13 votes
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What is "okinta"?

אוקימתא (from להקים - to put up) is putting a statement in a specific more elaborate way. In short, when there are two (or more) contradicting sources that bring seemingly opposite opinions, Ukimta ...
Al Berko'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
11 votes
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Aramaic in a baraisa

According to Dr. Michael Higger in Otzar Habaraitot, vol. 8 (my translation): "And so we should also note that in a few places we find that the Talmud, when writing "and it was taught in a ...
Harel13's user avatar
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10 votes
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Is there a feminine equivalent of Zt"l?

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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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10 votes

In what language did Adam name the animals?

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) ...
DonielF's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the difference between a takana and a gezera?

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 ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
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9 votes
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What Egyptian/Greek text was Ibn Ezra consulting for his commentary on the name "Moshe"?

The ibn Ezra is almost certainly referring to the Nabatean Agriculture, a work that was widely cited by many rishonim (medieval authorities), most notably the Rambam. (Ibn Ezra appears to have ...
LazerA's user avatar
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9 votes

Why is the colour כחול ('blue') not mentioned in Tanach?

In fact it is mentioned according to the Ramban Bereishis 49: 12 the word חכלילי means כחל. Also the word כחלת is mentioned in Yecezkel 23:40 which means painting of the eyes. Rashi:כחלת. מין צבע ...
sam's user avatar
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9 votes

Seeking copy of Torah in Ktav Ivri (Paleo-Hebrew)

In (my own) basehasefer.com, there's an option to view the pesukim in כתב עברי in the Tanach Viewer and Parsha Viewer features (see Help screens here and here on how to accomplish this). Another way ...
EraserX's user avatar
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8 votes

Is there a feminine equivalent of Zt"l?

There are several instances in rabbinic literature where the rabbinic author mentions a deceased female relative and uses the appellation "zatzal". Here are two examples: R. Moshe Sofer ...
Alex'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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7 votes
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Source of appellation "Shimshon HaGibor"

The phrase 'Shimshon Hagibor' goes back to the 12th century in northern france in the peirush on Genesis 49 17a peirush identified with 'Rabeinu Tam' [Published by Avraham Shoshana 2017]. It appears ...
חנן יבלס's user avatar
7 votes

In what language did Adam name the animals?

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 ...
Chaim's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why do we consider Eisav's nachas goyish if Eisav was a Jew?

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 ...
josh waxman's user avatar
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7 votes

Is there a Jewish midrash that parallels Christian tradition regarding Shavuot

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 ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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7 votes

Why is the colour כחול ('blue') not mentioned in Tanach?

I think the answer to this question is that there are very few abstract words for colors in the Tanach altogether. Rather words are used to describe objects or processes that produce certain colors. ...
conceptualinertia's user avatar
6 votes
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Meaning of abbreviation tblch"t / tblch"a

See p. 322 of this Google book. The Hebrew abbrevaiation is יבדל"א for males and תבדל"א for females. Loose transliteration - TiBadel/YiBadel Lecha'im Arukhim meaning "May s/he live long, on the ...
DanF's user avatar
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6 votes

Why the Sanhedrin has a Greek name?

The book - The Great Sanhedrin (Sidney B. Hoenig) suggests that the original term was Bais Din Hagadol, which is a Hebrew term. However, he notes that due to Greek influence the term synedrion was ...
sam's user avatar
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6 votes
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How is כֹּרֵת בְּרִית interpreted as "make" instead of "cut"?

Rashi to Genesis 15:10 explains that it was the custom of those making a covenant to split an animal into pieces, and to then pass between the pieces. Rashi also refers us to Jeremiah 34:18-19 where ...
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes
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Do gittin have to be written in Hebrew

A get can in theory be written in any single language, but longstanding practice is to write it in (largely) Aramaic (EH 126:1).
Double AA's user avatar
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5 votes

Is there a feminine equivalent of Zt"l?

Following @ Isaac Moses, I searched for Rebbetzen * zt-l and found: Rebbetzin Kanievsky ZTL in the yeshivaworld.com Rebbetzin Bluma ZTL in matzav.com Rebbetzin Vichna Kaplan ztl in linkapeida-...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
5 votes

Why does the Torah use the non-Hebrew word 'Totafot'

Be’er Mayim Chaim, by Rav Chaim ben Betzalel, the brother of the Maharal, to Deuteronomy 6:8 explains that Chazal had a tradition that these two words actually originate from before the story of the ...
robev's user avatar
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5 votes

Why is the mitzvah called "Shiluach haken"?

R. Yeruham Fischel Perla (Negative commandments, §137) explains that since it is forbidden to take any of the birds until the mother is sent away the term "שילוח הקן" implies sending [of the mother ...
Oliver's user avatar
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5 votes

'עם' & 'את' based words in the story of Lot and Avram

According to HaKtav v'HaKabala (Genesis 13:14) when Lot was good (as in 12:4), and in that sense similar to Avraham, the term אתו 'ito' is used, indicating that the two things are similar. When Lot ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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5 votes

What is the difference between the roots א-מ-ן and ב-ט-ח? Between Emunah and Bitachon?

This is a big question. One could write a book on the topic! (wait, the Chazon Ish actually did, and so did R Avigdor Miller). But in a simple way (taken from Ben Tzion Shafier here) emunah is the ...
mbloch's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why does Hillel's teachings change to Aramaic in Ethics of the Fathers?

SEE TOSFOS YOM_TOV on this mishnah HERE. והא דאמר בלשון תרגום עיין סוף מכילתין: - See my comments on 5:22 for why this mishna uses Aramaic. He sends to his comments HERE הפוך בה והפוך בה וכו' ...
RibbisRabbiAndMore's user avatar
5 votes
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You shall not have any other gods

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's translation1 of this verse is similar to the convention you cite: Thou shalt have no other God before My Presence. However, R' Hirsch's commentary on this verse does ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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5 votes

Origin of the word “pushka”

From Yiddish Word of the Week here: Etymology: There seems to be a dispute about etymology here. Leo Rosten, in his Joys of Yiddish (p. 296; unfortunately not available online), argues that it ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
5 votes

What is "okinta"?

An okimta (not okinta) is used generally to advocacy a sentence, generally a Mishna or a Berayita, which seems false or superfluous. From the Darke Hatalmud from Rabbi Yitschak Kampenton paragraph 4 ...
kouty's user avatar
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5 votes

Old French in commentaries

Old French was simply the vernacular language of the great -perhaps the greatest- commentator of the Torah, RASHI, who lived in Troyes, France in the 12 th century CE. His most acknowledged skill was ...
Pioni5777's user avatar
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