Word Study

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Hebrew In Israel | Mashiach – Learn Torah

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The word משיח-Mashiach-Messiah is derived from the root משח which is mostly associated with the idea of placing oil on something or someone.  The act of anointing was performed as an act of dedication of a person or an item to a service (mostly to God).  In this article, I will be looking into the background of this act, and the meaning of the title Mashiach.

Hebrew In Israel | Genesis 3:15 – Learn Torah

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I was asked about the words יְשׁוּפְךָ֣ and תְּשׁוּפֶ֥נּוּ in Genesis 3:15.  The verse declares a curse on the serpent, however there is an issue with the words.

וְאֵיבָה אָשִׁית, בֵּינְךָ וּבֵין הָאִשָּׁה, וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ, וּבֵין זַרְעָהּ:  הוּא יְשׁוּפְךָ רֹאשׁ, וְאַתָּה תְּשׁוּפֶנּוּ עָקֵב 

I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”

Hebrew In Israel | Sukkot and the Documentary Hypothesis – Learn Torah

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One of the common arguments in Documentary Hypothesis (DH) is that the Torah is built from many documents (E, J, JE, P, H and D) which were written by different authors, and were placed together by someone later in time to create the whole Torah we have today.  This division has driven most of the Biblical Studies world, and is taught in many schools with some to little criticism.  However, new documentation from the Ancient Near East (ANE) has shown that at least some of the assumptions of the system are incorrect, and in some cases detached from historical discourse.

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Hebrew In Israel | Was Qorach Bald? – Learn Torah

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Unfortunately we have many attempts by well-meaning teachers to teach the public on different topics.  In our case, we are dealing with a seemingly simple case of Hebrew.

The name קֹרַח-Qorach shares a form with the word קֵרֵחַ-Qereach-Bald.  Martin Noth, for example, argued that the name Qorach was derived from the Hebrew word for “bald”, but many others have done the same.

Hebrew In Israel | Yovel, Shofar and Freedom- Learn Torah

Yoel Halevi No Comments

When you try to find a meaning of a word, sometimes the meaning cannot be found in a dictionary, but in a book of a different nature.  I was reading M. Weinfeld’s book on justice in the ancient world and found an interesting interpretation of the word יובל Yovel– Jubilee. 

Hebrew In Israel | Understanding The Verb Shalach – Learn Torah

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The verb שלח is most commonly used to indicate the idea of sending away.  Such is the case of Parashat Beshalch where Pharaoh sends away the Israelites from Egypt.  This is also the common use when someone sends a message or a messenger to someone, and this is the common use in modern Hebrew.  However, like most words in Hebrew there are many more meanings which stem from the basic semantic meaning.

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Hebrew In Israel | Oath In The Bible – Learn Torah

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אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּירָא, אֹתוֹ תַעֲבֹד; וּבוֹ תִדְבָּק, וּבִשְׁמוֹ תִּשָּׁבֵעַ.

You are to fear YHWH your God, serve him, cling to him and swear by his name”.  Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:20

One of the most controversial topics in the Jewish world, and nowadays in the Christian Torah keeping world, is the use of the name in everyday life.  Regardless of the dispute about how to pronounce the name (something I will not touch on in this article), there is an important part of life where the name is to be used, and we are commanded by Torah to use it.

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Hebrew In Israel | Bo: A Misunderstood Verb – Learn Torah

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Very commonly we find that words carry a very different meaning than most of us would assume.  In many cases a commentator will give an incorrect meaning to a word based on their own understanding of the language used at their time.  It is always important to look into the often used format for a word in a text, together with the overall meaning we find in the Bible.  I saw an interesting anecdote about the name of this week’s parasha Bo based on a very common Midrash used in Jewish circles.

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Hebrew In Israel | Miqveh – Learn Torah

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Where does the practice of baptism come from?  Yoel walks us through its history explaining the linguistic, biblical, and cultural factors of ritual washing and purity from Genesis to the time of Yeshua and into today.

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Hebrew In Israel | Houses: Exodus 1:21 – Learn Torah

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In many cases when studying the Hebrew bible, we find words which do not fit into the regular interpretation of dictionary value.  It is not uncommon that we find ourselves looking up a word, but are unable to interpret it correctly.  Even when we try to use grammar and context, we find ourselves looking at a partial meaning of what is actually being said.

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