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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6
votes
1answer
160 views

The word for Heart

Is there any difference in meaning between lev and levav? In the Shema a person is commanded to love "b'chol levavcha" with all his heart. But in Shemot 9:14 Hashem says he is sending plagues "el lib'...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Why is אותו מקום referred to as the מקום התורף? What does תורף mean?

In Bavli Berachot 24a (and Shabbat 64b), the Gemara records that: כל המסתכל באצבע קטנה של אשה כאילו מסתכל במקום התורף -- Anyone who gazes upon a woman’s little finger is considered as if he gazed ...
7
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1answer
76 views

Why is this phrase flipped between Avinu Malkeinu and Tachanun?

In Avinu Malkeinu, we read, "חָנֵּנוּ וַעֲנֵנוּ כִּי אֵין בָּנוּ מַעֲשִׂים עֲשֵׂה עִמָּנוּ צְדָקָה וָחֶסֶד וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ" be gracious with us and answer us, though we have no worthy deeds; treat us ...
2
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3answers
79 views

Who was Miriam responding to?

Shemos 15:21: וַתַּעַן לָהֶם מִרְיָם שִׁירוּ לַיהֹוָה כִּי גָאֹה גָּאָה סוּס וְרֹכְבוֹ רָמָה בַיָּם And Miriam called out to them, Sing to the Lord, for very exalted is He; a horse and its ...
1
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0answers
33 views

Common mistakes in the Tefillah [duplicate]

For obvious reasons, one has to be careful to pronounce every word properly in the Tefillah. But I was once taught by a teacher some common mistakes in the pronunciation of some words in the Amidah ...
-1
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1answer
55 views

Why is there a number switch in the names of the plagues?

In the makkot, there seems to be inconsistency in terms of the number-title of the plagues. One of the words is in the singular (tz'farde'a, frog) while the one after it is in the plural, kinim, lice. ...
0
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2answers
142 views

Why use an esoteric, foreign word which leads to different understandings?

In Shemot 12:9, the text reads, "אַל תֹּאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ נָא " which is translated at chabad.org as "You shall not eat it rare ". The meforshim (as taken from sefaria.org) look at the word "Na" as ...
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0answers
32 views

Paroh Doesn't Listen in Different Words

(All Pesukim cited are in Shemos.) 7:4: "Paroh will not listen to you." 7:13 (after the staffs turning into snakes): "He did not listen to them." 7:22 (Dam): "He did not listen to them." 8:11 (...
3
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1answer
55 views

Paroh Refuses in Different Words

(All Pesukim cited are in Shemos.) 7:3: "I will 'kasheh' Paroh's heart." 7:13 (after the staffs turning into snakes): "Paroh's heart was 'yechazeik'." 7:22 (Dam): "Paroh's heart was 'yechazeik'." 8:...
1
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1answer
59 views

Aiyn Hara vs. Eiyn Hara [closed]

The expression עין הרע is a case of סמיכות. It seems we often tend to (if not always) pronounce the noun עין with a patach beneath the ע and chirik beneath the י. Shouldn't it be pronounced as eiyn ...
4
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2answers
104 views

Why is “bor” the jail?

Yosef was taken by his brothers and thrown into habor [הַבּוֹר] (Bereishit 37:22), the pit: 22And Reuben said to them, "Do not shed blood! Cast him into this pit, which is in the desert, but do not ...
5
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3answers
80 views

why is food in parashat miketz called shever

In mikez 42,2 it is written: וַיֹּאמֶר--הִנֵּה שָׁמַעְתִּי, כִּי יֶשׁ-שֶׁבֶר בְּמִצְרָיִם; רְדוּ-שָׁמָּה וְשִׁבְרוּ-לָנוּ מִשָּׁם, וְנִחְיֶה וְלֹא נָמוּת The translation accoding to machon mamre ...
4
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3answers
122 views

שקר and שוא The difference between

What's the difference between these 'falses' (שקר and שוא?), how does one distinguish them from one another? Exodus 20:16 עד שקר Exodus 23:1 שמע שוא Exodus 23:7 שקר Deuteronomium 5:20 עד שוא Or ...
2
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2answers
91 views

Where do we learn that honey of the 7 species is from dates?

The Torah tells us Israel is "a land of olive oil and honey" (Deut. 8:8). This is interpreted as date honey, not bee honey. Where in the sources is it taught that this is date honey?
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17 views

Impure Korban and ketoires that started to burn become completely pure

I was just in a shiur where they said that a korbon and kitoires which where tomai become tohor after part of them starts burning Where can I find this(in the gemoro and the rambam)? What is this ...
3
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1answer
94 views

What does 1/2 tefachs in the front 2/1 tefachs in the back mean

Similar Halachos of the bathroom In the 3rd siman of the Shulchan Aruch is understood (by me) you should keep your body covered as much as possible, for example when a man goes to the bathroom (for ...
3
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1answer
91 views

What is פורגן? Why should there be a chashash?

This website discusses the hiddurim of the tzitzit it sells. One of the hiddurim it discusses is that the strings are "ללא חשש "פורגן, without a chashash (fear) of "פורגן." I have consulted my ...
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0answers
85 views

What is the source and meaning of the word מהול?

I am trying to get to the bottom of what the word מהול means in the context of being circumcised. I can't find it used in Mishna or Talmud, but by the Rishonim and Medrashim it is commonly used to ...
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0answers
53 views

Hinei - Bereishit 25:24 [duplicate]

When Rivka feels something amiss inside her, she goes to ask. In Bereishit 25:22-23 she is told that there are 2 nations in her belly and the elder will serve the younger. Then, in verse 24, when the ...
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2answers
102 views

What does נמר in Tanach mean

What does נמר quoted in this Passuk mean: ירמיהו יג, כג: היהפוך כושי עורו ונמר חברבורותיו I see it translated as a leopard e.g. in mishna avot 5.20 and in "What's the point of Jeremiah 13:18–...
5
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1answer
136 views

How does the 19th brocho of the shmona esrai open?

I see nusach taiman has it starting with למשומדים אל תהי תקוה  I see the rambam has that too Rambam (mechon mamre) לַמְּשֻׁמָּדִים אַל תְּהִי תִקְוָה, כָּל הַמִּינִים כְּרֶגַע יֹאבֵדוּ, ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Why can't we say the word “hell”?

It seems to me that in many Orthodox communities it is considered improper to say the word "hell". Why is this so? Why is it any worse than saying "Gehenim" or "Purgatory"?
4
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1answer
234 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 ...
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0answers
34 views

La'asot meaning “to prepare food”

In parshat Vayera, Bereishit 18:7, the text relates that וְאֶל הַבָּקָר רָץ אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח בֶּן בָּקָר רַךְ וָטוֹב וַיִּתֵּן אֶל הַנַּעַר וַיְמַהֵר לַעֲשׂוֹת אֹתוֹ Avraham ran, chose an animal, ...
1
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3answers
107 views

What is Avadon in the Mesilat Yesharim?

In the Mesilat Yesharim ch.2 "contemplating and watching over his deeds and ways whether they are good or evil; not abandoning his soul to the danger of Avadon" מתבונן ומפקח על מעשיו ודרכיו, הטובים ...
7
votes
2answers
362 views

Ma'ariv vs. Arvit - when did these terms first appear?

I have seen two terms used to refer to the evening prayer Ma'ariv and Arvit. If I recall correctly, Arvit seems to be the more common Talmudic term esp. in Talmud Brachot. Ma'ariv is used near the ...
2
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2answers
704 views

Birkat Hamazon: Chaverai vs Rabotai

When chanting Birkat Hamazon, I always thought it started Chaverai n'varech, but I have recently attended a Conservadox Bar Mitzvah, where they used Rabotai n'varech. Here are some images; I found the ...
3
votes
3answers
96 views

תְּחִלָה vs. בְּרֵאשִׁית

Why is בְּרֵאשִׁית used in Bereshit 1:1 but תְּחִלָה used in Shoftim 1:1? Both words mean beginning/first as far as I can tell. I am just wondering why one is used in one location and the other ...
2
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1answer
243 views

Rashi's explanation of B'etzem Hayom Hazeh

In Devarim, 32:48, the pasuk uses the phrase בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה (on that very day). Rashi there comments בשלשה מקומות נאמר בעצם היום הזה, (: Heb. בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה. In three places ...
5
votes
1answer
699 views

What is the difference between a Ger Toshav, a Ben Noach, an Akum and a Nochri?

These terms get used a lot in referring to gentiles. What are the precise differences, if any, between these different categories? Just for clarity, Akum is an abbreviation of the phrase 'Eved ...
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0answers
62 views

Was there nothing Tov about Shabbat?

During creation, many of the days have the phrase "vayar Elokim ki tov" after some aspect of the creation on that day. The second day does not -- the Stone edition mentions a Rashi that the term ...
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0answers
37 views

To form, different roots

Are the roots צור (to form, shape, fashion) יצר (to create) and צר (to shape, form, model) related or do they just share similar meanings? Are there any commentaries, scriptures, that connect these ...
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0answers
192 views

How did the word Yetzer begot it's meaning of inclination?

Looking for the connection of Yetzer and the translation as inclanation, I was surprised that almost every Hebrew word derived from the same root had to do with creating. So how did a word (from a ...
1
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0answers
49 views

Spelling ירושלים as ירושלם [duplicate]

In almost all cases, I have seen the word "Yerushalayim" spelled like this: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. However, sometimes I have seen it spelled like this: יְרוּשָׁלִַם, missing a י between the ל and the ם. Is ...
0
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1answer
69 views

What's the difference in the terms עָוֺן פֶּשַׁע חַטָּאָה in Exodus 34:6-7

Exodus 34:6-7 says, וַיַּעֲבֹ֨ר יְהוָ֥ה ׀ עַל־פָּנָיו֮ וַיִּקְרָא֒ יְהוָ֣ה ׀ יְהוָ֔ה אֵ֥ל רַח֖וּם וְחַנּ֑וּן אֶ֥רֶךְ אַפַּ֖יִם וְרַב־חֶ֥סֶד וֶאֱמֶֽת ׀ נֹצֵ֥ר חֶ֙סֶד֙ לָאֲלָפִ֔ים נֹשֵׂ֥א עָוֺ֛ן ...
2
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0answers
121 views

Source for not saying Mazel Tov when pregnant

There seems to be a custom of not saying Mazel Tov on hearing news or observing that someone is pregnant (there are even those that correct others that say Mazel Tov). Instead they say Beshaah Tovah, ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Hell or something else: גהנום/ גהנם and שאול what are these?

'Hell' as described in most dictionaries doesn't seem to be the right translation. Yet a lot of translations of the Tanakh uses this word to translate words such as Sheol and Gehinom ( גהנום/ גהנם and ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

The afflicted, poor and humble a reference to the command to afflict oneself on Yom Kippur

How do we know that 'v'initem' (Leviticus 16:31) includes fasting in the context of Yom Kippur? How does this usage relate to usage of the word, or related words, in other contexts? Some food for ...
-1
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1answer
49 views

Does the term “G-d” (i.e Elokim) include the concept of ruler?

Often times Hashem is referred to as Elokim or Elokecha and the like, (10 commandments etc.) does this term include the terms/concepts of manhig or reshuiot? In other words, could someone ...
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0answers
44 views

What's the difference between נכה and הרג?

In בראשית chapter/verse 4:15 and in various other places the words הכות) נכה) and הרג are used which both seem to be interchangeable in english translations. וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל ־ ...
5
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0answers
120 views

Does the word distribution in the Torah follow Zipfs law? [closed]

Does the word distribution in the Torah (ie the Pentateuch) follow Zipfs law where the frequency of a word's occurrence is inversely proportional to its statistical rank (ie does the 2nd most commonly ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

What's the essence of the root עבד

The root עבד is often used as a verb in context of doing work, of service (doing work for someone), worship (doing work for a god). The noun (avodah) is used likewise. The related word עבד (eved) is ...
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0answers
46 views

In what sense is the nesher connected to geulah?

Parshas shemini lists the nesher (vulture?) as non-kosher animal. But Ieshaiahu describes the future geulah connecting the tzadikim with neshirim (ישעיה מ:לא). Also, Sforno in parshas haazinu alludes ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Actualizing Avodah Shebalev

Found this online: quote : As the Rav puts it, Avodah Shebalev is a constant requirement (Kiyum Hamitzvah) where Tefilah is one of many ways (Ma’aseh Hamitzvah) of actualizing it. I thought that ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

What happened to the “D'mut”?

In Bereishit 1:26, Hashem says (all text and translation from the Chabad site's Judaica Press version) And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Is there an expression to thank Hashem for good news?

My friend just found out that her cancer is a treatable variety. Is there a Hebrew phrase to thank Hashem for this good news? Baruch Dayan HaEmet I believe is only for news of a death, but thanks for ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is there a source in Judaism that uses the word “Mesora” to refer to the masoretic tradition?

I am familiar with the term Mesora to mean not just any tradition but particularly - Oral tradition, in the sense of, the mishna, or traditions or midrashim brought forth in the talmud. I was ...
3
votes
1answer
431 views

In RAMBAM hilchot avoda zara 9:4 What publisher or translator first changed notzrim to canaanites?

In this censored version online at chabad.org, Hilchot Avoda Zara 9:4 says: "The Canaanites are idol worshipers [sic], and Sunday is their festival..." (And it says Canaanites in both the hebrew ...
3
votes
3answers
317 views

What is “Pannag”?

In the book of Ezeqiel, chpater 27 verse 17 we read: יְהוּדָה וְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה רֹכְלָיִךְ בְּחִטֵּי מִנִּית וּפַנַּג וּדְבַשׁ וָשֶׁמֶן וָצֹרִי נָתְנוּ מַעֲרָבֵךְ. What is 'Pannag' (פנג) ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Words can create

I have heard that for many years. Words can create.Some say if you read Tehillim you are creating. Could someone help me with this question. Im trying to ask. Does everything we say create something?...