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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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54 views

What does the word s'chach סכך have to do with anointing or pouring?

What does the word s'chach סכך (the roof of a sukkah or succah) have to do with anointing or pouring? The word s'chach סכך appears to come from the verb to anoint or to pour, as in the following ...
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1answer
192 views

What do the words בֶּאֱמֶת אָמְרוּ teach us in the Mishna?

Mishna Shabbat 1:3: לֹא יֵצֵא הַחַיָּט בְּמַחְטוֹ סָמוּךְ לַחֲשֵׁכָה, שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁכַּח וְיֵצֵא. וְלֹא הַלַּבְלָר בְּקֻלְמוֹסוֹ. וְלֹא יְפַלֶּה אֶת כֵּלָיו, וְלֹא יִקְרָא לְאוֹר הַנֵּר. בֶּאֱמֶת ...
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1answer
53 views

Why idolaters are called "own brothers" and "own fellow Jews"?

I was taught that all positive interpersonal Mitzvos are phrased in the Torah with "אחיך" or "רעך" (brother of fellow Jew) to signify that they only apply to Kosher pious Jews, for ...
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86 views

The origin of the word Teffilin

We know that the word תפילין appears nowhere in the Tanach. On the other hand, the only meaning of "תפילה" in Tanach is "a prayer" (see Sefaria search תפילה"). Seemingly, ...
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34 views

The difference between "hu" and "zeh"

In Yeshayahu, 42:8, the text reads אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה ה֣וּא שְׁמִ֑י This is translated in most English version I can find as "I am God, THAT is my name." The targum doesn't translate it at ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Why does "mene" appear twice in Daniel 5?

In the famous phrase from Belshatzar's feast in Daniel 5, "mene mene tekal u'farsin", the word "mene" is explained by Daniel to refer to Hashem having numbered Belshatzar's days as ...
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1answer
123 views

Which Perek in mishnayos has the fewest words?

I'm looking for perokim of mishnayos that have the fewest words. (I've been able to find, via this helpful forum!, which perokim have the fewest mishnayos, but I'm looking for the perokim with the ...
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1answer
408 views

Question about Shmuel 1:11:11 and Tehillim 83:8

From what I can tell, whenever the word "Amon" - "עמון" appears in Tanach (not עמוני/ת, etc), it's always preceded by the word "bnei" - "בני", except for two ...
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66 views

What is "going" in terms of head covering?

related: Kippa in Torah? The talmud in Kiddush 31a relates that רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע לא מסגי ארבע אמות בגילוי הראש "Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, would not walk four cubits with an uncovered ...
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2answers
142 views

Why וַעֲלָמ֖וֹת and not בְּתוּל֖וֹת to be used in Song of Solomon 6:8?

According to Heiser, Michael S. and many Christians, outside of Isaiah 7:14, the word almah occurs only six times in the Old Testament. In all but one of those occurrences, the context provides no ...
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0answers
68 views

Which species does or do בקר refer to in the Torah?

Are only cows and bulls included? Or perhaps other related species as well? Is this subject to disagreement? And does context make a difference?
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41 views

Why the change in phrase with the morning blessings?

In the morning blessings, there is a small but seemingly important variation in word usage across three blessings. In the blessing about the distinction between day and night, G-d is described by the ...
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3answers
114 views

What does 'כו stand for?

One of the most famous abbreviations in Jewish Hebrew texts is the word 'כו, meaning et cetera. However, I have heard and seen different forms of this abbreviation, and I want to know what does it ...
2
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3answers
236 views

What is the connection between the natural world and sinking? (טבע)

Do any commentators explain a connection between the shared root of the word "טבע" for sinking (as in Shemos 15:4 - טֻבְּעוּ בְיַם) and the natural world of טבע?
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1answer
84 views

What is the difference between simcha and oneg?

The Mishna Berura (529:16) notes there is a difference between "simcha" and "oneg" regarding Chol HaMoed and Yom Tov, but doesn't seem to elaborate. I always assumed they were ...
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2answers
129 views

Mitqaddešet mean "sexual intercourse"?

The term mitqaddešet mean "sexual intercourse"? Apart from the Bible, it seems to have this meaning in rabbinic literature. According to Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Sefer Nashim, Ishut 3,11 ...
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2answers
77 views

What is the difference between קדד, כרע, and שׁחה?

The DCH and BDB lexicons list these words as all meaning the same thing - "to bow down." Is there some finer nuance between these words?
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3answers
137 views

Can the word Cushi be used for non-blacks?

I came across an argument that the word Cushi can be used for both non-blacks and gentiles. They argued that Moses married a Cushi, yet Moses' wife, according to Rashi, was not actually black. ...
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3answers
132 views

Meaning of the word "Devash"

Sometimes, when Devash is mentioned in scriptural passages, Rashi observes that the Hebrew word is general and included many sweet fluids. For example, Leviticus 2:11 commands “For you shall not cause ...
3
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1answer
96 views

Yosef or Yose? Which is the correct name?

Why does Mishnah Chagigah 2 say "Yosef" in the translation, rather than "Yose"? Is this a mistake? For both Yose's, this word, "יוֹסֵי", is used. Why did the translator ...
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36 views

Shmot 24:3, why is there no preposition?

In Shmot 24:3 the second half of the pasuk reads, "וַיַּ֨עַן כָּל־הָעָ֜ם ק֤וֹל אֶחָד֙ וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֛ים אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְק֤וָ֖ק֤ נַֽעֲשֶֽׂה" "and all the people answered ...
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83 views

Evolution of the Term "Ger"

According to Plaut ("The Torah a Modern Commentary", Revised Edition, p. 530) the term "ger" has changed over time. Ger was the term applied to resident non-Israelites who could ...
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1answer
65 views

Original meaning of the word Segulah - סְגֻלָּה / and its current connotation

Shemos 19:5 - the verse reads ועתה אם שמוע תשמעו בקלי ושמרתם את בריתי והייתם לי סגלה מכל העמים כי לי כל הארץ. Targum translates Segula as beloved - חביבין Rashi translates Segula as a beloved treasure ...
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1answer
113 views

Why is גוי a preferred word than נוכרי to describe a non Jew?

It might be a cultural question rather than a religious one: but גוי is used to describe a nation (including the nation of Israel), גר is used to describe a Non Jew living is Israel and נכרי is used ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Asher Yatzar Text

I have a question on the Asher Yatzar text which is either really stupid or really smart. So the text goes וברא בו נקבים נקבים חלולים חלילים and we interpret Nekavim to mean holes of some sort, and ...
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0answers
79 views

Origin of the use of "G-d"

I'm wondering about the earliest uses of the abbreviation "G-d". Obviously, it's used as an extension to avoiding saying Hashem's name in vain, but was this practice common from the ...
4
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1answer
57 views

What does "Bechozek Yad Hotzianu" mean?

At the end of Parshas Bo, we see the concept of "BeChozek Yad Hotzianu" 4 times, twice in connection with mitzvas t'fillin. What does "Bechozek Yad Hotzianu" really mean and what ...
1
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1answer
113 views

Why is the word "youth" בְּחֽוּרֹתֶ֑יךָ in the plural?

Why is the word "youth" בְּחֽוּרֹתֶ֑יךָ in Kohelet 12:1 in the plural, when the first word, the first verb in the sentence, indicates that the speaker is speaking to one person? וּזְכֹר֙ ...
3
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1answer
105 views

Is there discussion of a connection between מצוין and צִּיּוֹן?

I haven't worked through all the etymological dictionaries yet so the connection might be obvious, (Jastrow and Klein don't seem to make it explicitly) but I am looking for discussion which connects ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Is it halachically problematic to call something "Karma"? [closed]

Is the idea behind karma avodah zarah amd therefore prohibited to be used?
0
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1answer
46 views

What is the term in Judaism for the "fence laws"? (rabbinical laws to guard against G-d's laws)?

What is the term in Judaism for the "fence laws"? (rabbinical laws to guard against G-d's laws)? For example the Muktzeh.. Distinguishing it from for example the 7 rabbinical mitzvot / ...
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1answer
136 views

Why are the words for "heavens" and "waters" so similar?

Genesis 1:9 mentions waters and heavens: "הַמַּ֜יִם מִתַּ֤חַת הַשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙". The words "mayim" (waters) and "shamayim" (heavens) are very similar. Is this a coincidence, ...
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0answers
25 views

Spelling of בארי in the Rambam

I noticed in several places in the text of the Rambam presented in Rav Nachum Rabinovitch's Yad Peshuta (e.g. in hilchoth nachaloth) that instead of the expected spelling/word "בריא" (a ...
2
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2answers
59 views

Anomalous root word frequency in Scripture

Is there a program available online that can detect statistically significant higher incidence of a specific root (שרש), and/or of a specific sequence of letters, in a specific portion of Tanach. For ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Similarity between atonement in Leviticus 4:20 & cover in Genesis 6:14 in terms of semantics, wording/phrasing, lettering/grammer, pronunciation?

I apologize but I do not know any Old Testament Hebrew so I'll have to rely on the responders to this post when it comes to analyzing the Old Testament Hebrew. Leviticus 4:20 (NASB 1995) 20 He shall ...
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0answers
36 views

What is the meaning of "יְיָ" [duplicate]

what is the meaning of "יְיָ" in "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם "?. Is it an actual word or is it something grammatical?
2
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1answer
123 views

The four letter name vs. Ado-nai

In hundreds of verses (such as Psalms 51:17 אֲ֭דֹ-נָי שְׂפָתַ֣י תִּפְתָּ֑ח וּ֝פִ֗י יַגִּ֥יד תְּהִלָּתֶֽךָ׃) God is named with the word Ado-nai seemingly referring to the same pronunciation and meaning ...
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0answers
50 views

Why is נַעֲרָ sometimes marked as a keri uketiv and sometimes not?

The word נַעֲרָה na'arah (girl, maiden, young lady) is almost uniformly spelled in the Torah in the form נַעֲרָ, without the concluding heh. However, it seem that it is marked as an instance of keri ...
1
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1answer
154 views

Which nations were the Cherethites and Pelethites?

Which nations were the Cherethites and Pelethites? Divrei Hayamim I - I Chronicles - Chapter 18:17 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and the sons of David ...
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1answer
62 views

What are these words on the back of a קלף? [duplicate]

I recently saw a piece of קלף that had these words on the back: Note: I'm talking about the words towards the bottom of the parchment, not Hashem's name. Notice how the words are written facing the ...
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2answers
76 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
208 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 ...
1
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1answer
61 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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2answers
57 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
38 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. (...
2
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0answers
81 views

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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1answer
233 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 ...
3
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1answer
61 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
53 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 ...
2
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1answer
70 views

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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