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
2answers
155 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
210 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
192 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
449 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
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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
132 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
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0answers
25 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
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2answers
131 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 ...
1
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2answers
131 views

What does נמר in Tanach mean

What does נמר quoted in this Passuk mean: ירמיהו יג, כג: היהפוך כושי עורו ונמר חברבורותיו I see it translated as a leopard e.g. in mishna avot 5.20 and in "What's the point of Jeremiah 13:18–...
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4answers
37k views

Gmar Chasima Tova - What does it mean?

When we wish one another during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva "Gmar Chasima Tova" what does it mean? Does it not depend on what is written in the document? What difference does it make if the seal is good ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between adonai and adoni?

I'm sure I've missed something quite obvious here, but I've always been told that adonai is "my Lord", and so I always assumed that it was adon with 'my' stuck to it. But, that would be adoni, with a ...
1
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1answer
105 views

Meaning and origin of names used for Jewish schools

I am familiar with the following "titles" used for different types of Jewish schools. My assumptions (correct me, please, if necessary.) Yeshiva - a "generic" term applying to all Jewish schools of ...
3
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0answers
35 views

What is meant by using the term “B'nei Brit” in “U'Chtov Lechayim”?

During the Ten Days of Repentance, we add a phrase in the 2nd to last blessing of Amidah: וכתוב לחיים טובים כל בני בריתיך "May all the children of your covenant be inscribed for good life." ...
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2answers
147 views

Words for ‘a teaching’; d’var Torah, shiur, drash etc

Could someone explain me the differences or nuances between a shiur, d’var Torah, drash (and drashah) as they all seem to refer to ‘a teaching’. P.s. is there something in their roots which defines ...
10
votes
2answers
231 views

Why are the words Kiddushin, Erusin, Nissuin plural?

The Mishnah says "האיש מקדש", just like on Shabbos. Nevertheless, on Shabbos we call it a Kiddush (single) but on wedding we call it either Kiddushin, Erusin, Nissuin which are all plural.
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3answers
92 views

What is the difference between “nitzavim” and “omdim”?

The beginning of this week's parsha starts with the words אתם נצבים. Couldn't it have used the phrase אתם עומדים ? I understand that in this context, both words mean "stand". Why use the term נצבים. ...
13
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7answers
44k views

Nefesh, neshama and ruach as words for “soul”

All three words can mean something like "soul", e.g., neshama in גלגול נשמות, and ruach in וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם (Bereshit 45:27). So, what is the difference?
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1answer
69 views

Is there any rabbinical support for the word “צַו” as used in Isaiah 28:10 to mean “connection”?

Is there any rabbinical support for the word "צַו" as used in Isaiah 28:10 to mean "connection"? The usual translation that one reads for "צַו לָצָו" is "precept upon precept". Did any of the rabbis ...
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2answers
90 views

ענה how to define

I would like to know how to define the root word ענה, what actual meanings are given to this root and what is the common denomitor? [I’ve found this root in different verses, so I don’t want to ...
4
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1answer
93 views

“Instruction” Words

In many places in the TaNaKh, I see the distinctive use of similar words, like: תורה - "law" חקי - "statutes" מצות - "commandments" פקדי - "precepts" עדות - "testimonies" משפטים - "judgments" דבר - "...
4
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1answer
174 views

“דָּם נָקִי” vs. “דַּם־נָקִי”

Parashas Shof'tim, 19:10: וְלֹא יִשָּׁפֵךְ דָּם נָקִי בְּקֶרֶב אַרְצְךָ And 21:8: וְאַל־תִּתֵּן דָּם נָקִי בְּקֶרֶב עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל And then Ki Savo 27:25: לְהַכּוֹת נֶפֶשׁ דָּם נָקִי ...
4
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0answers
59 views

Source for galuta d'galuta גלותא דגלותא?

I so clearly remember from my days of Talmud study the phrase גלותא דגלותא, meaning a place that was REALLY far away, seriously in exile, "deep diaspora", totally removed from eretz yisrael. Maybe it ...
1
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1answer
72 views

What is the minimum number to comprise a band (גדוד)?

At the end of parsha 20 in Pesikta Rabbati, it refers to various bands (גדוד) of angels being shown to Moshe. Is there any minimum number as defined in Torah as to how many comprise a band?
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0answers
88 views

Origin of the Phrase Nichsof Nichsafti

In Yedid Nefesh, some versions of the lyrics have the phrase "ki zeh kama nichsof nichsafti" (some have nichsof nichsaf) because it is so very long that I have yearned intensely כִּי זֶה ...
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0answers
62 views

A list of doubled words

In the tanach, there are times when certain words are doubled (generally verbs but I'm open to other combinations) with one form of the word, followed by a second form which is in a future tense, I ...
0
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2answers
88 views

Hebrew phrase/term and pronunciation for “the Lord is my high ridge” from Psalm 18.2

I would really appreciate to know the original Hebrew phrase/term and its pronunciation for "the Lord is my high ridge" from Psalm 18.2
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Nedarim on Questions and Answers

Let's say someone was asked "are you going to shul tomorrow?" and the other person answers "yes." Does that count as a Neder? BTW Rav Mutzafi says that Nedarim are only on Mitzvot, Torah etc.
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2answers
144 views

צִרְעָה Pshat or definition

וְגַם אֶת הַצִּרְעָה יְשַׁלַּח יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּם עַד אֲבֹד הַנִּשְׁאָרִים וְהַנִּסְתָּרִים מִפָּנֶיךָ (Deuteronomy 7:20) What is the הַצִּרְעָה mean in this posuk?
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Different spellings of 1st word in middle of Shabbat Musaph

This past Shabbat, someone in my shul showed me a difference in spelling of the first word in the middle prayer of Shabbat Musaph. Most Nusach Ashkenaz and Sephard spell it as תכנת שבת (Loose ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the name Rami (רמי‎) have a meaning based in Judaism? If so, what is it?

Does the name Rami (רמי‎), as used by figures in the Talmud such as Rami bar Papa and Rami bar Chama, have a meaning based in Judaism? If so, what is it? If רמ means high or exalted, does רמי mean my ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

What is the meaning of Eth Eyd'yam אֶת-עֶדְיָם in Shmoth (Exodus) 33.6?

how would you translate Shmoth 33.6 אֶת-עֶדְיָם ayd is witness so I'm guessing the literal is "witnesses" in the plural - some translate it as "ornaments" others as "finery" and others as "crowns" but ...
16
votes
5answers
507 views

Why is the wicked son sanctioned for doing what the wise son does?

In the Passover Hagada we're told about the four sons. The second one is called wicked because he asks, "What is this service to you?!" ("מה העבודה הזאת לכם?") (emphasis mine), while the first one is ...
1
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0answers
83 views

Can the Midrash be included in “Talmud Yerushalmi”

When saying or writing "Talmud Yerushalmi" can this include (or refer to) the Midrash For example. In the Tanya (Chabad) chapter 37 it says ובכל תלמוד ירושלמי היא נקראת בשם מצוה סתם But it was ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

A Navi really wasn't called navi? [duplicate]

In Shmuel 1 9 9 we find the following: לְפָנִ֣ים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר הָאִישׁ֙ בְּלֶכְתּוֹ֙ לִדְר֣וֹשׁ אֱלֹהִ֔ים לְכ֥וּ וְנֵלְכָ֖ה עַד־הָרֹאֶ֑ה כִּ֤י לַנָּבִיא֙ הַיּ֔וֹם יִקָּרֵ֥א לְפָנִ֖ים ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

What is “chad gadya” really all about?

Why do we sing "chad gadya" at the pesach seder? What is it supposed to be about? Also, as a side question, is it "d'zabin aba" or "dizvan aba"?
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Difference in suffix regards the word Shabat

Looking at the words שבת שבתון (ex. Vayikra 23:24) and שבתות (ex. Vayikra 23:15) and there root שבת what do endings ון- and ות- indicate here? What do these suffixes mean/indicate? P.s. Are there ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Question regarding the usage of two of G-d's names in Isaiah 55:7

Part of Yeshayahu 55:7 says: וישוב אל ה וירחמהו ואל אל-הינו כי ירבה לסלוח Loose translation - "He shall to return to Adonai and he will be merciful to him and to Eloheinu, for he is abundant to ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Why are non-Jews referred to as עובדי כוכבים in the גמרא?

When the גמרא refers to עובדי כוכבים, it is usually (eg. Artscroll) translated as "non-Jews". Is this supposed to exclude monotheistic non-idolatrous non-Jews or is it inaccurate translation? If ...
20
votes
5answers
671 views

Zeraim Moed Nashim Nezikim Kodshim Taharos - why not Moadim?

The names of the Shisha Sidrei Mishna (Six Orders of Mishnah) are: Zeraim, Moed, Nashim, Nezikim, Kodshim, Taharos. All of them besides Moed are in plural form. However Moed is in singular form. Why ...
8
votes
1answer
150 views

What does it mean that “his face became blackened” in the Gemara?

Throughout the Gemara we see times when someone's face is described as becoming blackened, due to fasts or other things like intense learning. (Example: Sotah 12a) What does this mean?
6
votes
2answers
297 views

What ancient prayer contains the term “Osem” (אֹסֶם)?

This site claims that Osem (אֹסֶם) is a term taken from an ancient Jewish prayer. What prayer would that be? Anectodote: I had assumed it was a Hebrew transcription of the English word awesome due to ...
8
votes
7answers
631 views

Is it possible to be chasidish without wearing the garb and keeping all the minhagim? [closed]

Can someone be chasidish (or a chasid) if they don't dress in a distinctively "Jewish" way or don't keep all the minhagim such as "cholov yisrael", saying tehillim on rosh chodesh, etc? Does it ...
13
votes
5answers
8k views

Meaning and pronunciation of יישר כחך

What is the exact meaning of the phrase "יישר כחך", and what is the gramatically-correct way to pronounce it?
3
votes
3answers
383 views

What is “Pannag”?

In the book of Ezeqiel, chpater 27 verse 17 we read: יְהוּדָה וְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה רֹכְלָיִךְ בְּחִטֵּי מִנִּית וּפַנַּג וּדְבַשׁ וָשֶׁמֶן וָצֹרִי נָתְנוּ מַעֲרָבֵךְ. What is 'Pannag' (פנג) ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

What does “chotim” mean?

In Shmuel Aleph, 14:33 the word חֹטִאים is used (chotim). I always had thought that the word was chot'im with the vowel under the aleph (as it is in the title to this book) but that isn't the case. ...
3
votes
1answer
553 views

Netzach, Selah, Vaed - what is the difference between these words?

Eruvin 54a says that it was taught by Rabbi Eliezer ben yaakov that wherever it says Netzach, Selah, or Vaed it means it will remain so forever. "כל מקום שנאמר 'נצח' 'סלה' 'ועד' – אין לו הפסק עולמית" ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Is the word “Nischazeik” or “Nischazak”?

When completing an entire book of the Torah (ex. Bereishis), it is customary in some communities to recite the words חזק חזק ונתחזק which is translated out to "be strong, be strong, and let us ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Hell or something else: גהנום/ גהנם and שאול what are these?

'Hell' as described in most dictionaries doesn't seem to be the right translation. Yet a lot of translations of the Tanakh uses this word to translate words such as Sheol and Gehinom ( גהנום/ גהנם and ...
0
votes
4answers
285 views

What is the root of the word mishpocha, family? [closed]

The word appears in the Torah (ex. Bereishis 10:5, 36:40, Devarim 29:17, etc.) and is in common usage today.
6
votes
1answer
687 views

What is a “Fa-rer”?

Please excuse my somewhat weak "yeshivish". For me, this is a "new" language that seems to be the current Orthodox "parlance", and I'm not that familiar with much of its terminology. A woman in my ...

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