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21 votes
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"Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world": Jewish life or any life?

In the manuscript Parma 3173 there is no "מישראל"; In the manuscript Budapest Kaufman A50 no more; The Mishna of Mechon Mamre, Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5 based on Rambam manuscript idem; לפיכך נברא ...
kouty's user avatar
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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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Source that hearing the Megillah does not require Hebrew understanding?

The Mishna in Megillah (2:1) states: והלועז ששמע אשורית יצא A foreigner who heard [it] in Hebrew fulfills his obligation. The Talmud (18a) elaborates: והלועז ששמע אשורית יצא וכו', - והא ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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13 votes

Moses' Hebrew name was given to him in Egyptian?

You had a number of very good suggestions. Ibn Ezra to Exodus 2:10 suggests 2 possibilities, namely, that Pharaoh's daughter had learned the Hebrew language, or that she asked someone how to say this ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
13 votes

What ancient prayer contains the term "Osem" (אֹסֶם)?

In the Prayer which the Cohen Gadol (high priest) said on Yom kippur after he exited the קודש הקדשים (Holy of Holies), (Found in the Machzor of Yom-kippur toward the end of the Avodah prayers], we ...
RibbisRabbiAndMore's user avatar
13 votes

Why is sleep spelled with an aleph in Tehillim 127?

Note: As Michlol Yofi points out, there are a few other words in Tanach spelled with an Alef instead of a Heh or a Vav. For example: זרא, מרא, כלא. As @Double AA wrote, Minchat Shai on the pasuk ...
Harel13's user avatar
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13 votes

Reason for different punctuation of the prefix vav?

In biblical Hebrew: When preceding an imperfect (future-form) verb to make it past tense, the vav has a patach. However, that patach becomes a kamatz before an alef. Otherwise, when the word is the ...
msh210's user avatar
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12 votes
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Why is a patach chet at the end of the word pronounced "sdrawkcab" (backwards)?

Essentially there should be no vowel, but for certain guttural consonants (specifically, Hei, Chet, and Ayin) it's hard to end a word like that ("NoH"?), so an extra half-vowel is placed before the ...
Double AA's user avatar
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12 votes

Interchangeable usage of Hebrew letters (such as Beis and Vav, etc.)

There is more than one answer to this question. But here's one, albeit a long one. According to the Sefer Yetzirah (02:03), the letters of the Hebrew alphabet can be grouped in five categories ...
Chaim's user avatar
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12 votes
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Are these vowels?

Based off your comments, I have concluded that the symbols you are seeing are helpful aids that have been put in the Sefaria Siddur, apparently based on the Metsuda Siddur. The three dots are to ...
robev's user avatar
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11 votes
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Is the letter Aleph (א) also a word that means "to teach, inculcate"?

Indeed it does! One source in Tanach that illustrates this is Iyov 33:33: אִם־אַ֭יִן אַתָּ֥ה שְֽׁמַֽע־לִ֑י הַ֝חֲרֵ֗שׁ וַאֲאַלֶּפְךָ֥ חׇכְמָֽה׃ If not, hearken thou unto me; Hold thy peace, and I will ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
10 votes

Is the shiur called a "k'beiah" or a "k'beitzah"?

Yam Shel Shlomo in chapter 4 of Bava Kamma says to pronounce it beya as the other word is not nice. This is subsequently brought in the Magen Avraham in siman 156 which is probably where it picked up ...
user6591's user avatar
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9 votes

Did the Masoretes add the yud symbols?

(1) No, the Masoretes did not add this י in the way you suggest. It is simply part of the base consonantal text. (2) You are confusing the pronominal suffix ("my") with the masculine plural construct ...
Dɑvïd's user avatar
  • 350
9 votes
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How to apply the Masoretic note, "2x, once plene and once defectively" to Ruth 1:1?

The Masoretic note you have is from the Leningrad Codex. However, the Aleppo Codex indicates in the masorah gedolah in Chronicles that there are 3 instances of the word (see also Mikraot Gedolot ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
  • 7,694
9 votes

What does שליט"א stand for?

For what it's worth, the Otzar of Roshei Teivot on Bar Ilan lists both שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים ארוכים and שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים אמן. I prefer the latter, because the former is redundant, as pointed ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
9 votes
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What is the history behind ascribing a heading to each of the Psalms?

Yes, these headings appear in Hebrew manuscripts. Here are two of the most famous manuscripts with the heading for your psalm: למנצח אל־תשחת לדוד מכתם בשלח שאול וישמרו את־הבית להמיתו. Leningrad Codex ...
magicker72's user avatar
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9 votes
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Where can I find the original Hebrew text for this quote?

That'd be a reference to Lamentations Rabba to chapter 1 verse 14. Here's the Hebrew of your quote from Sefaria's edition: אָמַר אִם אֲנִי מַגְלֶה אוֹתָם דֶּרֶךְ מִדְבָּר, הֵם מֵתִים בָּרָעָב, אֶלָּא ...
Double AA's user avatar
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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
8 votes

Pronunciation of חשמונאי

Josephus transliterates the name as Ἀσαμωναίος. The transliterated form ω corresponds to long o (see Brønno, "Some nominal types in the Septuagint" in Classica et Mediaevalia 3 and Studien über ...
Argon's user avatar
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8 votes
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Ma'ariv vs. Arvit - when did these terms first appear?

תפלת ערבית is mentioned in the Tosefta Berakhot (3:6), and several places in the Talmud, e.g. Berakhot 4b, 6b, 26b, etc. תפלת מעריב does not appear in Hazal (at least none of the works included in the ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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8 votes

Why do we use the masculine form in a Shabbat greeting?

With respect to your friend, the fact that shabbat pluralises as shabbatot is itself insufficient for demonstrating that it's a feminine word. Lots of masculine words take that plural - such as אבות, ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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8 votes
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Is there a standard for writing Hebrew words in English letters

The challenge is that there are different ways to pronounce Hebrew. Ashkenazim, Sefaradim, Teimanim, etc. all pronounce words differently. There is a very interesting project called OpenSiddur which ...
mbloch's user avatar
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8 votes
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LXX transliteration of יהושע

The name Ἰησοῦς is used consistently for both Joshua and Jesus in the LXX (not Ιησούς, which is the modernized spelling, though accents weren't marked in the oldest texts). To my knowledge, this is ...
b a's user avatar
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8 votes
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Hebrew/Aramaic names with Nekudot for Mishna Tractates

Here are the mishnayos (and their titles) with nikud, based on the Kaufmann manuscript from "late 11th - mid-12th c.".
WAF's user avatar
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8 votes

הָהֵ֔ם and הָאֵ֑לֶּה difference

אֵלֶּה is a demonstrative pronoun, the plural of the singular demonstrative pronouns זֶה‎ and זֹאת‎ (masculine and feminine respectively). הָאֵלֶּה is the same word, but with the definite article ...
b a's user avatar
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8 votes

Where is the root A-D-N (Alef-Dalet-Nun) used as a verb?

According to the Even-Shushan dictionary, there are no verbs based on that root. אדן in Hebrew means base, pillar, like in "אדני המשכן" - pillars of the tabernacle (Shemot 38:31 thanx mbloch). The ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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8 votes

Is there any particular reason why Haran (חָרָן) is spelled as חָרָנָה in B'resheith 27:43 & 28:10?

The Talmud (Yevamot 13b) states: ובית הלל כיון דכתיב חוצה כמאן דכתיב לחוץ דמי דתניא ר׳ נחמיה אומר כל תיבה שצריכה למ״ד בתחלתה הטיל לה הכתוב ה״א בסופה ותנא דבי ר׳ ישמעאל כגון אלים אלימה מחנים מחנימה ...
Alex's user avatar
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8 votes
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What does ממנ”פ mean?

Seemingly this stands for ממה נפשך which literally means something like "what[ever] you want" but roughly translates to "either way" and is a technical term used to introduce a ...
Double AA's user avatar
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7 votes

Pronunciation of "Two"s in Hebrew

The words שְׁתֵּי, שְׁתַּיִם etc. had two pronunciations during the masoretic period. The first pronunciation was with an epenthetic aleph, as אֶשְׁתַּיִם, etc. The second was simply to omit the sheva at ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,809
7 votes
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Real green hair?

Yarok here means yellow, as DoubleAA wrote in the comments. As for your question, what is the difference between Yarok and Tzahov, see Rashi on the passuk who says Tzahov is similar to gold. So now we ...
user6591's user avatar
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