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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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3
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0answers
42 views

Ivri and Israeli

In many parts of the torah, When it talks about a jew it says, בני ישראל or עברי etc. However in Parashat Emor when talking about the son of Shlomit the daughter of divri from the tribe of Dan who ...
11
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1answer
288 views

Selah ~ Does it mean 'forever' 'certainly' 'basket' 'pause', 'yahoo', a kabbalistic meditative device, or none of the above?

Does anyone know a Jewish interpretation of "selah" in the psalms? Literally it seems to mean something about basket or hanging, but I don't know how this works into psalms. Jewish sites say it may ...
4
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2answers
177 views

Aramaic-gemara lashon- reverse search

Are there any online tools that allow for searching of an english word to produce the gemara/aramaic translation? I dont really mean translate, I mean to search the jastrow dictionary to find the ...
1
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1answer
110 views

Examples of halacha v'ein morin ken

There are some actions which are permitted, but we do not teach about, in order that people will not abuse or misuse the law. This is called halacha v'ein morin ken ("halacha, but it is not taught"). ...
3
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3answers
793 views

What does איברא mean?

The word איברא only appears a handful of times in the Talmud. (E.g. Pesachim 104a; Chulin 59b, 60a) it means something like its true, you’re right etc. What is the true meaning of this word, it’s ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Tahor and Tamei

Tahor and Tamei are often translated as clean and unclean or (ritually) pure and impure. But what exactly do they mean, what are the definitions for tahor and tamei? How does one render "ritually" ...
3
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1answer
101 views

What is a Madoni

Kiddushin 26b:3 mentions this term - what type of person is this? ת"ש אמר ר' אלעזר מעשה במדוני אחד שהיה בירושלים שהיו לו מטלטלין הרבה וביקש ליתנם במתנה אמרו לו אין לו תקנה עד שיקנם על גבי קרקע מה עשה ...
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10answers
1k views

Are there unnecessary words in torah?

I've been taught, often enough that I thought it was universal, that there are no unnecessary words in torah (chumash) — every word is there to teach us something. I've seen plenty of discussions in ...
5
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2answers
129 views

Which word is said under the chuppah - זוֹ or זוּ?

The groom tells the bride under the chuppah: הרי את מקודשת לי בטבעת זו כדת משה וישראל Is the word זו pronounced with a cholam (וֹ) as in "zo" or with a shuruk (וּ) as in "zu"? I have seen both ...
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4answers
216 views

the tzaddik decrees it and HaKadosh Baruch Hu fulfills it

Someone mentioned that the Gemara in Mo'ed Katan (16b) says: צדיק גוזר והקב"ה מקים, the tzaddik decrees it and HaKadosh Baruch Hu fulfills it. I looked in Mo'ed Katan and could not find צדיק גוזר ...
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1answer
41 views

Does חֵטְא וְעָוֹן include violating positive commandments

Do the words commonly mentioned in scripture E.g exedos 34,6 ֶפֶַשע חֵטְא וְעָוֹן specifically refer to negative commandments that one transgresses or do they include not performing positive ...
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6answers
896 views

Why do we say Mazel Tov? Shouldn't we thank Hashem?

Why do we say "Mazel Tov" when something good happens to a person? Doesn't that mean "good luck?" Are we saying that what happened, happened because of luck?
0
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2answers
146 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 ...
2
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0answers
40 views

Is there any practical implication to having to “read” Hallel?

Before we (Ashkenazim) recite the Hallel we make a blessing which concludes "likro et hahallel" (to read the Hallel). Is there any law which is derived from this? Does it invalidate reciting/saying ...
2
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3answers
93 views

A similitude of the Lord?

What is meant in Bamidbar 12:8 when the verse reads: "and the similitude of the LORD doth he behold" - וּתְמֻנַת יְהוָה, יַבִּיט I would like to know what the words 'similtude of the Lord' really ...
3
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0answers
71 views

Origin of the term “pilpul” as a method of Talmudic study

What is the source for referring to the known method of Talmudic study a "pilpul"? When did this usage begin?
2
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1answer
73 views

What does אה"ת stand for?

What do these rashei teivos stand for? See, for example, the Dikdukei Sofrim here.
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4answers
549 views

What is the best translation of the word נַעַר?

So I have been studying the meaning of the Hebrew word נַעַר. I understand that it's difficult to always find exact translations of certain words in the Hebrew vocabulary, but I have found in my ...
7
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1answer
291 views

What is the proper definition of a “Poretz Gader”?

There are a few places in halacha where it states that someone who violates a rule is called Poretz Gader. An example is someone who doesn't stand while saying Vehu Rachum (or according to Mishna ...
4
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2answers
105 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 ...
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1answer
150 views

The definitions of Judaism and Jew

An infinite loop: Judaism according to Google is "the monotheistic religion of the Jews". And Jew is "a member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who ...
3
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3answers
593 views

what is the difference between “sasson” and “simcha”

The last of the Sheva Brachot (7 blessings) said under the wedding chuppah, as well as after benching throughout the rest of the week includes an acknowledgement to G-d for creating both "Sasson" and "...
5
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2answers
1k views

דע לפני מי אתה עומד on the ark

In some shuls it says on the ark, "Da Lifnei Mi Atah Omeid." Is there any source from which that comes?
4
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2answers
248 views

Is it correct to say that in the Jewish tradition the honorary title “Maràn” has never been used to refer to HaShem?

I am an Italian gentile believer in HaShem, who engages in the observance of the noahide precepts, as commanded by the Creator in the Torah. In the numerous debates I have with my catholic christian ...
5
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2answers
385 views

Difference in usage of two words for “kissing” in the Torah

I saw an article in my local weekly Jewish paper this past Shabbat where someone addressed this question. Unfortunately, the article didn't really answer my question. So, I hope that if I get one or ...
7
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2answers
342 views

Changing the spelling of “G-d” and Halachic erasure

Is there a problem of "erasing the name of HaShem" if you erase the English word spelled G-o-d, and if so, is there then a problem of erasing it in order to spell it in a more acceptable way (such as ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Hakaras hatov vs. hoda'a

It seems that there are two terms that could be broadly translated as "gratitude", which each express different aspects of the concept. הכרת הטוב denotes recognition, while הודאה has strong echoes of ...
5
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3answers
2k views

לא (lamed-aleph) vs אל (aleph-lamed)

Hebrew beginner, here. I was asking why the prefix for "not" was usually לא but occasionally אל. Some kind Hebrew students told me אל was only used for future tense, saying not to do something. One ...
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0answers
80 views

Word for “strictly” parve

What word do people use to identify something as completely parve--that is, kosher to eat with meat or milk--as distinct from "b'chezkat chalavi/basari"/DE/nat bar nat? Would it be correct to say "l'...
2
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1answer
119 views

What is a kilbis fish?

The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 40a) mentions that if you find a "kilbis" (כילבית) fish in fish brine you can eat it. What does a "kilbis" fish translate out to in English?
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62 views

How Did Aharon Change Moshe's Words to Par'oh?

Moshe's message to Par'oh was to be communicated through Aharon, as per Sh'mot, 7:2 אַתָּ֣ה תְדַבֵּ֔ר אֵ֖ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֲצַוֶּ֑ךָּ וְאַהֲרֹ֤ן אָחִ֙יךָ֙ יְדַבֵּ֣ר אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה וְשִׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־...
7
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2answers
399 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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1answer
53 views

The definition of ריב and its applications?

The verb ריב is often translated as quarrel, dispute, murmer, strife or argument, which seems quite logical when looking at Bereshit 13:7 when the herdsmen were bickering about land because it couldn'...
0
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0answers
28 views

Differences and similarities between פרס and פרש

I wondered what the differences and similarities of the roots פרס and פרש are? I noticed that both roots are used in Jeremiah 16:7 and Lamentations 4:4 for the 'deviding or sharing' of bread. Any ...
2
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3answers
211 views

What is the meaning of the phrase לצאת ולבוא?

What is the meaning of the oft-repeated phrase לצאת ולבוא as in Deuteronomy 31:2 ? I realize it means "to conduct business" or "to lead", but I was hoping for more of a deep dive (does it come from a ...
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3answers
247 views

What is gidul bonim (raising children), and who is responsible for it

A mother has no obligation to educate her children (at least according to some respectable opinions)(Shulchan aruch harav o"h 343.4 אבל אמו אין מצווה עליו כלל בין במצות עשה בין בלא תעשה: and Talmud ...
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2answers
68 views

Why are specifically the land of Israel and the Torah called a “Morasha”?

If I have this correct, the Torah calls only two items מורשה - the Torah, itself as in Devarim 33:4 and the land of Israel (Cana'an) as in Shemot 6:8. I read, I think in both Art Scroll as well as ...
0
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1answer
72 views

What is the meaning of Yad Moshe in Parshat VaEira

In Parshat VaEira (9.35) it says "b'Yad Moshe" כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה בְּיַד ־משֶֽׁה ; so what was the hand of Moshe that the Torah tells us here about? (And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, ...
6
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1answer
153 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 ...
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0answers
45 views

What are “rashei pispasin”?

In Middot 2:6 and 4:5, it says that רָאשֵׁי פִסְפָּסִין divided between different areas of the Beit haMikdash, specifically between the Ezrat Kohanim and Ezrat Yisrael, and between the areas above the ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Difference between אֲנִי and אָנֹכִי

Throughout the Tanakh, I have come across אֲנִי (ʾani) and אָנֹכִי (ʾanokhi) many times, which both mean "I". What is the difference between the two words in Tanakh?
3
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3answers
137 views

The jewish Q.E.D

What would be an equivalent to Q.E.D in the jargon of Halacha literature? Usually in the Gemara we something like: קא משמע לן, however I can't think of a word that is used as Q.E.D. Maybe הלמ״מ would ...
3
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1answer
438 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

How many languages were used by Shem's descendants?

Parshat Noach, 10:31: These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their languages, in their lands, after their nations. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-שֵׁם, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִלְשֹׁנֹתָם, ...
3
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0answers
75 views

Difference between the words מיחייב and חייב

Rava in masheches megillah 7b famously said that one is obligated to drink until he cannot differentiate between Haman and Mordechai. My question is: Rava used the loshon of מיחייב instead of חייב. ...
4
votes
5answers
110 views

Why is the term meilah used by a sotah?

The pasuk that speaks about a Sotah being unfaithful says that she committed meilah against her husband (bamidbar 5:12). I am only familiar with that term being used in connection with stealing or ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What is the most reliable meaning of Malachi 2:16?

I am an Italian son of Noah. Reading the book of the prophet Malachi, I note that verse 2:16 presents two radically different translations,both carried out in Jewish contexts. Translation reported ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Why is v'acharei added in some siddurim?

In the meditation after each Shmoneh Esrei, we read the line which includes the words בתורתך, מצותיך תרדוף. This comes from the prayer of Mar Brei D'ravina on Brachot 17a. But in my siddur Tefillah ...
0
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1answer
245 views

What is the meaning of “Gomel” as used in the term “Gemillat Chessed”?

Other than its use in Tehillim / Tefilla, the only place I can think of where the verb גמל is used (I'm not referring to a camel) is in the phrase גמילות חסדים, or similar forms of this phrase (...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Is it said anywhere in the Jewish scriptures that 'Amalek' means “wrung, twisted neck”?

I have read somewhere that the meaning of the word Amalek is "wrung, twisted neck" which symbolizes his difficulty to make correct judgements, as for that both the head and the heart and the ...