Questions tagged [words]

Questions about the definitions, meaning and use of words specific to Judaism or words that carry unique meaning in Jewish law.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
1answer
54 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
1answer
57 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
120 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
87 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

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
47 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
votes
3answers
955 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
72 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
55 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
87 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
votes
1answer
112 views

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

What is the exact definition of "Vus iz di nafke meene"?
1
vote
0answers
29 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
87 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
71 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
126 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
64 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
81 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
48 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
40 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, "...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
36 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
votes
3answers
118 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
votes
0answers
22 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
51 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
votes
2answers
674 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
votes
0answers
13 views

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
votes
0answers
133 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
240 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
votes
1answer
66 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
93 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
124 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
500 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
1answer
166 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.
13
votes
5answers
848 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
51 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
73 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
173 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
38 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
629 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
53 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.
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Understanding the cantillation of Bereshit 5:29 [duplicate]

In Bereshit 5:29 it states וַיִּקְרָ֧א אֶת־שְׁמ֛וֹ נֹ֖חַ לֵאמֹ֑ר זֶ֠ה יְנַחֲמֵ֤נוּ In every chumash I have seen the word זה has 2 cantillation marks on it a telisha and a gershayim (according to the ...
6
votes
2answers
139 views

Why did the Dor Hamabul earn a painless death?

There are, apparently, 903 levels of death, and the term vayigva is one of them. According to some, it refers to the simple act of expiration -- the creation of a corpse. Others, like the Rashi ...
5
votes
3answers
203 views

Why did Eisav say “red” twice?

Genesis 25:30 says: ... הַלְעִיטֵנִי נָא מִן הָאָדֹם הָאָדֹם הַזֶּה ... ... "Pour into [me] some of this red, red [pottage] ..." Why did Eisav feel the need to say "red" twice?
5
votes
2answers
183 views

List of titles before different Rabbis

It is customary to put many honorific titles before most modern day Rabbis (I've even seen seforim that write Harav Hagaon etc. etc. So-And-So). Many times one sees long lines of adjactives praising ...
1
vote
1answer
262 views

Is “Roh-eh Hanoled” a classical expression?

In Maus from Art Spiegelman, a rabbi tells Vladek he's a "Roh-eh Hanoled", one that sees what the future holds. It is an invention of his or does it exist in any classical or sacred source ?
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Saying Shemini Chag Haatzeret Haze in Shemona Esrei

Why do certain communities say shemini chag haatzeret haze and not chag shemini atzeret haze like all the other festivals (chag hasukkot, chag hapesach). Why is the word chag in the middle of the name?...
10
votes
1answer
131 views

Why is the wording of the beracha upon shaking the arba minim only on lulav?

The beracha upon shaking the arba minim is 'על נטילת לולב'? Why is the focus on the lulav specifically rather than a more general blessing like 'על נטילת ארבעה מינים'?
2
votes
0answers
24 views

Torah definition of אזרח, גר and תושב?

The Gemmorah in Succah (and Kiddushin) learns that the women are exempt from sitting in a Succah from the word האזרח. The Torah uses this word a couple of times, many times together with the words גר ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

What's the link between prostitution and one who “one who sells Mezonot”

In a Rashi commentary (p.2) on Joshua 2:1 אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה refers to Rachav "one who sells Mezonot". Is this an euphemism for Rachav's prostitution and if so, what's the connection besides a word root ...