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17 votes

Why does Tanac"h frequently use the term for "knowledge" when referring to sexual relations?

Ibn Ezra to Genesis (3:6) suggests that Adam had sex with Eve as a result of eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Therefore, sex is euphemistically referred to as knowledge. Additionally, he notes that ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

What is a "Fa-rer"?

A FarHer in "Yeshivish" terms means an (usually oral) exam. It is commonly used when referring to the entry exam given to student applicants before accepting them into a Yeshiva. From here: ...
RibbisRabbiAndMore'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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12 votes

Shoteh in the gemara

Chagiga 3b is the main place in Talmud. This text does not easy lead to clear conclusions. But this is the main source. in psychiatry today perhaps those symptoms are included in the term "...
kouty's user avatar
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12 votes

Who is rich in matters of courtship?

See the Talmud’s elaboration on 49b: על מנת שאני עשיר אין אומרים כרבי אלעזר בן חרסום וכרבי אלעזר בן עזריה אלא כל שבני עירו מכבדים אותו מפני עושרו ‘On condition that I am wealthy,’ we do not say, ...
Alex's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

How does the 19th brocho of the shmona esrai open?

I obviously can't comment about what is "original" or not, because we don't know what the "original" wording was, if there ever was such a thing. Chazal left us nothing of the sort. What we do know ...
Double AA's user avatar
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10 votes

What's the difference between idol worship and star worship?

Star worshippers was a term invented by the editors of the printing process to avoid angering the religious majority amongst whom we lived. They would have been very insulted (to the point of ...
user6591's user avatar
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10 votes

Is the title: "New" Testament offensive to Jews? Alternative neutral name?

Thank you for your sensitivity. The issue with "old" and "new" isn't just what you said about "old and outdated, new and shiny". It's also that, to us, the latter isn't a "testament" at all. God ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

The Biblical Hebrew Word 'Almah

The question has an unspoken, Christian-missionary-oriented premise. (Unfortunately a common subversion of this site, and one not acknowledged by either askers or answerers. Let us not pretend.) ...
josh waxman's user avatar
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10 votes
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What's the link between prostitution and one who "one who sells Mezonot"

This is not a euphemism for prostitution. Your link is to a text which abridges Rashi's commentary. The full text of Rashi is available (in Hebrew) here, and (in English) here. אשה זונה • ת ״י ...
josh waxman's user avatar
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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

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

Translate the beginning of the blessing "Asher Yatzar"

"1 - G-d used His wisdom when creating man" Tosfos Berachos 60b אשר יצר את האדם בחכמה - בתנחומא ויברא אלהים את האדם א"ר בון בחכמה שהתקין מזונותיו ואח"כ בראו היינו דאמר בסנהדרין בס&...
פרי זהב's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Wise saying in the Netflix series 'Shtisel'

Rav Avigdor Miller (Tape: Happy Is He Who Ignores) explains that the idea behind this is that one should not pay attention to such thoughts of what other think of you. Why not? Because that will "...
Shmuel's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

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
Accepted

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
Accepted

Rosh Hashanah as a Day of Friendliness

This is stated by the B'nei Yissakhar (Maamarei Hodesh Tishrei Maamar 3 - Yom Teruah Derush 3): וכן יש לפרש יום תרועה, לשון ריעות וחיבור, התחלת מעשה לקרב ולהגיש החיבור פנים בפנים, הוא יהיה לכם, הכל ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Difference in usage of two words for "kissing" in the Torah

Massekhet Kallah Rabbati (3:15) states that ינשק means to kiss somewhere on the body, while ישק means to kiss on the lips/mouth. ומה בין וישק לוינשק, וינשק בכל הגוף, וישק בפה
mevaqesh's user avatar
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8 votes

Is Rabbeinu Tam correct about unique phraseology for specific amoraim?

(I am prepared for all of the downvotes this might get me...) In my understanding of Rabbeinu Tam, this is a non-issue. Rabbeinu Tam rejects Rashbam's opinion because Rav Ashi answers Rav Achai in ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What is a Madoni

The footnotes in the Soncino Talmud write concerning the מדוני: A townsman of Meron in Galilee, south of Giscala. The reading here and in the MS. F of B.B. 156b is מדוני . Similarly, if you look ...
ezra's user avatar
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8 votes

What else is described as תּוֹעֵבָה?

The best example of a תועבה is someone who is haughty. About such a person Scripture states (Proverbs 16:8) תועבת ה' כל גבה לב. As R. Avraham Danzig points out in the introduction to Chayei Adam, ...
Alex's user avatar
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8 votes

Mil'al vs. Milra on "Lamah"

The word is spelled לָמָה (without a dagesh and stressed on the final syllable) when the following word begins with an א or ה or ע,* and spelled לָמָּה (with a dagesh and stressed on the penultimate ...
b a's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the meaning of the word "mabul"?

As far as I can tell from searching on Sefaria and AlHatorah, מבול appears 12 times in Tanach, and every instance refers to the Waters of Noach. The only appearance of the word outside Parashat Noach ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between "baruch" and "mevorach" regarding G-d?

Rabinu Bachya in Kad HaKemach Here writes that ברוך means the source of blessings, מקור הברכה - all blessing come from him. While מבורך means he is blessed by all, מבורך בפי כל - all his creations ...
פרי זהב's user avatar
8 votes

Similarity between atonement in Leviticus 4:20 & cover in Genesis 6:14 in terms of semantics, wording/phrasing, lettering/grammer, pronunciation?

I'm not a Biblical Hebrew linguist at all but I hope this helpful. All Hebrew words have a two or three letter root . There are many Hebrew words with כפר as their roots. Some are listed below • ...
Schmerel's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

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

the aggadic concept of a finite number of words to speak

Derech Pikudecha (Bnei Yisoschor)- page 162 - paragraph starting with Gimel says that one has a limit on the amount of words in his lifetime and if he speaks too much is shortening his life. קיבלנו ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
7 votes

Are there unnecessary words in torah?

There are already eight answers to this question, including an accepted one, yet no one has quoted any sources where rishonim explicitly state that parts of the Torah are unnecessary. While the ...
Alex's user avatar
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