. “Ben Hashmashot”

There seem to be two terms used to mean "twilight". The Torah uses the term בן הערבים as in the time for the Mincha and Pesach offerings. Talmudic literature uses the term בן השמשות I know that ...
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23 views

How did the word Shiur acquire its meaning of lesson? [duplicate]

I found out that the word שִׁעוּר/שיעור means measure or amount, and from here it derives it's meaning of rate, frequency and occurance. But how come this word also carries the meaning of lesson/...
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1answer
40 views

Explain assignment of “joy” terms in Shalosh Regalim Amidah

In the opening paragraph of the Shalosh Regalim Amidah's middle section the phrasing is: ... מועדים לשמחה, חגים וזמנים לששון This M.Y. answer explains the difference in meaning between שמחה and ...
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0answers
61 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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Different roots applied to the same verse of 2 Samuel 11:24

2 Samuel 11:24 (Westminster Leningrad Codex) reads: [וַיֹּרְאוּ כ] (וַיֹּר֨וּ ק) [הַמֹּורְאִים כ] (הַמֹּורִ֤ים ק) Two of these come from the root (ק) ירה while the other two come from the root (...
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80 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. ...