Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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

1
vote
1answer
39 views

Meaning and origin of names used for Jewish schools

I am familiar with the following "titles" used for different types of Jewish schools. My assumptions (correct me, please, if necessary.) Yeshiva - a "generic" term applying to all Jewish schools of ...
3
votes
0answers
19 views

What is meant by using the term “B'nei Brit” in “U'Chtov Lechayim”?

During the Ten Days of Repentance, we add a phrase in the 2nd to last blessing of Amidah: וכתוב לחיים טובים כל בני בריתיך "May all the children of your covenant be inscribed for good life." ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

Words for ‘a teaching’; d’var Torah, shiur, drash etc

Could someone explain me the differences or nuances between a shiur, d’var Torah, drash (and drashah) as they all seem to refer to ‘a teaching’. P.s. is there something in their roots which defines ...
-1
votes
0answers
41 views

Where can one encounter the first rabbinic mention of the term “high holy day(s)” (or “high holiday(s)”)?

Where can one encounter the first rabbinic mention of the term "high holy day(s)" (or "high holiday(s)") in English (or any language where the translation is likewise the same, "high holy day(s)", (...
1
vote
3answers
57 views

What is the difference between “nitzavim” and “omdim”?

The beginning of this week's parsha starts with the words אתם נצבים. Couldn't it have used the phrase אתם עומדים ? I understand that in this context, both words mean "stand". Why use the term נצבים. ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

How did the rabbis understand or connect the word קו in relation to the word “mikvah” מקוה?

How did the rabbis understand or connect the word קו (line) in relation to the word מקוה (pool)? (Did they consider the word within מקוה as קו?) An example of such use of קו is Isaiah 28:10b קַו ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Is there any rabbinical support for the word “צַו” as used in Isaiah 28:10 to mean “connection”?

Is there any rabbinical support for the word "צַו" as used in Isaiah 28:10 to mean "connection"? The usual translation that one reads for "צַו לָצָו" is "precept upon precept". Did any of the rabbis ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

ענה how to define

I would like to know how to define the root word ענה, what actual meanings are given to this root and what is the common denomitor? [I’ve found this root in different verses, so I don’t want to ...
3
votes
0answers
48 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Origin of the Phrase Nichsof Nichsafti

In Yedid Nefesh, some versions of the lyrics have the phrase "ki zeh kama nichsof nichsafti" (some have nichsof nichsaf) because it is so very long that I have yearned intensely כִּי זֶה ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What is the minimum number to comprise a band (גדוד)?

At the end of parsha 20 in Pesikta Rabbati, it refers to various bands (גדוד) of angels being shown to Moshe. Is there any minimum number as defined in Torah as to how many comprise a band?
1
vote
0answers
51 views

A list of doubled words

In the tanach, there are times when certain words are doubled (generally verbs but I'm open to other combinations) with one form of the word, followed by a second form which is in a future tense, I ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Hebrew phrase/term and pronunciation for “the Lord is my high ridge” from Psalm 18.2

I would really appreciate to know the original Hebrew phrase/term and its pronunciation for "the Lord is my high ridge" from Psalm 18.2
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Why doesn't our decrease of joy extend beyond Tish'a B'Av?

Citing from here There is a famous Mishnah that is cited towards the end of Masechet Ta’anit (4:6) that states: “Mishenichnas Av, Mema’atin Besimcha” “When the month of Av arrives, we ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Different spellings of 1st word in middle of Shabbat Musaph

This past Shabbat, someone in my shul showed me a difference in spelling of the first word in the middle prayer of Shabbat Musaph. Most Nusach Ashkenaz and Sephard spell it as תכנת שבת (Loose ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

Can the Midrash be included in “Talmud Yerushalmi”

When saying or writing "Talmud Yerushalmi" can this include (or refer to) the Midrash For example. In the Tanya (Chabad) chapter 37 it says ובכל תלמוד ירושלמי היא נקראת בשם מצוה סתם But it was ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

A Navi really wasn't called navi? [duplicate]

In Shmuel 1 9 9 we find the following: לְפָנִ֣ים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר הָאִישׁ֙ בְּלֶכְתּוֹ֙ לִדְר֣וֹשׁ אֱלֹהִ֔ים לְכ֥וּ וְנֵלְכָ֖ה עַד־הָרֹאֶ֑ה כִּ֤י לַנָּבִיא֙ הַיּ֔וֹם יִקָּרֵ֥א לְפָנִ֖ים ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

What is the meaning of Eth Eyd'yam אֶת-עֶדְיָם in Shmoth (Exodus) 33.6?

how would you translate Shmoth 33.6 אֶת-עֶדְיָם ayd is witness so I'm guessing the literal is "witnesses" in the plural - some translate it as "ornaments" others as "finery" and others as "crowns" but ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Question regarding the usage of two of G-d's names in Isaiah 55:7

Part of Yeshayahu 55:7 says: וישוב אל ה וירחמהו ואל אל-הינו כי ירבה לסלוח Loose translation - "He shall to return to Adonai and he will be merciful to him and to Eloheinu, for he is abundant to ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Trees and Rivers clapping palms - same or different meaning?

There are two references that I can think of (please edit in others) that refer to nature "clapping palms": Trees - mentioned in Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 55:12 Rivers - mentioned in Tehillim (Psalms) 98:8 ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

Why are non-Jews referred to as עובדי כוכבים in the גמרא?

When the גמרא refers to עובדי כוכבים, it is usually (eg. Artscroll) translated as "non-Jews". Is this supposed to exclude monotheistic non-idolatrous non-Jews or is it inaccurate translation? If ...
4
votes
2answers
223 views

What ancient prayer contains the term “Osem” (אֹסֶם)?

This site claims that Osem (אֹסֶם) is a term taken from an ancient Jewish prayer. What prayer would that be? Anectodote: I had assumed it was a Hebrew transcription of the English word awesome due to ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

What does “chotim” mean?

In Shmuel Aleph, 14:33 the word חֹטִאים is used (chotim). I always had thought that the word was chot'im with the vowel under the aleph (as it is in the title to this book) but that isn't the case. ...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

Whence “בחזקת בשרי”?

Besides the main categories of meat, dairy, and pareve (non-meat, non-dairy) foods, two special subcategories of pareve foods are relevant to halacha (e.g. Yore Dea 93): pareve food cooked using clean ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

What is the difference between Ish and Zachar in Leviticus 20:13?

Leviticus 20:13 brings the prohibition of homosexuality: וְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִשְׁכַּ֤ב אֶת־זָכָר֙ מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֔ה תֹּועֵבָ֥ה עָשׂ֖וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם מֹ֥ות יוּמָ֖תוּ דְּמֵיהֶ֥ם בָּֽם׃ And if a ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Mil'al vs. Milra on “Lamah”

In a few places in the Torah, the word למה is pronounced מלעיל (accent on 1st syllable) and in other places מלרע (accent on 2nd syllable.) I viewed Bemidbar 11:11 which has both in the same verse. ...
0
votes
4answers
98 views

What is the root of the word mishpocha, family? [closed]

The word appears in the Torah (ex. Bereishis 10:5, 36:40, Devarim 29:17, etc.) and is in common usage today.
6
votes
1answer
663 views

What is a “Fa-rer”?

Please excuse my somewhat weak "yeshivish". For me, this is a "new" language that seems to be the current Orthodox "parlance", and I'm not that familiar with much of its terminology. A woman in my ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

why does the torah specify behema, shor , tzon in korbonos. what is behemah?

what is the meaning of behemah when the torah says leviticus 1:2 adam ki yakriv behemah . 1 And the LORD called unto Moses, and spoke unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying: ב דַּבֵּר אֶל-...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Is the word “Nischazeik” or “Nischazak”?

When completing an entire book of the Torah (ex. Bereishis), it is customary in some communities to recite the words חזק חזק ונתחזק which is translated out to "be strong, be strong, and let us be ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Remes - רֶמֶשׂ - in Genesis 9:3

In Genesis 9:3 Noah is told he can eat every moving thing that lives, but I have always had a problem with the translation of moving thing meaning every live animal. The word translated as moving ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Meaning of ונתחזק

In the famous phrase: חזק חזק ונתחזק What exactly does the word נתחזק v’nitchazek/v’nitchazak mean? I’ve seen different translations like: “may we be strenghtened” “ let us be strenghtened” “ les ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

What is the etymological definition of הגיס?

What is the etymology and definition of הגיס? (Reference Rashi in Chulin 108A ד״ה טיפת חלב שנפלה על החתיכה and ד״ה ניער את הקדרה)
3
votes
2answers
53 views

Explain the difference between “מונה” and “סופר”

There are two Hebrew words used regarding counting: מונה as a form, the 10 people minimum needed to say Kaddish, etc. is called a מנין. סופר as a form as in ספירת העומר . This past Shabbat, my rav ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

Ivri and Israeli

In many parts of the torah, When it talks about a jew it says, בני ישראל or עברי etc. However in Parashat Emor when talking about the son of Shlomit the daughter of divri from the tribe of Dan who ...
4
votes
2answers
60 views

The usage of the words קהל and עדה ‎(עדת)

The people of Israel are sometimes called collective קהל, sometimes עדה ‎(עדת) and sometimes plain Israel, and although they probably point out to the exact same group of people they seem to be ...
-2
votes
3answers
79 views

What else is described as תּוֹעֵבָה?

The prohibition of homosexual relations is described in the Torah as תּוֹעֵבָה, abomination. Is there anything else in Chumash/Chazal that is described as a תּוֹעֵבָה?
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Aramaic-gemara lashon- reverse search

Are there any online tools that allow for searching of an english word to produce the gemara/aramaic translation? I dont really mean translate, I mean to search the jastrow dictionary to find the ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Examples of halacha v'ein morin ken

There are some actions which are permitted, but we do not teach about, in order that people will not abuse or misuse the law. This is called halacha v'ein morin ken ("halacha, but it is not taught"). ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

What is a Madoni

Kiddushin 26b:3 mentions this term - what type of person is this? ת"ש אמר ר' אלעזר מעשה במדוני אחד שהיה בירושלים שהיו לו מטלטלין הרבה וביקש ליתנם במתנה אמרו לו אין לו תקנה עד שיקנם על גבי קרקע מה עשה ...
5
votes
2answers
95 views

Which word is said under the chuppah - זוֹ or זוּ?

The groom tells the bride under the chuppah: הרי את מקודשת לי בטבעת זו כדת משה וישראל Is the word זו pronounced with a cholam (וֹ) as in "zo" or with a shuruk (וּ) as in "zu"? I have seen both ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Is there any practical implication to having to “read” Hallel?

Before we (Ashkenazim) recite the Hallel we make a blessing which concludes "likro et hahallel" (to read the Hallel). Is there any law which is derived from this? Does it invalidate reciting/saying ...
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Is “40 days and 40 nights” an idiom, or to be taken literally?

This phrase appears in numerous different contexts, such as Gen. 7:4, where it rained for that time, and Exod. 24:18 where Moses was on the mount for that time. In the same way, Jonah was "three days ...
3
votes
0answers
49 views

Origin of the term “pilpul” as a method of Talmudic study

What is the source for referring to the known method of Talmudic study a "pilpul"? When did this usage begin?
2
votes
3answers
72 views

A similitude of the Lord?

What is meant in Bamidbar 12:8 when the verse reads: "and the similitude of the LORD doth he behold" - וּתְמֻנַת יְהוָה, יַבִּיט I would like to know what the words 'similtude of the Lord' really ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

What does אה"ת stand for?

What do these rashei teivos stand for? See, for example, the Dikdukei Sofrim here.
5
votes
4answers
515 views

What is the best translation of the word נַעַר?

So I have been studying the meaning of the Hebrew word נַעַר. I understand that it's difficult to always find exact translations of certain words in the Hebrew vocabulary, but I have found in my ...
8
votes
1answer
137 views

What does it mean that “his face became blackened” in the Gemara?

Throughout the Gemara we see times when someone's face is described as becoming blackened, due to fasts or other things like intense learning. (Example: Sotah 12a) What does this mean?
3
votes
3answers
714 views

What does איברא mean?

The word איברא only appears a handful of times in the Talmud. (E.g. Pesachim 104a; Chulin 59b, 60a) it means something like its true, you’re right etc. What is the true meaning of this word, it’s ...
14
votes
1answer
126 views

Is Tosafos correct about unique phraseology for specific amoraim?

In Kesubos 2b there is a discussion in which an answer is introduced with the phrase פשיט רב אחאי – R. Achai answered. There is a discussion in Tosafos as to the identity of R. Achai. Rashbam claims ...