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15 votes
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Source and etymology of כפירה kefirah ‘heresy’

Edits in italics: Balashon blog discusses it at length here, and provides many sources, as well as a look at one example of it by various Rishonim. I have added some content from there during this ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
14 votes
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Etymology of קטלא (necklace, in משניות מעילה)

The Aruch says that "some" indeed explain it as related to the Aramaic root קטל, because the woman binds it fairly tightly around her neck so that she looks plump. (In a comment on the OP, ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,812
13 votes

Why is a Shechitah Knife termed a Chalaf?

A few possibilities. Ezra 1:9 מחלפים. Rashi says that מחלפים is knives and it comes from בית החלפות where the knives were kept in the Bais Hamikdash. Even Ezra and Metzudas David in Ezra 1:9 also ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
8 votes
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What's the etymology of the Hassidic term "b'sho'oh" for a chaperoned quasi-date?

The etymology is from the German "beschau," to inspect.
Hershy Fishman's user avatar
6 votes

The word Yamakah

According to Wikipedia, 'Yarmulke' is pronounced 'Yamakah'. Which means that Yamakah is a misspelling of Yarmulke.
Harel13's user avatar
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6 votes
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Connection Between Liver & Honor?

Shemot 7:14 says: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר ה' אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה כָּבֵ֖ד לֵ֣ב פַּרְעֹ֑ה מֵאֵ֖ן לְשַׁלַּ֥ח הָעָֽם The Lord said to Moses, "Pharaoh's heart is heavy; he has refused to let the people out. The ...
Mordechai ben Yosef's user avatar
6 votes

Why is אותו מקום referred to as the מקום התורף? What does תורף mean?

Your answer is within the sources in your question. Torf means an exposed place, that should be covered. מקום התורף - woman's genitalia should be covered if exposed. Document's תורף - Are the ...
Alaychem goes to Codidact's user avatar
6 votes
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Is there a particular reason Ezra HaSofer name is spelled with an "א" instead of with a "ה"?

בית שמואל, שמות אנשים, אות ע' עזרא אין בו ספק ובאלף בסוף משום שנתגדל בבבל נכתב בלשון ארמית The Taz writes that it comes from Aramaic. Quoted in Beit Shmuel (Shemot Anashim, Ayin) and Aruch ...
MDjava's user avatar
  • 2,230
5 votes

Origin of Histakel Be'Oraisa Uvara Alma

The sources that I can find for this idea is as follows. 1 - Beginning of Medrash Raba - Breishis. מביט בתורה ובורא את העולם 2 - Zohar Teruma 635 אסתכל בה באורייתא וברא עלמא
Gershon Gold's user avatar
5 votes
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What is the etymological definition of הגיס?

Rashi (Beitzah 34a) says that it means to stir (literally overturn) with a spoon: מגיס - מנער בכף, שקורין קומיבר"א Rashi (Shabbos 18a) explains similarly that it means to overturn. מגיס - מהפך ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
4 votes
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Ibn Ezra: Moshe = Monius?

Immediately after stating that that was Moshe's name he tells us where he got it from: ככה כתוב בספר עבודת האדמה הנעתק מלשון מצרים אל לשון קדרים גם ככה בספרי חכמי יוון That is, he got it from ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

The word Yamakah

Yamaka or Yarmulke is actually a contraction of Yareh MiKah - יָרֵא מִקָה - i.e. to fear Gcd, the purpose of covering one's head, originally. Say Yareh MiKah a few times in succession and it will ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
3 votes

What is the etymology of the name Jesse?

I'd sooner suspect that the correct interpretation of ישי - Jesse is "יש שי" meaning "there is a gift", for example, describing the birth of the child - similar to by Leah's naming of her son ...
Loewian's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the meaning of the name Lemech?

See Midrash Rabba paracha 23 , paragraph 2: ‏ ויולד לחנוך את עירד וגו' ‏ ‏אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי: כולן לשון מרדות הן.‏ ‏עירד, עורדן אני מן העולם.‏ ‏מחויאל,...
kouty's user avatar
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3 votes

The afflicted, poor and humble a reference to the command to afflict oneself on Yom Kippur

There is a hint from the text that the עינוי referred to involves an abstention from food. The parsha both in Emor and in Pinchas lists all the holidays and says with regard to each "כל מלאכת עבדה לא ...
Dov F's user avatar
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3 votes
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Etymology of the word "Kvater"

Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh De'ah 265:35: וקורין לזה קוואט"ר. ויראה לי שזהו מלשון "קטורת", דאמרינן בכריתות (כריתות ו ב): מה לשון "קטורת"? דבר שקוטר ועולה. ופירש רש"י: קוטר – ...
Joel K's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the meaning of the phrase לצאת ולבוא?

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his commentary on Deuteronomy 31:2, calls "לצאת ולבוא" "the general term used for the public efficient activity of national leadership," and points us ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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3 votes

Origin of Yisha'yahu (Isaiah/יְשַׁעְיָהוּ)'s name

The gemara in Sotah 10b says: "And Rabbi Levi says: This matter is a tradition that we received from our ancestors: Amoz, father of Isaiah, and Amaziah, king of Judea, were brothers." In ...
Harel13's user avatar
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3 votes

Why is it called Bas Kol

This is the very first question in the Rif. The Rif answers that he never heard anything about it ,but he notes that when lashon zachar is used we can learn from it,but when it's lashon nekeivah we ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.1k
3 votes

What's the connection between Aravos and Heaven?

The gemarra in Chagigah 12b says that there are seven rekiyos, loosely translated as seven Heavens. ר"ל אמר שבעה ואלו הן וילון רקיע שחקים זבול מעון מכון ערבות Reish Lakish said: There are seven ...
robev's user avatar
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3 votes
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Meaning of animal names examples

I'll just give a few examples but for a long list of examples see here: For a fox- זאב, it's זה אב, like זה אובה, meaning a fox always desires food. For a mouse- עכבר, its בר, עכב-בר is מזון (food) ...
Avishai Tebeka's user avatar
2 votes

Etymology of “Krepel”

The Yiddish word kreplach is plural of krepl, a diminutive of krap or krep which supposedly comes from Yiddish's primary ancestor language, Middle High German, where krappe or krapfe meant "a (...
Elle Müller's user avatar
2 votes

The name Nataliyah/Natali (is it Jewish?)

Wikipedia writes: Natalia is a female given name with the original Late Latin meaning of "Christmas Day" (cf. Latin natale domini). It is currently used in this form in Italian, Romanian,...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
2 votes
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What is the literal meaning of the 42 encampments in the wilderness?

Here is a rough draft I wrote which suggests both the roots of each place name, and a personal life-journey interpretation (it is too long to post here as an answer): I believe that most life-patterns ...
simyou's user avatar
  • 1,837
2 votes

What is the etymology of the name Jesse?

The name appears in 1st Chronicles 2:13 as אישי, and this was interpreted in דעת מקרא as a shorthand of אישיה - Ishyah - literally "Man of Jah". Compare this to אשבעל - Eshbaal - "Man of Baal" - 4th ...
laugh salutes Monica C's user avatar
2 votes
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What is the meaning of the name "Miriam"?

According to Shir HaShirim Rabbah 2:11, the name is derived from the word מרר, bitter, and reflects the fact that the Jews’ slavery became harsher around the time of her birth. עִקַּר שִׁעְבּוּדָן ...
DonielF's user avatar
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2 votes

Do some scholars believe that "לנבא" ("lenabe") meant "to philosophise"/"to entertain"/"to dramatise"?

Your question is: So is it a popular theory among Biblical researchers? No. Or, at least: not in the context in which you're asking. That context is Mi Yodeya, a Judaism Web site, so you must mean ...
msh210's user avatar
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1 vote

Why the principal (money) is called Keren?

According to קרן השור וקרן ממון (thanks to Nbubis) the use of the word קרן for the principal stems from Vaikra 5, 24 "וְשִׁלַּם אֹתוֹ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ וַחֲמִשִׁתָיו יֹסֵף עָלָיו", lit. "pays ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
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A heap of people and ingathering of food

Rav Hirsch explains on that pasuk that it was an external gathering and making a pile. That is why he (actually Rabbi Levy his grandson translating from German to English) uses the term rabble. ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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1 vote

Why is אותו מקום referred to as the מקום התורף? What does תורף mean?

מקום התורף may be a cacophemism for the female genitalia because "its root trp means to act ignominiously". There is ample academic discussion over the etymology of תרפים with no clear consensus. A ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar

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