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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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 ...
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1answer
244 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
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1answer
175 views

Why does the Oruch HaShulchan tell the number of words in the blessings of the Amidah?

The Oruch HaShulchan (eg here) mentions how many words there are in each of the blessings of the weekday Amidah and gives a reason why that number of words is used. For example for the blessing of T'...
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1answer
71 views

Is it correct to say that the term Elohim, when referring to HaShem, means “Supreme Legislator”?

I read here in Italy, in some forums organized by Orthodox Jews, that the term Elohim, when referring to HaShem, means "Supreme Legislator". Is this statement correct? Would it be permissible to use ...
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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 ...
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2answers
128 views

What's the difference in meaning between Lamah and Madu'ah?

It seems that both the words למה and מדוע mean "why". But, I think that there is some other nuance in the meaning of these words; the Torah chooses its words carefully. Two verses for comparison - ...
2
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1answer
50 views

What is a Maggid Meisharim?

I understand there is a work by R' Yosef Karo under the same name. But in the Shemos HaTzaddikim, I find the following name: ר' מענדיל מגיד מישרים דקהלת באר R' Mendel, Maggid Meisharim of the ...
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1answer
47 views

The ארור of becomming a servant of servants

In Bereshit 9:25 ארור is used to describe something of which the consequence is that Kena'an will be a eved avadim - a servant of servants - unto his brethren. So What's the definition of ארור and ...
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2answers
58 views

What is the difference between Hashlucha and Shenishtalcha?

In the musafs for Shabbat-Rosh Chodesh and the Yomim Tovim we bemoan our inability to offer the sacrifices because of the destruction of the temple. (That we do so only on the Rosh Chodesh which falls ...
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1answer
53 views

What is כף הכינוי?

In R' Wiesenthal's Siddur Sefas Yisroel, he talks about the כף הכינוי and different opinions about it. But I have no idea what this actually is. So, what is כף הכינוי?
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1answer
71 views

What is a “fishtran” fish?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Siman 10, Sief 1 .(וְיֵשׁ לִמְשֹׁחַ הָרְצועוֹת תָּדִיר בְּשֻׁמָּן שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שְׁחוֹרִים (וְלֹא יִמְשְׁחֵם בְּשֻׁמָּן דָּג הַנִּקְרָא פִישְׁטְרָאן כִּי הוּא מִדָּג טָמֵא ...
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1answer
67 views

Why is the mitzvah called “Shiluach haken”? [duplicate]

Why is the mitzvah of sending away the mother bird before taking the young called שילוח הקן (Shiluach haken; "sending the nest")? It's not the nest you send away; it's the mother bird. I would have ...
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22 views

Why choose “bo” over “bam” in Ne'ilah? [duplicate]

In the Shabbat davening there is the phrase "v'yanuchu ____ yisra'el..." The middle word, according to the Artscroll text, is "bah" in ma'ariv, "bo" in shacharit and musaf and "bam" in mincha. This is ...
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124 views

Rosh Hashanah as a Day of Friendliness

Are there any texts or commentators which discuss the idea of Rosh Hashanah being a day of friendliness? The Artscroll/Stone on Bamidbar 23:22 follows Rashi's understanding (Bamidbar 23:21) of "utru'...
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216 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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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
316 views

What is the meaning of לֵאמֹר?

What is the meaning of לֵאמֹר? In all the usage of לֵאמֹר in the Torah, it almost seems unnecessary to add the word "to say" or "saying". For example, here is the first occurrence: וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם ...
2
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1answer
486 views

Translation of “Ashrei”

What is the correct translation of "Ashrei"? For ages every siddur translated it as "happy". But in recent decades, Artscroll decided it was "praiseworthy" and Chabad decided it was "fortunate". ...
4
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1answer
171 views

Sorcerers, wizards, warlocks… what are the differences?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 53a lists, among those subject to stoning: a necromancer -- בעל אוב a wizard (Soncino translation) or sorcerer (Sefaria) -- ידעוני a sorcerer (Soncino) or warlock (Sefaria) --...
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130 views

Where is there a discussion where the phrase “to become circumcised” means “to convert to Judaism” or “to become a Jew”? [closed]

Where is there a discussion where the phrase "to be circumcised" means "to convert to Judaism" or "to become a Jew"?
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37 views

Joshau 10:40, 11:11 and 14 the use of neshamah

I highly respect what you have written in your website. Why is neshamah used in these 3 references? In the metaphor of the glass-blower, neshamah is the part of man that is most connected to Hashem. ...
4
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2answers
272 views

Is the shiur called a “k'beiah” or a “k'beitzah”?

Is the shiur the size of an egg properly called a k'beitzah ("כביצה") or a "kebeyah" ("כביעה" maybe)? If "כביצה" is correct, as I think it is, then why do people sometimes say "כביעה"?
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1k views

Is there a term for a non-Jewish friend of the Jews? [closed]

I saw a related, unanswered question but it was specific to honorable deceased non-Jews. I'm wondering if there is a Yiddish term in Judaism for someone who may be close friends with many Jews, who ...
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0answers
24 views

What does a nun sofit do to a verb? [duplicate]

In Devarim, 13:12, the text reads "יִשְׁמְע֖וּ וְיִֽרָא֑וּן וְלֹֽא־יוֹסִ֣פוּ לַעֲשׂ֗וֹת " which is translated (on Sefaria) as "will hear and be afraid, and such evil things will not be done again". ...
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106 views

Why does kedusha text differ sometimes?

In some prayerbooks the Kedusha doesn't start like "Nekadesh et simha..." but like "Nekdisha vonaaricah..." What's the reason for the difference? Also I can see that among the blessings there are ...
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0answers
225 views

Yehi Ratzon Milfanecha or L'fanecha?

At certain points we say a "Yehi Ratzon." In my siddur Tefillat Hashalem, the construction is almost always "Yehi Ratzon Milfanecha." However, at the end of the Shmoneh Esrei for the end of Shabbat, ...
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1answer
58 views

Different kinds of ruling and excercising dominion

There seem to be different words to express some form of ruling (or exercising dominion). Could someone explain me the difference in meaning between these hebrew words when used in the Tenach? What ...
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2answers
175 views

What is the phrase “sin of youth” (חטאת נעורים) referring to, as used in the Tanya?

"Sin of youth" (Heb. חטאת נעורים) is a phrase found in various places in the Tanach. (For example, Tehillim 25:7 and Shmuel I 2:17.) I was told that in Tanya, Chapter 42, "sin of youth" is a ...
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42 views

כְּהַיּוֹם vs. כַּיּוֹם

Why does the word sometimes appear as כַּיּוֹם and sometimes as כְּהַיּוֹם? As a general grammatical rule, a heh with a patach gets subsumed into the preceding kaf, so why are these cases different? ...
3
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1answer
889 views

Meaning of the Word “Lechem”

One might think that the word “lechem” was a fairly general term. It seems to refer sometimes to animals' feed (Psalms 147:09), mannah (Ex 16:22), or sacrificial meat (Lev 03:16, Num 28:02). Rashi ...
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3answers
133 views

Is there a difference between a קֻּבָּ֗ה and an אהל?

In Bamidbar 25:8, Pinchas follows the Israelite אֶל־הַקֻּבָּ֗ה. According to Rashi, a Kubah is a tent ( and the Rashbam sort of agrees, saying "inyan ohel" which Sefaria translates as "A kind of tent."...
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205 views

Nachalah vs. Morasha

On a biblical level, what is the difference (if any) between נחלה and מורשה? We find both שרשים being used in various forms, for example: (Deut. 32:8-9) בהנחל עליון גוים...יעקב חבל נחלתו. (Deut. 33:...
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42 views

Why is 'לִבִּי' treated as a separate entity in Kohelet?

Kohelet is a chronicle of King Solomon's life journey to understand the 'meaning of it all'. In this short klaf the phrase לִבִּי (and variants on the word for 'heart') is used some 30 times (mainly ...
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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 ...
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81 views

How to write לע''נ when the father is alive

I understand that usually you write: לע''נ Joe בן Shmo ז''ל when you dedicate something in honer of someone who passed away But if the father is alive would you do still the same? Sources please
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664 views

When to say Baruch Dayan Emes

This link suggests it is appropriate to say "Baruch Dayan Emes" (presumably without H''s name) even if you didn't know the person. But what if the person passed away a long time ago, and it is only ...
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46 views

Where does the phrase בס"ד come from? [duplicate]

People will sometimes mark their papers with the phrase בס"ד or ב"ה, I know what they mean but where does the idea of putting them on comes from. Is there and basis in the Torah or do any Rabbis have ...
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2answers
606 views

What does hedyotot mean?

I was recently discussing the prohibition of studying "shitrei hedyotot" (loosely translated as secular studies). But when looking at a debate of the Rabbis in Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 21:b-22:a the ...
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1answer
53 views

Why do we refer to HaShem as a Rofei Chinam?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 230:4, as explained by Magen Avraham ibid. :6) paskens that when one undergoes a medical procedure he should say the following prayer: יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלקי שיהא עסק זה לי ...
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1answer
269 views

Wishing someone Mazel Tov may turn out to be problematic

I am a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch shul with its wonderfully diverse community here in Southeast Asia though I am not a Chasid. I may have caused some discomfort to our much loved Rabbi & ...
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1answer
182 views

Does anyone know what the Tefillin Cover says?

(Image source) I'm just curious and I want to know what it means.
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1answer
36 views

Is the title הזקנה only used in reference to an old woman? Or out of respect? [closed]

I am asking this question in reference to placing a title on a tombstone for a special lady (unfortunately did not live long, 40s): What title is most appropriate or respectful? Is the title הזקנה ...
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1answer
81 views

In references to dates on tombstones, יום שבת קודש or יום שבת?

Which is better, more correct, or necessary? In references to dates on tombstones, יום שבת קודש or יום שבת? Thanks very much!
1
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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 ...
1
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1answer
109 views

Parameters of “Mehudar”

What are the parameters of hiddurim? To me, it seems as if the term is used somewhat arbitrarily.
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3answers
1k views

The Biblical Hebrew Word 'Almah

According to the Hertz Chumash, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, page 202, the word 'almah in the Tanakh means a young woman of marriageable age, unmarried or married. In modern Hebrew 'almah means '...
2
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0answers
92 views

Use of the Word “Shoah” Before the Holocaust [closed]

Are there any Hebrew texts that employ the word "Shoah" to refer to calamities that befell the Jewish people prior to the 20th century? Or is the use of "Shoah" to refer to the assault against Jews as ...
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0answers
37 views

Limping צלע and פסח

צלע (Genesis/Bereshit 32:32) וַיִּֽזְרַֽח־ל֣וֹ הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָבַ֖ר אֶת־פְּנוּאֵ֑ל וְה֥וּא צֹלֵ֖עַ עַל־יְרֵכֽוֹ׃ and פסח (Leviticus/Vayikra 21:18 for example) כִּ֥י כׇל־אִ֛ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־...
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0answers
79 views

Tzerei vs. Sh'va vs. Segol

Are there examples of words where pronouncing a sh'va as a tzeirei or a segol (or pronouncing a tzeirei as a sh'va or a segol or a segol as a sh'va or a tzeire) creates a different meaning? I'm ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Beith Habechira Vs. Beit Hamikdash

In the Haggadah, in Dayeinu we say the final lines about Hashem's building for us (itself a curious idea) the temple. But different texts have different wording. One haggadah reads "vlo vana lanu et ...