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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G-ds name online [duplicate]

On a google doc during an assignment with friends who do not understand the intricacies of Judaism, someone wrote g-d's names pronunciation, I did not realize what I was doing and deleted it, was this ...
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48 views

לך לשלום vs לך עם שלום vs לך בשלום

On page Berachos 33a1 the story of the Pious man praying on the road & the General, towards the end of the story it is stated that the "General was appeased and the Pious man departed to his home "...
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What is the meaning of Psalms 118:5?

מִן־הַ֖מֵּצַֽר קָרָ֣אתִי יָּ֑הּ עָ֜נָ֗נִי בַּמֶּרְחָ֣ב יָֽהּ From the straits I called God; God answered me with a vast expanse. I put הַ֖מֵּצַֽר into a contemporary Hebrew dictionary and it does ...
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Why do we need to daven out loud if G-D can hear our thoughts?

We know that G-D is all knowing, and all powerful. Therefore, when we pray, why does it have to be out loud? There are some brachos that you are not even יוצא if you say it quietly! Then why do we ...
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189 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 ...
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Age of Universe and Shabbat

If one believes that our world is billions of years old, i.e. accepting the idea of each day in Sheshis Imei Berieshit (the Six Days of Creation) as eras and not literal days, then how does one ...
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why does Ruth 1:8 use עמדי instead of עמי?

Ruth 1:8 says: ח וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי, לִשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ, לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה, אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ; יעשה (יַעַשׂ) יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד, כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם-הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי. 8 And Naomi ...
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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 ...
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How does “וירא א׳ את האור כי טוב” imply goodness per se?

Haamek Davar to B'reshis 1:4 explains that "טוב" can mean either "good for its intended purpose" (even if that purpose is not good) or "good in truth". The אור (light, let's say) created on the first ...
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127 views

What is Deveikut (clinging to God)?

In chapter 1 of the Mesilat Yesharim (Path of the Just), the author writes: "When you look further into the matter, you will see that true perfection is only clinging to God". What does "clinging to ...
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ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד after a bracha with a false statement

If we make a bracha levatala or say Hashem's name by accident, we say ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד. Is this true only if the original bracha is a valid praise of Hashem, or even if it contains false ...
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Why was Chanah called an “Ishah Kesheirah”?

The Gemoro says that when Chanah was caught by Eli davening and whispering, he asked the Urim Vetumim about her to see if she was ok. The letters ה ר ש כ appeared on the Urim Vetumim. Eli understood ...
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124 views

Why do most Siddurs vowelize Gd’s name?

I’m noticing that in most siddurs, while you’re not meant to pronounce Gd’s name as it’s written, they vowelize the letters as if it’s meant to be said. Is this for kavannah? Why would we need vowels ...
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523 views

Ger Tzedek/Tzadik earliest sources and definition

As I understand a "Ger Tzedek/Tzadik" is a fully converted follower of the Torah of Moshe. According to Hilchot Melachim 10:3-4, a "Ger Tzedek" is defined as someone who has confirmed their conversion ...
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117 views

The word Yamakah [closed]

I’ve looked all over the internet for the origin of the word Yamaka. I guess you could also spell it yamakah. I’m so confused because I grew up using it and people I speak with still use it. However, ...
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Who is rich in matters of courtship?

The Mishna says: If a man says to a woman, "Marry me. I am rich.", and she agrees, but it turns out he is poor, the betrothal is not valid. If a man says to a woman, "Marry me, even though I am poor."...
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What is the origin of the Yiddish word “nebach”? Is there a Jewish, Biblical source? [closed]

I've found numerous articles about what the word "nebach" (נעבעך) means, for example here and here. However, I have not been able to determine the true source of it. Is this word, so commonly used ...
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Posek vs. Rabbi?

It seems to me obvious that certain sheilos are best dealt with by only the leading Rabbanim. At the same time colloquially we often say a Rabbi has "paskened" a sheilah when the answer is fairly ...
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Gedole HaDor: who and how

1)Who do we know to refer to as a "Gadol?" 2)How do we determine who is a "Gadol?" For example, how did we determine that Rav Elyashiv is a Gadol? A Gadol HaDor is known as one of the most ...
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What is a Hava Amina Teretz?

B"H If "hava amina" means slightest notion, what is a hava amina teretz? I think teretz means an answer. So what is a slightest notion answer?
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Connection between Terafim and Therapy?

During a hesped for Rav Belsky z"tl, Rav Yisroel Reisman mentions Rav Belsky's ability to connect common words with their Torah source, alluding to "terafim" of Lavan being connected with "therapy". ...
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49 views

Jeremiah 23:33 - “burden”?

I have difficulties to understand the German term "Last" or "Lastwort" in the common Christian German translations of Jeremiah chap 23, verse 33 (corresponding to "burden" in English versions). Thanks ...
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45 views

Deep Sleep Genesis 15.12

I would like to know if the "deep sleep" of Abraham (Genesis 15.12) is literally a "sleep", or a state of "trance" as The Midrash of Philo says (15.12). What does the biblical term mean? Also, ...
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108 views

Use of “please” in Torah

How many times is the word "please" used in the Torah? In the Akeida Hashem asks Abraham to "Please take your son" Are there any other places in the Torah where Hashem uses the word "please"?
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La'asot meaning “to prepare food”

In parshat Vayera, Bereishit 18:7, the text relates that וְאֶל־הַבָּקָ֖ר רָ֣ץ אַבְרָהָ֑ם וַיִּקַּ֨ח בֶּן־בָּקָ֜ר רַ֤ךְ וָטוֹב֙ וַיִּתֵּ֣ן אֶל־הַנַּ֔עַר וַיְמַהֵ֖ר לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת אֹתֽוֹ׃ Avraham ran, ...
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64 views

Bphi Kol Chai not Bphe

In SA Orach Chaim 187:1 in Mishnah Brurah Sif Beis, he writes that the phrase in Birchas Hamazon should be 'Bphi' kol chai and not 'Bphe'. Anyone have an idea why?
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Torah confusion between “daylight” and “a day”

The Torah uses the same word יום in the same verse to denote both "daylight" and "24 hours": וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד׃ ...
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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 ...
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Why is mercy the only characteristic that is quantified?

In the Hoshana poem L'ma'an Amitach, various characteristics of God are enlisted as a reason for God to save us. The version appearing in my prayerbook, and recited in congregations I have been ...
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74 views

What are “nachas rights”? [closed]

I have just come across the phrase "nachas rights" and Google does not lead me to a definition. It is in the writing of a British Jew, I expect from Stamford Hill.
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Difference between תא and לשכה

Middos 4:3 uses the term תאים to refer to the 38 chambers in the Beis HaMikdash. I was surprised to see this usage, as the term לשכה appears 29 times in Mishnayos, plus another 12 in the plural, ...
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Where does HaShem stands and in which council?

Psalm 82 teaches that Elohim (אלהים) stands (נצב to position oneself) within the council/congregation (עדת-אל) of El, among/amidst (בקרב) elohiem (אלהים) He judge (ישפט). Someone told me to look at ...
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What does having a Mehudar Etrog and Lulav mean over just having a kosher set?

I often hear the word 'Mehudar' used during this time of year to refer to special Lulav-and-Etrog sets. What does Mehudar mean?
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56 views

What other phrase did the rabbis use to describe “yom teruah” besides the ones below?

What other phrase did the rabbis use to describe "yom teruah" besides the ones below? Our rabbis of blessed memory gave additional "phrases" to describe or to name our holy days. For example, the ...
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774 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 ...
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62 views

Why is it important that Shammay's daughter-in-law gave birth?

I heard the Gemmorah is justifying Rebbe for omitting key words in the Mishna for his brevity. Succah 2,8 says: מַעֲשֶׂה וְיָלְדָה כַלָּתוֹ שֶׁל שַׁמַּאי הַזָּקֵן וּפִחֵת אֶת הַמַּעֲזִיבָה וְסִכֵּךְ ...
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1answer
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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, ...
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330 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!
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1answer
57 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 ...
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33 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 ...
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2answers
92 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 ...
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47 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 ...
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100 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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2answers
415 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, ...
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308 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, ...
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93 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 ...
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2answers
123 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 ...
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5answers
927 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 ...
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1answer
33 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 ...
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37 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 ...

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