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Home Columns Lashon Hakodesh - Rabbi Reuven Klein

Holy Matrimony (Part II)

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Dr. Michael Satlow suggests that “kiddushin” is actually a loanword from the Greek legal term “ekdosis,” which refers to a bride's father handing over his daughter to her husband.

Holy Matrimony (Part I)

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

The Torah’s word for betrothal is “erusin,” and its cognates appear throughout the Bible. The Mishnah, however, more often uses a different word: “kiddushin.”

The Power To Hold Back

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

In Cheshek Shlomo, Rabbi Pappenheim connects “eitan” to the biliteral root aleph-tav, which he further reduces to the monoliteral root tav. He explains that this root means connections and linking.

The Strong Ones (Part I)

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Rabbi Wertheimer explains that the greater Torah scholar a person becomes, the more effort he must exert on performing good deeds and not lose himself in the more theoretical world of study.

Peace And Quiet

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

“Shalom” implies the cessation of hostilities, while “sheket” implies the cessation of any rush or toiling that force people to be constantly moving about.

Remembering The Wall (Part I)

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Rabbi Pappenheim suggests that “chomah” is related to “milchamah,” as the main purpose of building a city wall is to protect its inhabitants from enemy warfare.

When Suddenly…

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

The Talmud (Kritut 9a) states that “peta” connotes shogeg (by mistake), while “pitom” could connote oness (by accident), meizid (on purpose), or shogeg. The Midrash (Sifrei to Numbers 6:9) disagrees.

Take A Breather (Part III)

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

The Shelah (1555-1630) writes that not everyone can be cognizant of their chayah and yechidah during their lifetimes. Only bnei aliyah (spiritually-elevated people) can connect with their chayah-yechidah.

All About Hair

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

In another famous Talmudic passage, the rabbis speak about taming the force of the Evil Inclination for idolatry, which took on the form of a lion made of fire.

Kneading The Dough

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Rabbi Mecklenberg writes that “arisah” is related to “eres” (bed): Just as dough consists of a mixture of flour and water, so too a bed’s mattress rest on a mixture of interplaced beams or planks.

A Coriander Conundrum

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Ultimately, when Antoninus pointed out that doing so would totally erase his progeny, Rebbe encouraged the Roman official to have mercy on his deviant daughter.

Where’s The Gold?

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Horowitz (1765-1821) writes that Ophir is Peru, where large deposits of gold are supposedly concentrated.

The Old Switcheroo

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

The Torah stipulates that if one tries to transfer holiness from one animal to another, both the original animal and the new animal become consecrated.

Blemished Imperfections

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Rabbi Dr. Ernest Klein explains that this word originally referred to a dot or speck on an otherwise pristine background and was later expanded to mean any type of blemish or defective imperfection.

Sing And Song (Part II)

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

The word “yashar” (straight) would seem to hold the opposite meaning of “shirah,” but Rabbi Shapiro notes that in rabbinic literature the two are linked.

Sing And Song (Part I)

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

In what is possibly a separate explanation, the Malbim writes that “shirah” is a more general term that can refer to song both in a religious sense and in a secular sense, while “zimrah” refers specifically to a religious song that speaks of G-d’s praises.

Better Late Than…

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Rabbi Shapira-Frankfurter discusses a third word for delay or late: “hitmahmah.” In his view, this word denotes a delay caused by moving slower than usual.

Five Ways To Be Silent

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

A fourth word for quiet is “hass.” This verb means making others quiet (i.e., hushing them). The etymology of this word might be an onomatopoeic adaptation of the sound used to quiet others (like “shh…”).

Spoils Of War

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Rabbi Pappenheim traces the etymology of “baz” and “bizah” to the biliteral root bet-zayin, which refers to something unimportant.

Running On Willpower

Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

A number of commentators explain that “chefetz” is a strong, physical type of desire while “ratzon” is a more subtle desire to do the right thing.

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