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
295 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
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3answers
243 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
167 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
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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
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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
258 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Greeting on Yom Hashoah [duplicate]

What is the proper greeting on Yom hashoah? I am not Jewish but do have some Jewish friends and would like to know how to greet them on this day of remembrance.
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Shoteh in the gemara

The Gemara in many places including Berachot 15b talks about a shoteh(imbecile). What type(characteristics)of people does the gemara refer to as "Shoteh"?
1
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0answers
43 views

How many words are there in the Zohar?

Zohar (with and w/o the Tikunei Zohar) Tikkunei Zohar Also is there a site/place that lists or otherwise aids in wordcounts for different Jewish books /Seforim ? TYVM
0
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2answers
1k views

Is “Yehud” a proper term for the Hebrews (ancient or otherwise)?

Reading an article about trauma in Jewish history I found the term "Yehud" (in addition to other terms) indicating the society, culture or community, for instance [1]: Jeremiah W. Cataldo "Memory ,...
1
vote
1answer
17 views

Gav vs. Gabei (ha)Mizbei'ach

In morning davening, we say "שֶׁנֶּעֱקַד עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ" (the only English I could find online, at Chabad.org, translates as "bound on the altar"). There are, though, 2 formulations of the ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Where is an introduction to the concept of “מתיר” (regarding offerings)?

Mishnayot Menachot 2:5 introduces (as far as this tractate is concerned) the term "מתיר", which I take to mean, in the context of offerings, something like "condition which permits something" or maybe ...
4
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4answers
530 views

What does the word “Karpas” mean?

That which by the Seder on Pesach we eat "karpas", what does this word actually mean and where does it come from?
1
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3answers
76 views

In Leviticus 1:2, the Torah specifies beheimah, shor, tzon for korbonos. What is beheimah?

The passuk in Leviticus 1:2 says: דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן, לַיהוָה--מִן-הַבְּהֵמָה, מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן, תַּקְרִיבוּ, אֶת-...
6
votes
1answer
185 views

Levana or Yareach?

In the entire Tanach the moon is generally called Yareach. There are 3 instances where it is called Levana: 1) ישעיהו: כד. כג. וחפרה הלבנה ובושה החמה 2) ישעיהו: ל. כו. והיה אור הלבנה כאור ...
3
votes
3answers
205 views

Nachalah vs. Morasha

On a biblical level, what is the difference (if any) between נחלה and מורשה? We find both שרשים being used in various forms, for example: (Deut. 32:8-9) בהנחל עליון גוים...יעקב חבל נחלתו. (Deut. 33:...
6
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3answers
519 views

Difference between behema and chaya

What is the difference between the term behema and chaya used in the torah and mishna? Is it that one means domesticated animal while the other means wild animal?
5
votes
2answers
51 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
544 views

Difference between חֵטְא and עֲבֵרָה

Is there a difference between a חֵטְא (cheit) and an עֲבֵרָה (aveira)? I translate both of those words as "sin." Maybe they signify a different level of magnitude? Or maybe one word is simply ...
3
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3answers
77 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 ...
0
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2answers
81 views

What is the difference between חוכמה and חָכְמָה?

Previously I heard יקר מחוכמה מכבוד סכלות מעט but in the book קֹהֶלֶת I read יָקָר מֵחָכְמָה מִכָּבוֹד, סִכְלוּת מְעָט What is the difference between חוכמה and חָכְמָה ? Are they just two different ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Difference Ga'al and Natzal

shemot 6:6-7 reads the famous quote for the Pesach cups. But what's the actual difference between deliver (natzal) and redeem (ga'al)? take away from a problem? and remove the problem? Please help ...
7
votes
2answers
227 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?
5
votes
1answer
128 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
1answer
64 views

What is an Inyan? Is it different to a Minhag?

Is there a difference between an ענין and a מנהג? If so, what is it? Examples differentiating the concepts would be useful.
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Who is a boor בור? [closed]

The Talmud frequently calls an individual a "boor". Two examples: It has been reported: If one has learned Tanach and Mishnah but not Talmud, Rabbi Eleazar says he is an ignoramus [am ha-aretz]; ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Within Judaism is there a tradition of interpreting individual letters such as with YHVH

Two recent questions on Christianity Stack have got me thinking about the way some people interpret the divine name. One answer gave this interpretation: Yod - י Hand Hey - ה Open Window, to reveal ...
5
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2answers
3k views

What does anger have to do with the nose?

Two expressions, among many, ארך אפים - "long (slow) to anger" when describing one of G-d's qualities, and חרון אף - "anger" contain the word אף - nose. Usually, when people get angry, they yell (...
8
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1answer
435 views

*Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as plant, animal, bird, or asher bamayim*, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

How can Nefesh mean a dead person?

In Vayikra 21:1 it's stated that one should not defile himself for any (dead) nefesh (person). How can a word like nefesh which seems to be the force that animated the body and gave it it's life, ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Avodah Melachah; work what is the difference

The roots לאך and עבד are the basis to form the words that could be translated as 'work' מלאכה and עבדה. But what is the difference? What distinguishing work from work? Some times its prohibited to ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Corner of a garment vs. corner of a field vs. corner of a face

Related to this question. Regarding the obligation to affix fringes, the Torah commands them to be attached to the corners (kanfei) of the clothing. But when it comes to our fields and our faces, the ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Significance of Torah Midpoint

What is the significance of the middle of the Torah in letters being the vav in גָּחוֹן (Vayika 11:42)? (source: Kiddushin 30a) What is special about the vav in גָּחוֹן that the Almighty chose to ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Meaning of Purim

What is the origin/meaning of the word Purim? I always assumed it meant the multiple lots of Haman, but I just heard a shiur saying the word Purim comes from "pirurin" - little things - of the ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Shemot 7:28 vs 12:34

In Shemot 12:34 we are told that Bnei Yisrael left Mitzrayim מִשְׁאֲרֹתָ֛ם צְרֻרֹ֥ת בְּשִׂמְלֹתָ֖ם עַל־שִׁכְמָֽם Older translations followed Ibn Ezra and Targum, that they left Mitzrayim with their '...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Rav or Rebbi Acha Sar HaBirah?

R' Acha Sar HaBirah is mentioned in a few places in shas. Rashi tells us that 'Sar HaBirah' was his nickname. However, in some places his title is רב, while in other places he is mentioned as רבי. ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Meaning of Zekher Livracha (ז"ל - Of blessed memory)

The literal translation of ז"ל is "of blessed memory" What does it mean to bless memory? How does it help the soul?
3
votes
1answer
38 views

What are the differences between Limmud and Chinuch?

In Kiddushin 29b it says "a father is obligated... to teach his son Torah" (האב חייב בבנו... וללמדו תורה) and in Nazir 29a it says "a father is obligated to educate his son" (איש חייב לחנך בנו). What ...
4
votes
1answer
250 views

Origin of the word “pushka” [closed]

European Jews tend to use the word “pushka” for ‘charity box’. What is the origin of the word? As far as I can tell, Slavic languages use somewhat similar sounding words for ‘container’. In ...
1
vote
3answers
103 views

Gemara word for QED

I'm trying to remember the Gemara word for the equivalent of QED, when an argument would be settled between competing opinions and nothing more would be said about the issue.
-1
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3answers
1k views

The Biblical Hebrew Word 'Almah

According to the Hertz Chumash, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, page 202, the word 'almah in the Tanakh means a young woman of marriageable age, unmarried or married. In modern Hebrew 'almah means '...
5
votes
1answer
123 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: ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Is there a Jewish race? [closed]

I've never been comfortable with the term "race" when applied to people, as people are all part of the "human race". But, according to thefreedictionary.com, the word "race" is defined as: A ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Why is the colour כחול ('blue') not mentioned in Tanach?

The colour כחול is not mentioned in Tanach. Given it's wide usage in later hebrew texts, why does it never feature in Tanach? Do any sources pick up on this? (There is a different debate about what ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

Where is there a rabbinic recipe for milk and honey?

Where is there a rabbinic recipe for milk and honey? Shir HaShirim 4:11 "honey and milk are under your tongue" דְּבַ֤שׁ וְחָלָב֙ תַּ֣חַת לְשׁוֹנֵ֔ךְ From this passage, which to me seems to suggest a ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Root of the word פרעה

The Hebrew word פרעה (Pharaoh) is probably directly derived from (a phonetic way to pronounce) the Egyptian word. But it reminded me of the Hebrew root פרע as seen in Exodus 32:25 which is actually ...
0
votes
1answer
367 views

How to translate Olam in the Torah?

Bereshit 3:22: ‏…וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם In search for a definition of the word עֹלָם (Olam), as in this verse, I found different translations: 'Universe', '...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Why “Lach” not “Lecha” in “Modim Anachnu Lach”

Could someone please explain why the "Lach" in Modim Anachnu Lach is not "Lecha"... I guess this is some grammatical point rather than the use of the feminime "you"?
5
votes
0answers
84 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
562 views

What does “the Talmud” mean in the Talmud?

The G'mara Bavli says in Shabas 63: אמר רב כהנא, "כד הוינא בר תמני סרי שנין, והוה גמירנא ליה לכוליה תלמודא, ולא הוה ידענא דאין מקרא יוצא מידי פשוטו..." Rav Kahana said, "When I was 18 years ...