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21

I don't see it as a "punishment" any more than one is punished by having to read Shakespeare in his Elizabethan English, rather than in an "updated" text. It's not because the language is sacred, it's because that's the one that it was written in. After all, every translation is a commentary; are you really satisfied with limiting yourself to those composed ...


15

In his commentary to I Kings 6:7: ומקבות" - דלוט"א בלשון רוסיא" Although it seems quite likely that this is a later interpolation; it doesn't appear in early prints of Rashi. In several places, though, Rashi refers to לשון כנען, which was a popular term at the time for the Slavic languages (based on the equation of "Slav" with "slave" and the ...


13

The following is adapted from Dovid Katz, "The Phonology of Ashkenazic," in Hebrew in Ashkenaz: A Language in Exile, ed. Lewis Glinert (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 61-65. Apparently, at least from the 16th century onwards, there was a distinction among (some) Ashkenazim between the sounds of kubbutz and shuruk, with the former being pronounced like ...


12

The Rambam in Perush Hamishnayos Avos Perek 2:1 says that a Mitzva Kala is learning Loshon Kodesh. Harav Yitzchak Yosef in Yalkut Yosef Hilchos Talmud Torah Seif Koton 78 also says it is a Mitzva.


11

The Talmud (Shabbos 33a) states (using Is. 9:16 as a prooftext) that obscene speech causes various national troubles, G-d forbid. It then goes on to say: "Rabbi Chanan bar Rava says: Everyone knows why a bride enters the bridal chamber. Nevertheless, if one speaks obscenely about it, even if there was a Divine decree that he enjoy seventy years [the average ...


11

It seems that according to scholars of history it isn't, though, on a theological level, Hebrew represents the primary language with which Hakadosh Barukh Hu (God) communicates. Perhaps we can say that Hebrew is therefore the spiritual root of all languages. Hebrew belongs to the Canaanite group of languages. In turn the Canaanite languages are a ...


11

Usually if English-speaking Jews want a translation of the Jewish Bible they'll use a Jewish translation. As for exposure to the other part of "the Bible", i.e. the New Testament, my guess is some Jews who believe in extra exposure will have read bits of it in a survey course or the like. There's a huge range of degrees to which Jews are exposed to general ...


11

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 teach thee wisdom. (JPS translation) Metzudos and Ralbag translate it this way here, and and I see no dissenters. Metzudos references Iyov 15:5 and ...


10

The term "pharisaical" is offensive to many Jews (me included) because it denigrates some of our most respected rabbis. When Jews think of Pharisees, they think of the sect at the end of the Second Temple period (circa 0 CE) that became the basis for rabbinic Judaism. This group could be contrasted with other parties of the day such as Zealots (who wanted a ...


10

It is inexact to say that the Pharisees were a "small sect". Most common Jews followed the teachings of the rabbinic Pharisees, as opposed to those of other sects like Sadducees (see Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews 8:10:5,6). Modern talmudic/rabbinic Jews (including most frequent users of this site) consider themselves as following in the tradition of the ...


10

According to Tiferes Yisroel the gemara was redacted multiple times by Ravina and Rav Ashi. The reformatted the words to make them more contemporary. The Masechtos they didn't get around to have uncommon words. But apparently even they didn't pull off a complete switcharoo. Over those centuries Latin and other languages were interpolated. But no complete ...


10

Biblical Hebrew. The verse says that Adam named Eve a "woman" (ishah) because she was created from man (ish). Noting the fact that the two words, in Hebrew, actually are related, Rashi (to that verse) comes to the conclusion that the world must have been created using Hebrew. He's actually quoting the Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 18:4), which continues with the ...


9

Firstly, the צמח דוד, referred to in another answer, was actually first printed in 1592. Secondly, the first source I've found is מכילתא דרבי ישמעאל; the term can also be found in סמ"ג, in ספר חסידים, in Maharsha, and in numerous other seforim. On the other hand, the incidence of this term is not particularly frequent. If we replace 'Zionism' with 'Modern ...


9

See Igros Moshe Even Haezer 3:35 where he says it is a mitzvah to speak lashon hakodesh based of Sifri (Devarim Piska 46) which is quoted by Rashi on the verse of l'daber bam (Devarim 11:19). (The tshuvah is focused on non Jewish names.)


9

Whether that statement means that the angels don't understand Aramaic, or that they can understand it but consider it vulgar, is a topic of debate among the various commentaries. There is a summary of the whole issue, with extensive sources, in Beis Aharon, s.v. אין מלאכי השרת מכירין בלשון ארמי. Maharsha (to Sotah 33a) explains that the specific mention of ...


9

If you search Google for "Mrs. * ZT-L", you'll find many instances of this honorific used for couples, and a few for women. Here are some examples of it used for women by various Jewish news or public relations outlets: BaltimoreJewishLife.com regrets to inform the community of the petirah of Mrs. Chaya Bobrowsky, zt’l, grandmother of Reb Yoni Adler. - "...


8

Evidence against there being such a prohibition includes: Speaking (and writing) other languages has been widespread practice for more than two millennia. While it's hard to prove a negative, I've so far never heard of an objection to this. Some prayers were specifically written in Aramaic, the language of the people, rather than Hebrew. As pointed out by @...


8

Do English-speaking Jews read the Bible in English, or is that too Christian for them? First, English is not a Christian language. If anything, it's a pagan language, but really it's just a language. There are many translations of the Bible into English. Most are explicitly Christian. A handful are scholarly works (e.g., Everett Fox's translation). ...


8

I don't know if it counts as a study, but how about a relevant textbook? The book Biblical Hebrew for Students of Modern Israeli Hebrew looks like it will help you. It's used in the rabbinic program at Hebrew Union College and probably other places (though I only have first-hand knowledge of HUC). Several non-yeshiva programs I'm aware of start by ...


8

It's a Yiddish abbreviation for Kein Ayin Hora - or in Hebrew Bli Ayin Hara. Simply stated without the evil eye; we're not discussing [something] in order to get [it] punished due to our jealousy.


8

The following taxonomy of kinds of halachic ruling was culled from the Rambam, Hilkhos Mamrim ch. 2, and includes thoughts learned at a shi’ur given by R’ Yonasan Sachs (who was then of RIETS, now of Lander's College and is still rabbi at the Agudath Israel of Passaic-Clifton). You only asked about the difference in definition and application of no.s 2 &...


8

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 attached to it. הֵם is the third person masculine singular pronoun, the plural of הוּא‎, and הָהֵם is likewise the same word with the definite article attached to ...


7

If I'm not mistaken, Dayan Gukovitzky's Targum HaLaaz has a transliteration guide. It seems that Rashi did have a specific set of rules for doing this.


7

Quick answer: Yes and no. Any religious or doctrinal aspects of a kesubah itself cannot be enforced under American laws because of Constitutional issues involving the free exercise and establishment clauses to the First Amendment. However, courts have and can enforce strictly secular sections of kesubahs or separate secular agreements between a Jewish ...


7

Radak says that the verse (except the initial "tell them thus") is what Jeremiah was telling the Jews outside Israel to tell the Gentiles there — which would of course be in Aramaic. And the "tell them thus" is in Aramaic to keep the entire verse one language. He doesn't comment on the issue of 25:27.


7

The Midrash Rabba (Bamidbar 19:3) tells us the story of Adam naming the animals: ויחכם מכל האדם, מאדם הראשון, מה היתה חכמתו את מוצא כשבקש הקב"ה לבראות את האדם נמלך במלאכי השרת, אמר להם נעשה אדם בצלמנו, אמרו לפניו (תהלים ח') מה אנוש כי תזכרנו, אמר להם, אדם שאני רוצה לבראות חכמתו מרובה משלכם, מה עשה כינס כל בהמה חיה ועוף והעבירן לפניהן, אמר להם מה שמותן של ...


7

The question is predicated on a joke which you missed or which wasn't properly explained. One of the grandsons of Esav was named Nachas, as we see in Bereishit 36:13: וְאֵלֶּה בְּנֵי רְעוּאֵל, נַחַת וָזֶרַח שַׁמָּה וּמִזָּה; אֵלֶּה הָיוּ, בְּנֵי בָשְׂמַת אֵשֶׁת עֵשָׂו. And these are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These ...


7

Deuteronomy (33:2) states: וַיֹּאמַר, ה' מִסִּינַי בָּא וְזָרַח מִשֵּׂעִיר לָמוֹ--הוֹפִיעַ מֵהַר פָּארָן, וְאָתָה מֵרִבְבֹת קֹדֶשׁ; מִימִינוֹ, אשדת (אֵשׁ דָּת) לָמוֹ. And he said: The LORD came from Sinai, and rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, and He came from the myriads holy, at His right hand was a fiery law unto them. (...


6

The rumor is false. The earliest I can find the phrase 'Shimshon HaGibur' goes back to 1831, long before modern zionism or Hertzl. It can be found in the book צמח דוד Google books also shows other phrases such as Shimshon our Hero from books in 1801, but those are in English and not the exact phrase. I would not be surprised to find it occurring even ...


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