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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Explanation of Gemara's Interpretation of מצא

The Gemara Bava Kamma (113b) states that the term ומצאתה implies physical acquisition (rather than mere finding as the word would seem to imply): אמר רבינא {דברים כב-ג} ומצאתה דאתאי לידיה משמע The ...
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85 views

Assist with Rash“i's explanation of verb usage - ”N-CH-L" in describing the tribal heads who will inherit the land

Numbers 34:18: וְנָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֛ד נָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֖ד מִמַּטֶּ֑ה תִּקְח֖וּ לִנְחֹ֥ל אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ Numbers 34:29 אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה לְנַחֵ֥ל אֶת־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאֶ֥רֶץ ...
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Claim for number of times the Tetragrammaton (and 'distinct words') appear in the Chumash

This article makes the following claim: And now to our correspondence: one of the most important contributions to Jewish scholarship in the recent past has been the work of Rabbi Zalman Pinhas ...
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29 views

What is the significance of the ten azharos of tshuva (in Yeshaya ch. 1)?

Rashi in Yeshayah chapter 1 vs. 16 tells us that the ten words in the next two psukim, רחצו, הזכו, הסירו, חדלו, למדו, דרשו, אשרו, שפטו, ריבו, are all אזהרות של לשון תשובה כנגד עשרת ימי תשובה, וכנגד ...
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88 views

Why does Rashi translate שלולית differently from everyone else?

The beginning of chapter 2 of Pea says: These things divide a field [into two] for purposes of pea [requiring a separate pea from each subdivision]: …, a שלולית, …. The Bavli, Bava ...
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106 views

Difference in Tehillim 82:7 quoted in Avodah Zarah 5a

This is Tehillim 82:7 in Masoretic: אֲנִי-אָמַרְתִּי, אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם; וּבְנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כֻּלְּכֶם Yet, see the following passage in Avodah Zarah 5a where Tehillim 82:6-7 is quoted by Rabbi Yose,...
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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 ...
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116 views

Does ehad mean “one” or “first” when used together with “rishon”?

How should ehad be translated in this phrase and why? וְשַׂ֣ר׀ מַלְכ֣וּת פָּרַ֗ס עֹמֵ֤ד לְנֶגְדִּי֙ עֶשְׂרִ֣ים וְאֶחָ֣ד י֔וֹם וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִֽיכָאֵ֗ל אַחַ֛ד הַשָּׂרִ֥ים הָרִאשֹׁנִ֖ים בָּ֣א לְעָזְרֵ֑נִי ...
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What is the definition of a Kuntres?

A kuntres is, generally speaking, known to be a pamphlet or a booklet in the spirit and style of traditional ethical Torah teachings. But how is this different to a small sefer? How many pages it ...
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41 views

Torah confusion between “daylight” and “a day”

The Torah uses the same word יום in the same verse to denote both "daylight" and "24 hours": וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד׃ ...
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Two beginnings related to heavens and earth

IIRC, there is a medrash conecting the first letter of torah (beit) + the word reshit by saying that with 2 beginnings (meaning the heavens and earth) the world came into existence. Does anyone happen ...
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264 views

Is there math in Torah?

I have watched a nice movie back in the day that deals with numbers. In one of the scenes. A Jewish man comes to The Mathematician and tells about how the Hebrew uses the same "letters" as letters ...
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26 views

What type of cedar wood was used to build the Bais Hamikdash?

Related Acacia wood or Cedar We see that ארז (cedar) was used for the Bais Hamikdash Melachim 1 9:11 And we see that there are many types of ארז (cedar) Bava Basra 80b and Midrash Tanchuma Teruma ...
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67 views

How many words are there in the Zohar?

Zohar (with and w/o the Tikunei Zohar) Tikkunei Zohar Also is there a site/place that lists or otherwise aids in wordcounts for different Jewish books /Seforim ? TYVM
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30 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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148 views

Remes - רֶמֶשׂ - in Genesis 9:3

In Genesis 9:3 Noah is told he can eat every moving thing that lives, but I have always had a problem with the translation of moving thing meaning every live animal. The word translated as moving ...
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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 ...
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43 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? ...
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47 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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91 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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84 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 ...
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33 views

Paroh Doesn't Listen in Different Words

(All Pesukim cited are in Shemos.) 7:4: "Paroh will not listen to you." 7:13 (after the staffs turning into snakes): "He did not listen to them." 7:22 (Dam): "He did not listen to them." 8:11 (...
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100 views

What is the source and meaning of the word מהול?

I am trying to get to the bottom of what the word מהול means in the context of being circumcised. I can't find it used in Mishna or Talmud, but by the Rishonim and Medrashim it is commonly used to ...
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62 views

Was there nothing Tov about Shabbat?

During creation, many of the days have the phrase "vayar Elokim ki tov" after some aspect of the creation on that day. The second day does not -- the Stone edition mentions a Rashi that the term ...
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53 views

What's the difference between נכה and הרג?

In בראשית chapter/verse 4:15 and in various other places the words הכות) נכה) and הרג are used which both seem to be interchangeable in english translations. וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל ־ ...
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86 views

Does anyone discuss the similarities between these?

I noticed that the משנה ברורה and בראשית both talk about רוח ,מים, clothing, and 'ה seeing all in the beginning. The משנה ברורה seems to be alluding to the חומש here. The first thing after the famous ...
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141 views

Are Jews allowed to use the expression “fingers crossed”?

Not to worship idols is one of the 10 commandments; according to a quick Google search "finger crossed" originates from either the Christian cross or other superstitious beliefs. Does this mean that ...
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105 views

When does the Gemara say “שנאמר” vs. “כדכתיב”

There are many times when the Gemara uses the word "שנאמר" when it quotes a verse. Why does it sometimes use the word "כדכתיב" when quoting a verse, and sometimes it says "שנאמר"
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Is there a term for doing a mitzvah the same way every time?

I read in a book (why can't I find it when I want it?) that among the reasons that a tallit gadol has an atarah on it is because there is value in doing a mitzvah the same way each time. If it did ...
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55 views

Time, Place and Speak

I heard from someone that מזל stands for מקום זמן לשון, (there is a) place (and) time (to) speak. Do you where this idea comes from?
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What's “כי אתא פלוני אמר פלוני”?

The phrase "‫כי אתא [name] אמר [name],‏ [statement]‏‬‬" appears many times in the Bavli. For example, Rosh Hashana 35:1: כי אתא רבין אמר רבי יעקב בר אידי אמר רבי שמעון חסידא לא ...
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511 views

Why is the name of the first Hebrew letter also the word for 1000?

I find it interesting the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet is "Aleph", which shares the letters and is pronounced nearly identically to the word for one thousand - "Eleph". Why might this be? ...
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135 views

How does Lurianic Kabbalah treat Da'at?

Da'at is difficult to interpret. I have found this and this, but I am looking for the Lurianic interpretation specifically. Please note that I cannot read Hebrew.
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31 views

Where is an introduction to the concept of “מתיר” (regarding offerings)?

Mishnayot Menachot 2:5 introduces (as far as this tractate is concerned) the term "מתיר", which I take to mean, in the context of offerings, something like "condition which permits something" or maybe ...
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90 views

Genesis 18:21 then I will know?

I find it strange that Genesis/Bereshit 18:21 seems to imply that G-d has limited knowledge of what's going on in Sodom and Amorah, so I wondered if the word eda'ah (אֵדָעָה) could be translated as: ...
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25 views

How was a covenant a Chok?

Divrei Hayamim 1, 16 quotes tehillim 105 (or vice versa) which reads זָכַ֣ר לְעוֹלָ֣ם בְּרִית֑וֹ דָּבָ֥ר צִ֝וָּ֗ה לְאֶ֣לֶף דּֽוֹר׃ He is ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a ...
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48 views

לך לשלום vs לך עם שלום vs לך בשלום

On page Berachos 33a1 the story of the Pious man praying on the road & the General, towards the end of the story it is stated that the "General was appeased and the Pious man departed to his home "...
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43 views

What is the meaning of Psalms 118:5?

מִן־הַ֖מֵּצַֽר קָרָ֣אתִי יָּ֑הּ עָ֜נָ֗נִי בַּמֶּרְחָ֣ב יָֽהּ From the straits I called God; God answered me with a vast expanse. I put הַ֖מֵּצַֽר into a contemporary Hebrew dictionary and it does ...
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45 views

Deep Sleep Genesis 15.12

I would like to know if the "deep sleep" of Abraham (Genesis 15.12) is literally a "sleep", or a state of "trance" as The Midrash of Philo says (15.12). What does the biblical term mean? Also, ...
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64 views

Bphi Kol Chai not Bphe

In SA Orach Chaim 187:1 in Mishnah Brurah Sif Beis, he writes that the phrase in Birchas Hamazon should be 'Bphi' kol chai and not 'Bphe'. Anyone have an idea why?
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62 views

Why is it important that Shammay's daughter-in-law gave birth?

I heard the Gemmorah is justifying Rebbe for omitting key words in the Mishna for his brevity. Succah 2,8 says: מַעֲשֶׂה וְיָלְדָה כַלָּתוֹ שֶׁל שַׁמַּאי הַזָּקֵן וּפִחֵת אֶת הַמַּעֲזִיבָה וְסִכֵּךְ ...
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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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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 ...
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82 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'...
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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 ...
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18 views

Impure Korban and ketoires that started to burn become completely pure

I was just in a shiur where they said that a korbon and kitoires which where tomai become tohor after part of them starts burning Where can I find this(in the gemoro and the rambam)? What is this ...
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47 views

La'asot meaning “to prepare food”

In parshat Vayera, Bereishit 18:7, the text relates that וְאֶל־הַבָּקָ֖ר רָ֣ץ אַבְרָהָ֑ם וַיִּקַּ֨ח בֶּן־בָּקָ֜ר רַ֤ךְ וָטוֹב֙ וַיִּתֵּ֣ן אֶל־הַנַּ֔עַר וַיְמַהֵ֖ר לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת אֹתֽוֹ׃ Avraham ran, ...