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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76 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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47 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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107 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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49 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 ...
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106 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 ...
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93 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 ...
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Is it halachically problematic to call something “Karma”? [closed]

Is the idea behind karma avodah zarah amd therefore prohibited to be used?
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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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127 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
122 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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35 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?
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109 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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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 ...
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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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58 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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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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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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58 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
37 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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199 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
59 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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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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45 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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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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130 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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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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86 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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168 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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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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48 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
130 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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68 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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1answer
139 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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106 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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76 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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1answer
96 views

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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224 views

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
188 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
55 views

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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127 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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16 views

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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189 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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