“Va”, “Ve”, “oo”

June 21, 2006, by

as in “too” – Different pronunciations of the Hebrew letter “vav” when it is used as the “Vav HaChibbur,” the “Combining, or Adding, or Connecting Vav;” simply, “and;” as in “VaHashem Pakad et Sarah,” “And Hashem remembered Sarah,” (Bereshit 21:1) and “VeYisrael ahav et Yosef mikol banav,” “And Yisrael loved Joseph more than all his […]

A ‘Gadol’

June 20, 2006, by

[m., pl. “Gedolim”]; by itself, the word “gadol” means grown-up, or an adult. In the context desired here, it refers specifically to specific individuals in a generation who have risen to greatness in the knowledge of Torah, the ability to analyze the logical fundamentals of Torah topics, or “Halachah,” Jewish Law; that is, the application […]


June 19, 2006, by

the Name for G-d used most frequently in Berachot and in reading the Torah aloud. It means “Master,” as the Hebrew word for “master” is “adon.” The connotation is “Master of the universe” and “Master of the individual human being.” Compare HaShem.


June 19, 2006, by

[m., pl. “Acharonim”] the “last” or a “later one.” In Torah scholarship, the term has taken on the specific meaning of a Torah scholar who lived from approximately the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries through the nineteenth century. Some examples are Rabbi Akiva Eiger, the “Chatam Sofer” and the “Chofetz Chayim.”


June 19, 2006, by

Original Man; first human being created by G-d. He is created “B’tzelem Elokim,” “in the image of G-d.” One of the meanings of this is that he has “bechirah chofshit,” free will, and therefore the ability to choose between “Tov,” that which is good, and “Ra,” that which is evil.


June 19, 2006, by

[f.; pl. “ahavot”] love; as in “Ahavah mekalkelet et hashurah,” “Love removes one from the bounds of common sense”


June 19, 2006, by

[f., pl. “Akeidot”]; the binding; as in “Akeidat Yitzchak,” the “Binding (as a Sacrifice is bound) of Yitzchak, and his offering by Avraham to HaShem, as a sacrifice, according to His Command.” Until, at the last moment, while the sword was already in the air, an Angel of G-d intervened to stop the drama and […]


June 19, 2006, by

[f.; pl. “Aliyot”] going up, rising; in location or in personal qualities; as in “Aliyah l’Eretz Yisrael,” “Going up to live in the Land of Israel” or “Aliyah La’Torah,” “Going up to make a blessing on the Torah”