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
39 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, "...
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35 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 - ...
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3answers
111 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".
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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 ...
4
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1answer
53 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 ...
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2answers
49 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?
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671 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 ...
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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 ...
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117 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 ...
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1answer
119 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: ...
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90 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 - ...
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6answers
458 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 ...
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1answer
49 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
79 views

Small Dalet in Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:17

In Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:17, the letter dalet is small in the word "adam". Why is this?
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2answers
50 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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51 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.
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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 ...
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1answer
71 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 "...
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1answer
78 views

Why introduce holidays with the word “yom”?

In Ya'aleh V'yavo, in tefilla for the 3 regalim and in Kiddush for the regalim, we have options for the particular Yom Tov. The specific day is listed, and is always introduced with the word "b'yom" (...
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1answer
233 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
98 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?...
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0answers
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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 ...
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1answer
57 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 ...
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27 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
83 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 ...
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3answers
66 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. ...
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1answer
63 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
59 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 ...
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55 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 ...
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64 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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1answer
68 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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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 ...
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2answers
52 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
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35 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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1answer
65 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 ...
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0answers
80 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 ...
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1answer
57 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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19 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 ...
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0answers
56 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 ...
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1answer
79 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
254 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 ...
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0answers
43 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. ...
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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 ...
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1answer
255 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 ...