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
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2answers
199 views

Definitions of Creative Words

What is the difference between יצירה, בריאה, and עשייה? (Three terms for creation). The first is used in Genesis (1:1), the second in Genesis (2:7), the third in Genesis (1:11).
6
votes
5answers
736 views

What color is Yarok?

Yarok ירוק in modern Hebrew means green. What color does it refer to in Mishnaic Hebrew? I have heard that it refers to yellow and not green because the Mishna in Sukkah (on 34b) discusses a citron ...
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 ...
6
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3answers
291 views

Difficult phrases in the “Sale of Chametz” document

I am currently working on a clarification of the document which is usually used by rabbis to sell chametz to a non-Jew. The version I am working with is that of Harav hagGaon Avraham Aharon Yudelewitz ...
6
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2answers
323 views

Prayer of Avraham Avinu at Mount Moriah

On Yom Kippur and in Selichos we pray "The One who answered Avraham Avinu's prayer on Mount Moriah, should answer us". "מי שענה לאברהם אבינו בהר המוריה הוא יעננו". What did Avraham pray for at Mount ...
6
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2answers
750 views

Israel Am v.s. Goy

Is Israël an Am or Goy or both? whats the Torah definition and best translation of both terms? Because it seems that Israël is being called both Am as a Goy. (Am Kadosh: Devarim 26:19 and Goy Kadosh:...
6
votes
1answer
464 views

What does “Maaseh Rav” mean?

I believe many people think the term "Maaseh Rav" means a story of a Rabbi: since we see from the story that a Rabbi acted a certain way, we can bring this as a proof to the halacha. However, I ...
6
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1answer
101 views

What “malchus” exists today in America?

The Gemara (Gittin 79b-80a) says that we need to write the date of the malchus (kindgom) of the place where a get (bill of divorce) was written, on the get, for שלום מלכות (so that we don't upset the ...
6
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1answer
94 views

Order of words (Oizer U'Moshia) in Shemona Esrei

In Shemona Esrei in the first Bracha it ends with Melech Oizer U'Moshia U'Magen מלך עוזר ומושיע ומגן, however towards the end of the Bracha of Modim it says HaKail Yeshuasainu V'Ezrasainu Selah האל ...
6
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1answer
445 views

Gedole HaDor: who and how

1)Who do we know to refer to as a "Gadol?" 2)How do we determine who is a "Gadol?" For example, how did we determine that Rav Elyashiv is a Gadol? A Gadol HaDor is known as one of the most ...
6
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2answers
521 views

What is the difference between Genaiva and Gezaila

The Torah or Talmud uses two terms for a thief -- the "Gonif", (which is the more familiar term) and the "Gazlin", and two corresponding terms for robbery "Genaiva" and "Gezaila". What is the ...
6
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1answer
170 views

What does מעלה עליו הכתוב mean?

There are two consecutive Mishnayos in Pirkei Avos that use the phrase "מעלה עליו הכתוב", which loosely translates to 'scripture treats him as...' The first is: רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, ...
6
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2answers
425 views

What is the tzror hachaim (bond of life)?

On tombstones one finds the acronym for t'hay nafsho/ah tzrurah b'tzror hachaim (may the soul be bound to the bond of life). What is this bond of life? Do we have any sources which explain what this ...
6
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2answers
183 views

The word 'Halakhah'

When and under what circumstances did the word "halakhah" (also spelled "halacha", "halachah" or, in Hebrew, הלכה) come to mean Jewish law?
6
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4answers
261 views

etymology of the word “Kittel”

What is the etymology of the word "Kittel"? (Kittel is a white garment worn by many at the Pesach Seder and on Yom Kippur by Davening)
6
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2answers
360 views

Is there any contemporary posek who says you can deviate from the wording in the shmona esrei?

I am reading Kavvana: Directing the Heart in Jewish Prayer by Rabbi Dr. Avi (Seth) Kadish. There he makes the argument that the Anshei Kneset Hagedolah never established the exacting wording for the ...
6
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3answers
727 views

Difference between חֵטְא and עֲבֵרָה

Is there a difference between a חֵטְא (cheit) and an עֲבֵרָה (aveira)? I translate both of those words as "sin." Maybe they signify a different level of magnitude? Or maybe one word is simply ...
6
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1answer
176 views

Universal theory of Biblical eye-raising

Do any of the commentaries or Midrashim offer a universal interpretation (perhaps of the form "any time you see this, it means that") of Biblical idiom of "raising eyes"? Below are ...
6
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2answers
171 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 ...
6
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1answer
255 views

The word for Heart

Is there any difference in meaning between lev and levav? In the Shema a person is commanded to love "b'chol levavcha" with all his heart. But in Shemot 9:14 Hashem says he is sending plagues "el lib'...
6
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1answer
173 views

How can you see words?

Has anyone else noticed the seeming incongruity in Lekh Lekha, Gen 15:1...that Avram is "seeing" the words? The verse states: אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, הָיָה דְבַר-יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, בַּמַּחֲזֶה,...
6
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1answer
315 views

Satan meaning Tempter?

I found a great story online from which I would like to quote a part: The word satan in the Bible seems to mean merely “opponent”. For instance, the angel who obstructs Bilaam’s progress is ...
6
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2answers
168 views

What does למען mean in Tanach?

The word למען appears frequently in Tanach and in prayers. When in prayers, it usually means "for the sake of". (e.g. עשה למען שמך). However, the meaning in Tanach is less clear: לֹא תֹאכַל עָלָיו ...
6
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1answer
326 views

What's the difference between שמחה and חדוה?

The Gra was quoted to me (I think from the Aderes Eliyah, but I'm not sure) as saying that during the shofar blowing on Rosh HaShanna a person should be in a state of simcha and chedva. I would like ...
6
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1answer
220 views

Levana or Yareach?

In the entire Tanach the moon is generally called Yareach. There are 3 instances where it is called Levana: 1) ישעיהו: כד. כג. וחפרה הלבנה ובושה החמה 2) ישעיהו: ל. כו. והיה אור הלבנה כאור ...
6
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1answer
63 views

The difference between ארון and תיבה in the Torah

I'm a little confused here: in contemporary Hebrew the difference is simple - a box that opens on the side [and has a door] is called a cabinet (ארון) while a box that opens on the top is called a box ...
6
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2answers
72 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?
6
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1answer
127 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" (...
6
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1answer
1k 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 man lie ...
6
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1answer
145 views

What is the argument between Rashi and the Ra'avid about the meaning of HaMelech HaKadosh

I was reading בחינת דת, a work of Hashkafa by Elias ben Moise del Medigo and in it he references* an argument between Rashi and the Ra'avid regarding the meaning of HaMelech HaKadosh. The context is ...
6
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3answers
779 views

Difference between behema and chaya

What is the difference between the term behema and chaya used in the torah and mishna? Is it that one means domesticated animal while the other means wild animal?
6
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1answer
86 views

Difference between רבון and אדון

In the Beracha of Elohai, we refer to God using a number of different descriptives. Towards the end, we give thanks to God as: רִבּוֹן כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים, אֲדוֹן כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת. What are some ...
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0answers
91 views

Why don't we say “please” (that often)?

The week day Shmoneh Esrei prayer has a series of requests during which we ask Hashem for many of our needs. In my siddur (Tefilla Hashalem) there is a subtle change made in the texts of 1 of the ...
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0answers
108 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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2answers
2k views

What is the definition of Zera Yisrael? Please read description

Shalom Aleichem, I am considering a halachic conversion to Judaism after having converted (along with several family members of mine) with a reform rabbi several years ago. In my research and studies, ...
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0answers
255 views

Source for not referring to Chanuka lights as a “menora”

Following up on this question about the use of the words "menora" or "chanukiya" to refer to Chanuka lights: I find it interesting that the use of "chanukiya," popularized in 1897 through a secular ...
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5answers
443 views

Why isn't Half Hallel called “85 percent hallel”?

When we say hallel on days like Rosh chodesh, we don't say parts of two prakim of tehillim. This is often called "chatzi" hallel, or half hallel. In fact, according to http://www.5tjt.com/local-news/...
5
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4answers
591 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 ...
5
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5answers
3k views

What in the world is a shtender? [closed]

Who made up the name shtender, and who started using the term?
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3answers
1k views

Etymology of the word “Kvater”

What is the etymology of the word "Kvater"? Kvater is what we call the person that carries the baby boy into a Bris.
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3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a kofer and apicorsis

I always hear the terms "apicorsis" and "kofer״, along with "kefirah" and amaratzit. What is the definition of each?
5
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3answers
339 views

Does the word toad (קרפדה) appear in tanach?

Does the word toad (קרפדה) appear in Tanach? Toad is קרפדה (karpada) in Hebrew. Toad is crapaud in French. The two words have the same 4 consonants in the same order, which does not seem to be by ...
5
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3answers
542 views

Charvona? How many Charvona's were there?

In the Megila twice the name Charvona is mentioned. However there is a difference - Once it is spelled with an Aleph at the end and once it is spelled with an Hai at the end? Were there two Charvona's ...
5
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2answers
409 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 ...
5
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2answers
128 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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3answers
5k views

What is the meaning of יוֹם (yowm) in Bereshit?

I've heard conflicting reports of how the creation days , יוֹם (yowm), in Bereshit are interpreted in the Jewish community. How do actual Hebrew scholars define day in Bereshit? six 24 hour periods or ...
5
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2answers
154 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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3answers
89 views

why is food in parashat miketz called shever

In mikez 42,2 it is written: וַיֹּאמֶר--הִנֵּה שָׁמַעְתִּי, כִּי יֶשׁ-שֶׁבֶר בְּמִצְרָיִם; רְדוּ-שָׁמָּה וְשִׁבְרוּ-לָנוּ מִשָּׁם, וְנִחְיֶה וְלֹא נָמוּת The translation accoding to machon mamre ...
5
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2answers
4k views

What does anger have to do with the nose?

Two expressions, among many, ארך אפים - "long (slow) to anger" when describing one of G-d's qualities, and חרון אף - "anger" contain the word אף - nose. Usually, when people get angry, they yell (...
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4answers
957 views

Definition of Baal Nefesh

I have seen "Baal Nefesh" used frequently in various contexts: sometimes as one who is scrupulous in halacha, other times as someone who is a quality person. What is its simple translation/meaning?

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