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Questions tagged [language]

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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 ...
2
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2answers
32 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
151 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 "...
4
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
1
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0answers
16 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) ...
2
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2answers
75 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
109 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- ...
1
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0answers
59 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 ...
4
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0answers
27 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 ...
-2
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1answer
44 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 ...
2
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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 ...
6
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2answers
94 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.
1
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1answer
52 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 ...
3
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0answers
59 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, ...
1
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2answers
67 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 ...
1
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1answer
103 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 ...
1
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0answers
59 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 ...
2
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1answer
53 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 ...
2
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0answers
28 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... ...
2
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2answers
70 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
votes
1answer
300 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, ...
0
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2answers
57 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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 ...
4
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0answers
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
0
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0answers
29 views

The fourth generation Numbers 23:10

Numbers/Bamidbar 23:10 reads: et roba Yisrael - אֶת־רֹבַע יִשְׂרָאֵל I noticed roba is connected with ribea רִבֵּעַ meaning great-grandson, but refers to the fourth generation. The previous words ...
1
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0answers
58 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
votes
1answer
67 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
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
6
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0answers
86 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
83 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 ...
9
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3answers
133 views

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.?
4
votes
2answers
67 views

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 (...
1
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0answers
55 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
425 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
74 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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0answers
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/...
1
vote
1answer
38 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 ...
2
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0answers
59 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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0answers
30 views

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 (...
3
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0answers
75 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. ...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

What is the source for saying tizku l'mitzvot? [duplicate]

It seems common these days to get the response "tizku l'mitzvot" for doing a mitzvah, usually a chesed for someone. Where did this response originate from and has anyone seen a discussion or source to ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Difference in suffix regards the word Shabat

Looking at the words שבת שבתון (ex. Vayikra 23:24) and שבתות (ex. Vayikra 23:15) and there root שבת what do endings ון- and ות- indicate here? What do these suffixes mean/indicate? P.s. Are there ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Differences and similarities between פרס and פרש

I wondered what the differences and similarities of the roots פרס and פרש are? I noticed that both roots are used in Jeremiah 16:7 and Lamentations 4:4 for the 'deviding or sharing' of bread. Any ...
9
votes
3answers
183 views

What does בי in בירבי mean?

The word בירבי "the son of Rabbi..." appears many times in the acrostics of piyyutim (e.g. El'azar the Kalir signs his name אלעזר בירבי קליר, e.g. in the יוצר beginning אומן בשמעו). (I have seen it ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

'עם' & 'את' based words in the story of Lot and Avram

I don't know the exact sources but I remembered some commentaries from the Malbim and Vilna Gaon which point out a difference between 'את'-based words and 'עם'-based words (both translated to mean '...