Questions tagged [language]

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10
votes
1answer
587 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
10
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2answers
155 views

Counting Sefirah in a made up language

Can one fulfill the mitzvah of counting the Omer by counting in a language that only he/she understands? What if a few people understand? An entire goup?
8
votes
1answer
153 views

Why doesn't the Torah use more efficient ways to say “both” or “each” when describing the Mishkan utensils?

In Parshas Terumah, in the description of many of the utensils of the Temple, the Torah seems to be very repetitive in its description of parts that are meant to be the same. For example, chapter 25 ...
7
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1answer
332 views

Would a Greek sefer torah be read from in Greek?

If a sefer Torah was written in Greek, would it have been publicly read from in the Greek translation only, or would they also use a Hebrew scroll?
6
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0answers
95 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
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0answers
368 views

What is a “royal language”?

In explaining the gemara (Avoda Zarah 10a) and Rashi, Tosfos write (sv שאין להם לא כתב ולא לשון): לכך פירש ר"י כתב לשון חשוב שהמלכים משתמשין בו כעין חכמת יונית....לשון מלכות קאמר‏ .......
5
votes
0answers
882 views

Saying “Elokim” when not referring to Hashem

People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "...
4
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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 ...
4
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0answers
335 views

Must all parts of Hatarat Nedarim be said in a language which we understand, or only some parts?

Introduction Before Rosh Hashanah, it's customary to do the "annulment of vows" ceremony. There are good reasons for this ceremony. Though the ArtScroll Siddur commentary warns: Annulment is ...
4
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0answers
82 views

Is it forbidden to learn Hebrew/Aramaic during Tisha B Av?

Hebrew and Aramaic are languages of Jewish sefarim (religious books) and it is forbidden to learn/read sefarim during Tisha B Av because it gives joy to man to do so. Is it then likewise forbidden to ...
3
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0answers
28 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 ...
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 ...
3
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0answers
96 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. ...
3
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0answers
55 views

Shamor and Zachor beyond Shabbat

Much is written about the relationship of Shamor and Zachor in relation to Shabbat but Shamor and Zachor are also used for Pesach (at least the first day) - Shmot 13:3 Moses said to the people, "...
3
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0answers
101 views

What is Ashdudis?

This Artscroll sidur mentions "Ashdudis" in its introduction. This language being spoken by a portion of the Jewish population at the time of Ezra is apparently attested by Nechemya 13:24, although ...
2
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0answers
44 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
2
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0answers
43 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 ...
2
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0answers
43 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 ...
2
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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 ...
2
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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... ...
2
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0answers
79 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?
2
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0answers
102 views

Moadim a time to witness?

The word Moadim (מועדים), Moadei (מועדי) or singular Mo'ed (מועד) is most often translated as a appointed (fixed) time (or season). From the visual look of it these words seem to have a connection ...
2
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0answers
95 views

“Bli neder” and shevuot

As far as I understand from the discussion here, a "neder" is a vow forbidding or consecrating objects, whereas a "shevua" governs personal actions. For example, one would make a neder to declare wine ...
2
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0answers
186 views

Hebrew being Lashon HaKodesh, is the inclusion and exclusion of certain phonemes and sounds in the language significant?

For instance, the English sounds of "J", "W","Th", and "Ch" are for the most part unused in Hebrew. Although as an exception, I've seen a Yemenite Chazan use some of these sounds while reading the ...
1
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0answers
47 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
55 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 ...
1
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0answers
27 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 ...
1
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0answers
20 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) ...
1
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0answers
66 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 ...
1
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0answers
80 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 ...
1
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0answers
57 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 ...
1
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0answers
36 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 (...
1
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0answers
86 views

How come Torah does not have a distinctive word for “wife”?

[Edited] In Bereshit, Torah says the woman will be called Isha, that comes from Ish and is parallel to Ish. Later, Torah says Adam gave to אשתו a new name Chava. Now אשתו appears (out of nowhere) as "...
1
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0answers
43 views

כְּהַיּוֹם vs. כַּיּוֹם

Why does the word sometimes appear as כַּיּוֹם and sometimes as כְּהַיּוֹם? As a general grammatical rule, a heh with a patach gets subsumed into the preceding kaf, so why are these cases different? ...
1
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0answers
38 views

Would anyone know of good places in the NYC area which teach Biblical Hebrew?

I was not raised with any foundational Hebrew education. Most of the places that I've researched which teach Hebrew are all "Modern Hebrew" (spoken in Israel) courses and not Torah Hebrew (The ...
0
votes
2answers
93 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: ...
0
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0answers
59 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 ...
0
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0answers
28 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 ...
0
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0answers
170 views

Orah, Or and Torah

I found this on the Aish website: The accurate meaning of “Torah” is twofold. Firstly it comes from the word “הוֹרָה,” which means teaching. More precisely it means “teaching with direction,” i.e. ...
0
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0answers
95 views

אלי and עלי what's the difference?

Could someone explain the difference between (2 Samuel 15:4 for example) עלי and אלי (Ezra 9:4 for example)? what's the difference They both refer to 'my' or 'me' because of the yod suffix right? ...
0
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0answers
41 views

To form, different roots

Are the roots צור (to form, shape, fashion) יצר (to create) and צר (to shape, form, model) related or do they just share similar meanings? Are there any commentaries, scriptures, that connect these ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Why does the gemara sometimes use a mashal to explain a statement?

Sometimes the gemara (or a braysa) will say something and then give a mashal (parable) to explain the true intent of what was previously said. Why does the gemara do this? Why not simply make the ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

what does the hebrew word chavivus - חביבות - mean

The Gemoro mentions the concept of chavivus - חביבות - in numerous places. what would be the most acurate english translation / explanation of chavivus?
-2
votes
1answer
109 views

How do the Rabbis rationalize Hebrew as being a divine language given from Hashem when we also believe Aramaic to be a sister language?

This is one of those issues that has always bugged me. Hebrew and Aramaic are both languages found within the Torah/Tanakh. If Hebrew is a divine language and given to us from Hashem as his word, why ...