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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56 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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124 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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66 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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39 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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104 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 ...
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234 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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74 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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126 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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53 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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133 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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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 ...
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95 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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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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81 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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54 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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110 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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77 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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78 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 ...
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54 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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110 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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103 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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66 views

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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45 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
131 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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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 ...
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1answer
135 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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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?
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116 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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105 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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61 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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69 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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203 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
59 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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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. (...
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76 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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212 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
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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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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59 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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36 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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131 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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67 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
87 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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27 views

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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174 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
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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