Questions tagged [language]

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0answers
27 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
47 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
55 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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1answer
49 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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0answers
55 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
68 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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0answers
63 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 (...
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2answers
708 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
35 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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39 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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40 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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26 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
143 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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86 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 ...
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1answer
64 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
211 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
74 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
26 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 ...
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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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1answer
95 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
38 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
80 views

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
159 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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1answer
263 views

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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19 views

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
104 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 ...
7
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1answer
130 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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0answers
65 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
62 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
51 views

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
72 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
103 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
57 views

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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3answers
247 views

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

There is this famous statement (B"R 78:9): "Esav Soneh l'Ya'akov." Although the Torah tells us that Esav bore a grudge (Genesis 27:41) in his heart and showed great animosity in wanting to kill Ya'...
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2answers
89 views

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
112 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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0answers
105 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
87 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
38 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
126 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 ...
2
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1answer
729 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
81 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 ...
2
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2answers
137 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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0answers
59 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 ...
3
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2answers
171 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
109 views

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
76 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 ...
2
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1answer
72 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
77 views

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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0answers
93 views

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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