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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5
votes
1answer
24 views

What does מעלה עליו הכתוב mean?

There are two consecutive Mishnayos in Pirkei Avos that use the phrase "מעלה עליו הכתוב", which loosely translates to 'scripture treats him as...' The first is: רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, ...
11
votes
4answers
317 views

Shiluach HaKen: why not “Hatzipor”

If you send away the bird, why is Shiluach HaKen called that, meaning "sending the nest", and not "Shiluach Hatzipor", "sending the bird"? The nest is staying in place!
6
votes
1answer
51 views

The difference between ארון and תיבה in the Torah

I'm a little confused here: in contemporary Hebrew the difference is simple - a box that opens on the side [and has a door] is called a cabinet (ארון) while a box that opens on the top is called a box ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Difference between שֵׁבֶט and מַטֶּה

I wondered if there is a difference between the words שֵׁבֶט (rod, stick, staff) and מַטֶּה (rod, stick, staff) in matter of function, symbolism, and 'spiritual meaning'? A mateh seems almost like a ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Assist with Rash“i's explanation of verb usage - ”N-CH-L" in describing the tribal heads who will inherit the land

Numbers 34:18: וְנָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֛ד נָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֖ד מִמַּטֶּ֑ה תִּקְח֖וּ לִנְחֹ֥ל אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ Numbers 34:29 אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה לְנַחֵ֥ל אֶת־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאֶ֥רֶץ ...
4
votes
1answer
85 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" (...
3
votes
0answers
25 views

Chanun V'Rachum vs. Rachum V'Chanun

In the long tachanun of Monday and Thursday (among other places) there is repeated use of Chanun V'Rachum (a phrase which appears in Nach 8 or so times) אֵל טוב וְסַלָּח כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנוּן ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Mishloach Manos or Shalach Manos?

What is the proper grammar of giving/receiving mishloach manos/shalach manos? I've heard people use both terms as in, "I'm preparing mishloach manos for tomorrow" and "I hope to bring the shalach ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

Meaning of komemiyyut (קוֹמְמִיּוּת)

The word "komemiyyut" (קוֹמְמִיּוּת) appears only once in the Torah: אֲנִ֞י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הוֹצֵ֤אתִי אֶתְכֶם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם מִֽהְיֹ֥ת לָהֶ֖ם עֲבָדִ֑ים וָאֶשְׁבֹּר֙ מֹטֹ֣ת ...
2
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0answers
43 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
0answers
93 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 ...
8
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2answers
393 views

Why masechet “Beitza” and not masechet Yom Tov?

Why do we call it masechet Beitza now, and not masechet Yom Tov, as was apparently once common? Unlike the parshiot, which are named after their first words, masechtot are all named after topics, ...
3
votes
0answers
254 views

Are the talmudic “Prushim” the Rabbinic Pharisees?

In Masechet Sotah, 20a, the mishna details harmful forces and reads (translation from dafyomi.co.il) The following destroy the world - a foolish Chasid, a crafty evildoer, a woman who is Perushah, ...
1
vote
1answer
89 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
2answers
117 views

“Masekhtot Banayikh”: The Origins of an Expression

I recently found out that four of the masekhtot in the Bavli conclude with the same drosh by R' Elazar, and that those four masekhtot are known by a special name as a result. The drosh concerns the ...
18
votes
5answers
843 views

Meaning of ודו"ק

It is fairly common to find the abbreviation ודו"ק at the end of a complex explanation of a Torah thought (Maharsha, for example, famously does this very often). Roughly, it means: "I didn't explain ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Memra fixed in or used as a substitude [closed]

Could someone explain to me as to why most Targums fix in the (Aramaic) word 'Memra into a lot of verses, or use it as a substitude for other words written in the Tenach; what's the idea and meaning ...
2
votes
1answer
82 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?
1
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0answers
31 views

Two beginnings related to heavens and earth

IIRC, there is a medrash conecting the first letter of torah (beit) + the word reshit by saying that with 2 beginnings (meaning the heavens and earth) the world came into existence. Does anyone happen ...
17
votes
2answers
188 views

Is Rabbeinu Tam 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
239 views

Translate the beginning of the blessing “Asher Yatzar”

The blessing said after leaving the rest room begins: אשר יצר את האדם בחכמה Who created man with wisdom Does "with wisdom" mean: 1 - G-d used His wisdom when creating man? or 2 - G-d ...
9
votes
4answers
293 views

When do you say Hashem sefatai?

Before saying shemoneh esrei we say "Hashem, sefatai siftach u'fi yagid tehilasecha". Are you supposed to say those words A) Before you take the 3 steps back to start your shemoneh esrei B) One word ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

What is the difference between “baruch” and “mevorach” regarding G-d?

There is a phrase said just prior to the Shacharit Amidah that says: תהילות לאל עליון ברוך הוא ומבורך What is the difference in meaning between ברוך and ומבורך. Don't both mean "blessed"? I realize ...
7
votes
4answers
276 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
592 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,...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

How many words are there in Tanach?

How many letters are in the Torah? How many words are in the Torah? How many verses are in the Torah? How many chapters are in the Torah? How many letters, words, verses, and chapters are in every ...
5
votes
2answers
284 views

Earliest source for the words Daas Torah

In this question Bruce James ponders "How can I know a Rav has Daas Torah". I am wondering what is the earliest source that gave this concept its name?
1
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0answers
42 views

List of Hebrew Words in Aleph-Beis Order? [closed]

To help me study Chumash, where can I find a downloadable list of most commonly used Hebrew shorashim in Aleph-Beis Order? (Rav Hirsch dictionary is phenomenal but I'm not going to retype the whole ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Connection Between Liver & Honor?

Seeing that lashon hakodesh allows for analyzing the connection between similar rooted words, what is the connection between liver (כבד) and honor (כבוד)?
3
votes
2answers
216 views

A Table Representing the altar

I’ve heard of the concept that שולחנו של אדם דומה למזבח, a person’s table resembles the altar. Does anyone know where this wording can be found?
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Why does it say “of Puvah, the clan of the Punites“?

In Bamidbar (26:23): בְּנֵ֤י יִשָּׂשכָר֙ לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֔ם תּוֹלָ֕ע מִשְׁפַּ֖חַת הַתּוֹלָעִ֑י לְפֻוָ֕ה מִשְׁפַּ֖חַת הַפּוּנִֽי׃ Descendants of Issachar by their clans: [Of] Tola, the clan of ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Meaning of Targum's translation of Seraph - קליא

In Parshas Chukkas, God commands Moses to make a Seraph and put in on a standard: וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עֲשֵׂה לְךָ שָׂרָף וְשִׂים אֹתוֹ עַל־נֵס וְהָיָה כָּל־הַנָּשׁוּךְ וְרָאָה אֹתוֹ וָחָי׃ ...
1
vote
1answer
387 views

What do the expressions AL CHET or VIDUI mean? [closed]

I would like to know what the expressions AL CHET or VIDUI mean, in English please.
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Does Maharal, Maharsha or Zohar discuss the concept of how שָׁלוֹם, שְׁלֵמוּת, שָׁלֵם are associated with one another?

Rav Shimon Schwab writes that the word שָׁלוֹם is related to שְׁלֵמוּת, completion, שָׁלֵם, perfection (on Iyov, page 67) Does anyone know if the Maharal, Maharsha or Zohar say such a concept?
8
votes
1answer
377 views

דילמא == Dilemma?

Is there documentation to prove that the Aramaic word "דילמא" is a transliteration or derivation of the Greek word "dilemma"? If so, this fact is informative to G'mara-learning in understanding the ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Is there a list of all of the cases in the Talmud where תיקו (“Teiku”) is said?

Sometimes in the gemara there are questions that for whatever reason are unable to be answered, and to such a question the gemara simply says "teiku" (usually translated to mean "let it stand"). Does ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Explain usage of “kaved” re Moshe's raising his hands w/ war of Amaleq

In Shemot 17:12 it says: וידי משה כבדים Targum (and Rash"i in a sense) translates כבדים as יקרן, which I gather means "precious". I don't know where or how this translation fits here. Doesn't כבד ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Is there math in Torah?

I have watched a nice movie back in the day that deals with numbers. In one of the scenes. A Jewish man comes to The Mathematician and tells about how the Hebrew uses the same "letters" as letters ...
0
votes
2answers
118 views

Where do the words יְרִידַת הַדּוֹרוֹת come from?

There is a term in Judaism called יְרִידַת הַדּוֹרוֹת, the diminishing spiritual level of subsequent generations. Where do the words יְרִידַת הַדּוֹרוֹת originate from? Is it posuk, mishna or gemara ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

Is there a difference between מכות and מלקות?

The two terms seem to mean the same thing, both referring to lashes. Even in Mishnayos, they seem to be used interchangeably. For instance, in Makkos 1:2: מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

What type of cedar wood was used to build the Bais Hamikdash?

Related Acacia wood or Cedar We see that ארז (cedar) was used for the Bais Hamikdash Melachim 1 9:11 And we see that there are many types of ארז (cedar) Bava Basra 80b and Midrash Tanchuma Teruma ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Origin of the word dati (דָּתִי) [duplicate]

Is there any Talmudic sources that claim the origin of the Hebrew word “dati” (דָּתִי) comes from the Avestan word daena?
7
votes
4answers
621 views

The Absolute Unity of G-d

As we all who know Hebrew can assert, the sufix "im" in the words usually means plurality. How can HaShem be Elohim or Elokim if He is absolutely One and the Only Lord?
6
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
242 views

What does the term “mohel” mean in Hilchot Melicha (salting)? [closed]

In Siman 69:20, there’s reference to a “ma’aseh Rashi”, in which Rashi rules that what comes out after shiur melicha is “mohel” and not “dam”. What does “mohel” mean here?
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Targum on Obadiah 1:3 a Reference to Rome?

The prophecy of Obadiah concerns the fate of Edom. Obadiah 1:3 reads, זְדוֹן לִבְּךָ הִשִּׁיאֶךָ, שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי-סֶלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ; אֹמֵר בְּלִבּוֹ, מִי יוֹרִדֵנִי אָרֶץ. The pride of ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

Where did “shabat shalom” come from?

What is the source for the greeting "שבת שלום"? Where is it earliest attested in print? What does it mean?
5
votes
1answer
151 views

How do we know that ממחרת השבת means from the first day of Pesach and not the seventh?

How do we know that ממחרת השבת means from the first day of Pesach and not the seventh? Don't they both deserve to be called שבת?
2
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
613 views

What Talmudic manuscripts (if any) have Jesus instead of Balaam? / What Does 'MS.M. Jesus' mean?

What manuscripts (if any) have Jesus instead of Balaam? I'm aware that some claim that balaam is a code-word for Jesus. I know Rabbi Gil Student makes a good argument that it cannot be I have read ...