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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.

5
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1answer
54 views

Why the principal (money) is called Keren?

In all kinds of monetary transactions, the main part is called Keren or for the reward for Mitzvot as in Kesubos 3,9: "הָאוֹמֵר גָּנַבְתִּי וְטָבַחְתִּי וּמָכָרְתִּי, מְשַׁלֵּם אֶת הַקֶּרֶן עַל ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Meaning of “Shabbatot” when it's translated as “weeks”

Vayikra 23:15 translates the word Shabbatot as 'weeks', weeks that are to be Temimot (compleet/perfect); Normally this would be from Yom Rishon till Shabbat like in the phrase: 'Yom rishon l'...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

Why don't we say “please” (that often)?

The week day Shmoneh Esrei prayer has a series of requests during which we ask Hashem for many of our needs. In my siddur (Tefilla Hashalem) there is a subtle change made in the texts of 1 of the ...
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2answers
110 views
+100

Adonai Nissi and the hand upon the throne and their connection to what happened.

Exodus/Shemot 17:15 tells us Moshe built an altar and named it "יהוה נִסִּי" often translated as "The L-rd (is) my banner" or "The L-rd (is) my miracle" and maybe it could be also translated as "The L-...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Different kinds of Moshav Leitzim clowns

On Gemore Avoda Zara 18b, there's a list of multiple Moshav Leitzim examples: תנו רבנן ההולך לאיצטדינין ולכרקום וראה שם את הנחשים ואת החברין בוקיון ומוקיון ומוליון ולוליון בלורין סלגורין הרי זה ...
5
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3answers
908 views

Etymology of the word “Kvater”

What is the etymology of the word "Kvater"? Kvater is what we call the person that carries the baby boy into a Bris.
3
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the meaning of the word “mabul”?

Throughout parhsat Noach, I see a combination of the words מבול and מים. I see Rashi's explanation of the word origin of מבול on Breishit 6:17 and he explains the origin from a word that means "...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Difference of term to mean “remembrance”

In Vayikra (Lev. 24:7) , the term אזכרה is used. It seems to mean "remembrance" (gleaning that from Rash"i's translation.) However, another word used to mean remembrance is זכרון . I ran a word ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Why is the term דגה frequently used to refer to Egyptian (Nile) fish?

I ran a word search using Snunit's tool on the appearance of the word דג in the Bible. The search revealed 17 occurrences, and all of them had that word or some form of the word such as דגים (plural ...
0
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1answer
95 views

What does it mean “vus iz de nafke meene” [closed]

What is the exact definition of "Vus iz di nafke meene"?
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Why use “Kiddushin” instead of biblical “Erusin”?

Why did the Sages see a need of inventing a new word "Kiddushin" e.g Masechet Kiddushin 46a - שצריכה הימנו קידושין , instead of the biblical Hebrew word "Erusin" used everywhere in the Torah, as in: ...
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0answers
21 views

Moreh Makom or Mar'eh Makom

A Torah source is often referred to as a M"M, which I have heard read as both מורה מקום, Moreh Makom and מראה מקום, Mar'eh Makom, (see here for example) which have similar meanings, and mean something ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

What do the different terms for “judges” indicate?

In a few places in the chumash, the word "elohim" is translated as "judges". Rashi does this on Bereishit 6:2 and many meforshim do this on the uses in Shemot (such as in 22:7 and 8) saying that the ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Why use “nadedah”?

"On that night the king's sleep stayed away from him" (Esther 6:1 - translation follows Radak). Why does the passuk use a lashon of nadedah, "stay away," instead of the more simple wording, "On that ...
1
vote
3answers
122 views

Why is it called Seder Nashim?

Why is Seder Nashim called Seder Nashim? The mitzvos discussed do apply to women (except for some tangents like the 7th chapter of Sotah), but so do: The overwhelming majority of Zeraim (everything ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

What does כסיה mean?

The Gemara in Pesachim 117a brings a disagreement whether כס יה, in the last pasuk of Beshalach, is one word or two. As far as I know all modern Sifrei Torah (Ashkenazi, Sefardi, Teimoni) have two ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Why 1/6th - שתות in the Mishna is in Aramaic?

It appears suspicious to me, that an Aramaic word Shtut is used everywhere in the Hebrew text of the Mishnah, like in: "שׁוּם הַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁפִּחֲתוּ שְׁתוּת אוֹ הוֹסִיפוּ שְׁתוּת..." (Ksubos 11) ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Different words for “a corner” in Tanach

There appear to be three different words in Tanach that are translated as "a corner": Pinah (shmot 26:2) Kanaf (Shmu'el 1 24:4) Keren (I haven't found one yet, but this site says that its use as "...
3
votes
0answers
24 views

Why does ויאמר almost never use לאמר, and why does וידבר almost always use לאמר?

It seems that whenever Tanach says ויאמר, "and he said," it almost never uses the word לאמר, "saying."1 Conversely, whenever Tanach says וידבר, "and he spoke," it almost always uses the word לאמר, "...
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4answers
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Why does the Torah use the non-Hebrew word 'Totafot'

Related to this question. Rashi, on Shemot (13:16): "...וְהָיָה לְאוֹת עַל יָדְכָה וּלְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ " writes: and for ornaments between your eyes: Heb. וּלְטוֹטָפֹת, tefillin. Since ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Why introduce holidays with the word “yom”?

In Ya'aleh V'yavo, in tefilla for the 3 regalim and in Kiddush for the regalim, we have options for the particular Yom Tov. The specific day is listed, and is always introduced with the word "b'yom" (...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Why does Yirmiya use the word ראה to mean “approve”?

Eichah 3:34-36 reads as follows: לדכא תחת רגליו כל אסירי ארץ. להטות משפט גבר נגד פני עליון. לעות אדם בריבו ה׳ לא ראה. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth; to tip justice of ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Small Dalet in Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:17

In Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:17, the letter dalet is small in the word "adam". Why is this?
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0answers
34 views

Since when “Gdol Hador” refers to a scholar as opposed to a Tzadik?

Gemmorah Psochim 49b: "תנו רבנן לעולם ימכור אדם כל מה שיש לו וישא בת תלמיד חכם; לא מצא בת תלמיד חכם ישא בת גדולי הדור, לא מצא בת גדולי הדור ישא בת ראשי כנסיות וכו'" Rashi: "גדולי הדור - ...
2
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3answers
91 views

What does it mean “someone knows Kol Torah Kulah”?

What constitutes as Kol Torah Kulah? I hear people saying this all the time, that this Rabbi knows "Kol Torah Kulah".
2
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0answers
21 views

The usage of the title HaShem instead of other titles [duplicate]

One doesn’t pronounce יהוה, but with so many titles to be found in the Tenach for referring to יהוה, why would we refer to Him as ‘HaShem’ then? Why not stick with Adonai, Anochi, El Shadai etc. like ...
3
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0answers
36 views

Why is Benjamin referred to as a youth?

In several places, parsha vayigash refers to Benjamin as a youth (na-ar). But he must have been close to 30 years old since Joseph was at that time already in Egypt for about 20 years. Why is ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

What is the significance of using shevet vs. mattot in Parshat Mattot?

In Parashat Mattot the word matteh is used in place of the more commonly found shevet? Why is that? They both mean tribes no?
6
votes
2answers
43 views

A few questions on the meaning of טל

What do the words "מוריד הטל" mean? Dew does not "fall" or "come down". Also what do the words "ותן טל...לברכה" mean? What is an example of טל not לברכה?
2
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2answers
662 views

Avraham's knife was called Ma'achelet. Why?

What is the reason behind the word Ma'achelet used for the knife used by Avraham in the binding of Yitzchok? Is it an indication of specific function? Is this name used elsewhere? Does it indicate any ...
0
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0answers
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Is there any basis for reserving the term “menorah” to the one in the Beis Hamikdash? [duplicate]

I was taught in kindergarten that "menorah" refers specifically to the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash, and the proper term for the thing used to hold Chanuka candles is "Chanukiyah". But in all the ...
2
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0answers
61 views

Origin and meaning of the honorific Shlita

It seems to me that for a long time, the word Shlita was popularly associated with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. And in those days when I was first encountering the term and asking about it, I was told that ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Satan meaning Tempter?

I found a great story online from which I would like to quote a part: The word satan in the Bible seems to mean merely “opponent”. For instance, the angel who obstructs Bilaam’s progress is ...
0
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1answer
64 views

Shepherd and Evil Connected?

Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch often finds connections between similar words in the Torah. What is the connection between evil - רעה - and shepherd - רועה - (especially in the same verse Bereishis 37:2 - ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

First usage of golem to refer to a man-made humanoid

There's a famous folk tale that the Maharal created a golem, some sort of human shaped creature. The tale has it that he created it using practical Kabbalah. The gemarra even describes amoraim ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Why does the verb PaGA (פגע) mean both to intercede and to arrive?

What is the explanation why the Hebrew verb PaGA ( = פגע ) means both to intercede and to arrive? We see this, for example, in the Chabad Rashi translation and commentary of both Genesis 28:11 "And ...
6
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6answers
347 views

Why does the word milah mean both circumcision and word?

What is the rabbinic explanation why the word milah means both circumcision and word? To translate this into Hebrew is quite interesting, it would read like, Why does the milah milah mean both ...
3
votes
2answers
65 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 ...
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votes
4answers
200 views

Why does Tanac“h frequently use the term for ”knowledge" when referring to sexual relations?

Frequently, when Tanac"h speaks about a man and woman having sexual relations, it uses the term ידע as in Breishit 4:1 וְהָ֣אָדָ֔ם יָדַ֖ע אֶת־חַוָּ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וַתַּ֙הַר֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד אֶת־קַ֔יִן ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

What is the רציפי of perek shira?

I am curious as to the identity of the רציפי, an animal identified in perek shira. From what I understand the translation of bat is erroneous, and I'm wondering what the correct translation is.
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5answers
746 views

What's “chelek Eloak mimaal”?

I have frequently heard the human (or only the Jewish?) soul referred to as "חלק אלוק ממעל", literally "portion/section/piece/allotment of God (from) above". What does this mean? Who's the first to ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

Definition of “Tinok” for the status of “Melamdei Tinokos”

Looking for sources that describe what ages the word "tinok" or "tinokes" refers to for the halachic ramifications that related to "Melamdei Tinokos", teachers of tinokos (who have rules that relate ...
7
votes
2answers
63 views

Pirkei Avos- how does a sieve retain the fine flour?

Regarding the following mishna in Pirkei Avos: משנה אבות ה׳:ט״ו ארבע מדות ביושבים לפני חכמים: ספוג , ומשפך, משמרת, ונפה. ספוג, שהוא סופג את הכל. משפך, שמכניס בזו ומוציא בזו. משמרת, שמוציאה ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why “hayom yom rishon”, not “echad”?

Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt (St. Louis, Missouri) mentioned at s'uda sh'lishis (Shabas parashas "Ki Setze" 5772) that the correct name for Sunday is echad b(a?)shabas, as is written in k'suvos and ...
15
votes
3answers
516 views

What is “emunas chachomim”?

My daughter came home from school with a textbook response for what "emunas chachomim" is. I disagreed strongly with what was written in the book, so I'm not even going to say what they said. Rather,...
4
votes
1answer
33 views

Is there a difference between ירחים and חדשים?

As a word meaning "months," the word חדשים is used in Ber. 38:24 and then multiple locations after Sh'mot 12:2. יְרָחִים appears in Sh'mot 2:2, then (possibly) in Dev 33:14 and twice in Iyov. When ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

Neilah tefillah shabbas nusach of בו

On a regular shabbas the teffilah of retzei vhachlitzainu in shmoneh esri has three variations: In maariv it is בה . In shachris and musaf it is בו. In mincha it is בם. There is a reason for this ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Why are Avraham (and Sarah), Yehoshua and David set apart?

Avraham's advanced age is referred to as "zaken ba bayamim" in Ber. 24:1. His age (along with Sarah) is similarly labeled in Ber. 18:11. Yehoshua is called the same way in Yeh. 13:1 and 23:1, while ...
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votes
2answers
557 views

Mishneh Torah Statistics

This question addresses how many halachos there are in Mishneh Torah. How many chapters are in the Mishneh Torah? How many books are in the Mishneh Torah?
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Difference Between Shamayim and Rakia

In parshas Berashis, the words Shamayim and Rakia keep on coming up. someone asked me what is the difference between the 2, and I had no idea.