Questions tagged [words]

Questions about the definitions, meaning and use of words specific to Judaism or words that carry unique meaning in Jewish law.

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20 views

What means the term “sopheric” (“sopherisch” - this question cites a short german sentence)

Reading Heinrich Graetz's 1871 study on "Kohelet" again I run on the term "sopherisch", even in connection with "postexilic-sopheric". Never heard this word before; ...
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3answers
133 views

Why does the Torah say a woman has “sperm” or “seed”?

Why does the Torah say a woman has "sperm" or "seed" (for example, Genesis 24:60, and in other passages)? And they blessed Rebecca and said to her, "Our sister, may you ...
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1answer
54 views

What is תַרְדֵּמַת מַרְמִיטָה?

Following on from my answer here What is the third type of תרדמה - i.e. "תַרְדֵּמַת מַרְמִיטָה", that the Midrash in Bereishis Rabbah 17:5 is explaining: רַב אָמַר שָׁלשׁ תַּרְדֵמוֹת הֵן, ...
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Help me find the verse that says all good praises / words belongs to Hashem

I was reading comments on a thread two weeks ago and I came across a verse that says all good praises / words only belongs to Hashem. I can't remember where I save the text, please help me find this ...
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1answer
34 views

While Torah means instructions, does this explain it equaling commands? [closed]

How do Jewish scholars view the conclusion some make from the Hittite Instructions in The Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd ed. with Supplement, p. i). Pritchard, J. B. (...
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What is ‘kedusha desidra’?

I sometimes see the kedusha of uva letzion referred to as kedusha desidra (e.g. in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 132:2). What is the origin of this phrase? What does it mean?
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182 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
41 views

Why was Sodom & Gomorrah considered to have sinned ( Khet) instead of (Avon or Pasha)?

From Parashah Lech Lekha we see that Sodom people were mentioned as wicked and sinners against the Lord Gen 13-[13] & In parashat Vayera we are again told they were sinners. Gen 18 [20] If sin (...
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1answer
50 views

Is Rosh Hashana a remembrance or a day of remembrance?

In the musaf for Rosh Hashana there are two options for marking the day. The Artscroll Machzor reads as follows: ותתן לנו ה אלקינו באהבה את יום [השבת הזה ואת יום] הזכרון הזה [on a weekday - יום / on ...
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1answer
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What is the definition of a city עיר regarding sieges?

Sifrei Devarim 203. כי תצור אל עיר. במלחמת הרשות הכתוב מדבר. (Devarim 20:19) "If you besiege a city many days": Scripture here speaks of an optional war. I אל עיר. ולא לכרך. "a city&...
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30 views

Do we know what Avodah means?

Parallel to this. The root ayin-vet-dalet seems to have three separate uses according to the Even Shoshan: as a noun, eved means A) a person who is owned by another or who is forced to work for ...
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1answer
128 views

What is the difference between an avnet and an aizur

I have seen the question on Mi Yodeya titled Wearing a gartel The Shulchan Aruch 91:2 writes even though you are wearing an 'avnet' you should still wear an 'aizur' to daven. One wonders, what is the ...
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53 views

How to safely write a name of G-d in Hebrew?

I noticed that in English it is preferred by some to say G-d. What is the preferred way to write the/a name of G-d in Hebrew? For example, if you were to title a paper "G-d", how would you ...
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1answer
85 views

Why do we change the order?

In the brochos before the Shema we have the in הַמֵּאִיר לָאָרֶץ the phrase וּבְטוּבו מְחַדֵּשׁ בְּכָל יום תָּמִיד מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית with the word וּבְטוּבו the first word in that phrase. We then ...
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Why are some commandments relayed via “Tzav” but not others?

In the chumash, there are approximately 10 places where a law is given to the Children of Israel and is preceded by Hashem's telling Moshe to command (tzav) the people, or certain people. An example ...
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159 views

What is the connection or relationship between the two vocalizations of ערב?

What is the connection between the two vocalizations of ערב? This word ערב in Exodus 12:38 is latinized as "eirev" or "erev" or "eruv" and is the exact same Hebrew ...
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1answer
74 views

What does Chaplaincy mean [closed]

I found that abroad (out of Israel) there is an intense usage of the word Chaplaincy. Does it mean Rabbanut in Hebrew? Are there Rabbis that call themselves Chaplaincy? Does this word come from ...
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1answer
46 views

Why is it not called a דבר שאינו מדעת?

Why is it called a דבר שאינו מתכיון. Since twice in Gemara Shabbos Rashi understanding and explaining to us what forgetting is when one leaves a rock on top of a barrel says this first on Shabbos 125b ...
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2answers
125 views

What are nitzotzos?

I've begun learning the sefer Kedushas Levi and I keep coming across the concept of nitzotzos. I don't have much of a background in Hasidism, so I don't quite understand what it is. As far as I can ...
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66 views

What is Shabbat Treat and what is its Hebrew equivalent? [closed]

I found Jewish people use the phrase "Shabbat Treat". What does it mean and what is the origin of this phrase. Does it have any connection to Torte cake? What is the Hebrew word/s equivalent ...
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114 views

What is the correct translation of Exodus 6:3?

According to BHS, Exodus 6:3 reads: וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב בְּאֵ֣ל שַׁדָּ֑י וּשְׁמִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖עְתִּי לָהֶֽם׃ This all almost universally translated as ...
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Why do the last words in psalms 119:11 seem superfluous?

Psalms 119:11 in the Koren Jerusalem Tanakh appears (in English) to say: "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee". ‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎I was ...
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101 views

Why is Shabbos called shabbos bereishis?

I have found in multiple sources that Rishonim refer to Shabbos as shabbos bereishis, and it is clear from context that they are referring to the weekly Shabbos as opposed to Shabbos of Creation. For ...
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75 views

מורה vs. הורה - Implication in difference of the word

It seems that the hebrew words for Teacher and Parent are the same root which means to teach. I am looking for what the מ (מורה) and (הורה) ה do to the words that help define their roles. Update: (...
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Do the words “Shema” and “Shem” come from the same root? And, if so, does this have significance in Jewish thought? [closed]

I surprisingly wasn't able to answer this through web searching. I'm just curious if the multiple meanings of "shema" (hear, listen, obey), have implications for how people's names were thought of.
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What are the rabbinic (hebrew) words that could equate to “Anti-Torah”?

What are the rabbinic (hebrew) words that could equate to "Anti-Torah"? I am hoping there is only one. In English, I would say the word "Anti-Torah" equates to "lawless" or "lawlessness". When I ...
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0answers
143 views

Is ‘kol tuv’ a religious phrase?

I often hear religious people saying the phrase ‘Kol tuv’ - May everything be good by you. Is there any history behind the wide usage in religious communities, other than it being said in Hebrew?
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1answer
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h-r-g vs r-tz-ch in Tehillim 94

As an extension of this question, I guess. Tehillim 94 discusses the vengeance asked of Hashem to repay the evil done to the downtrodden. It asks "until When, Hashem, will you put up with this&...
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123 views

Does ehad mean “one” or “first” when used together with “rishon”?

How should ehad be translated in this phrase and why? וְשַׂ֣ר׀ מַלְכ֣וּת פָּרַ֗ס עֹמֵ֤ד לְנֶגְדִּי֙ עֶשְׂרִ֣ים וְאֶחָ֣ד י֔וֹם וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִֽיכָאֵ֗ל אַחַ֛ד הַשָּׂרִ֥ים הָרִאשֹׁנִ֖ים בָּ֣א לְעָזְרֵ֑נִי ...
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Is there a specific “Shaliach”? [duplicate]

In the haggadah, when the text comments on various verses, it discusses Hashem's taking the people out of Egypt, and explains that it was done לֹא עַל־יְדֵי מַלְאָךְ, וְלֹא עַל־יְדֵי שָׂרָף, וְלֹא ...
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116 views

What is the definition of a Kuntres?

A kuntres is, generally speaking, known to be a pamphlet or a booklet in the spirit and style of traditional ethical Torah teachings. But how is this different to a small sefer? How many pages it ...
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2answers
107 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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How was a covenant a Chok?

Divrei Hayamim 1, 16 quotes tehillim 105 (or vice versa) which reads זָכַ֣ר לְעוֹלָ֣ם בְּרִית֑וֹ דָּבָ֥ר צִ֝וָּ֗ה לְאֶ֣לֶף דּֽוֹר׃ He is ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a ...
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559 views

Why is sleep spelled with an aleph in Tehillim 127?

In Tehillim 127:2, the author spells the word for sleep as שנא: Source: Wikisource I found this unusual, as the word is usually spelled שנה in Tanach (Tehillim 90:5, Mishlei 6:4, and Mishlei 20:13). ...
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G-ds name online [duplicate]

On a google doc during an assignment with friends who do not understand the intricacies of Judaism, someone wrote g-d's names pronunciation, I did not realize what I was doing and deleted it, was this ...
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1answer
73 views

Is there a distinction between משתה and משתה יין?

Throughout the Megillah, the term משתה is consistently used to refer to feasts (ex. 1:3,5,9; 2:18). Rashi on Esther 5:4 writes: אֶל הַמִּשְׁתֶּה. כָּל סְעוּדָה נִקְרֵאת עַל שֵׁם הַיַּיִן שֶׁהוּא ...
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לך לשלום vs לך עם שלום vs לך בשלום

On page Berachos 33a1 the story of the Pious man praying on the road & the General, towards the end of the story it is stated that the "General was appeased and the Pious man departed to his home "...
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50 views

What is the meaning of Psalms 118:5?

מִן־הַ֖מֵּצַֽר קָרָ֣אתִי יָּ֑הּ עָ֜נָ֗נִי בַּמֶּרְחָ֣ב יָֽהּ From the straits I called God; God answered me with a vast expanse. I put הַ֖מֵּצַֽר into a contemporary Hebrew dictionary and it does ...
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4answers
197 views

Why do we need to daven out loud if G-D can hear our thoughts?

We know that G-D is all knowing, and all powerful. Therefore, when we pray, why does it have to be out loud? There are some brachos that you are not even יוצא if you say it quietly! Then why do we ...
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89 views

What is the correct pronunciation? 'Mesirut nefesh' or 'mesirat nefesh'? [closed]

Which is correct? Mesirut nefesh or mesirat nefesh? I have always used mesirut, but see mesirat also.
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1answer
126 views

Why do most Siddurs vowelize Gd’s name?

I’m noticing that in most siddurs, while you’re not meant to pronounce Gd’s name as it’s written, they vowelize the letters as if it’s meant to be said. Is this for kavannah? Why would we need vowels ...
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1answer
82 views

Difference between רבון and אדון

In the Beracha of Elohai, we refer to God using a number of different descriptives. Towards the end, we give thanks to God as: רִבּוֹן כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים, אֲדוֹן כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת. What are some ...
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2answers
122 views

The word Yamakah [closed]

I’ve looked all over the internet for the origin of the word Yamaka. I guess you could also spell it yamakah. I’m so confused because I grew up using it and people I speak with still use it. However, ...
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636 views

Who is rich in matters of courtship?

The Mishna says: If a man says to a woman, "Marry me. I am rich.", and she agrees, but it turns out he is poor, the betrothal is not valid. If a man says to a woman, "Marry me, even though I am poor."...
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0answers
64 views

Connection between Terafim and Therapy?

During a hesped for Rav Belsky z"tl, Rav Yisroel Reisman mentions Rav Belsky's ability to connect common words with their Torah source, alluding to "terafim" of Lavan being connected with "therapy". ...
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1answer
51 views

Jeremiah 23:33 - “burden”?

I have difficulties to understand the German term "Last" or "Lastwort" in the common Christian German translations of Jeremiah chap 23, verse 33 (corresponding to "burden" in English versions). Thanks ...
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1answer
107 views

Deep Sleep Genesis 15:12

I would like to know if the "deep sleep" of Abraham (Genesis 15:12) is literally a "sleep", or a state of "trance" as The Midrash of Philo says (15:12). What does the ...
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1answer
110 views

Use of “please” in Torah

How many times is the word "please" used in the Torah? In the Akeida Hashem asks Abraham to "Please take your son" Are there any other places in the Torah where Hashem uses the word "please"?
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64 views

Bphi Kol Chai not Bphe

In SA Orach Chaim 187:1 in Mishnah Brurah Sif Beis, he writes that the phrase in Birchas Hamazon should be 'Bphi' kol chai and not 'Bphe'. Anyone have an idea why?
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41 views

Torah confusion between “daylight” and “a day”

The Torah uses the same word יום in the same verse to denote both "daylight" and "24 hours": וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד׃ ...

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