Friday, March 17, 2006


The etymology of idkunim עדכונים - updates isn't that complex. It comes from the phrase ad kan עד כאן - "until here" or "so far". It's a recent word, as is the English update, which first appeared only in 1948. I guess it makes sense for idkun and update to be of modern coinage...

Anyway, that term was just an excuse to let you all know of a few updates.

a) In my post about choten and chotenet, I mentioned an article that criticized Jastrow's definition of chatan. Well, thanks to Menachem Butler, I received a copy of that article. It was by Rabbi Salomon Alter Halpern, published in the journal HaMoreh in 1970. The part I remembered read as follows:

Rabbi Halpern is referring to Jastrow's example of chatan in Pesachim 113a, where advice is given to a husband to prevent contact between his wife and her first chatan. Jastrow seems to indicate it means a fiance, while Halpern claims that chatan always refers to a husband after the wedding.

b) Back in my post about teruma, I quoted the Rambam's introduction to Masechet Terumot, where he defends linguistic innovation. I did not, however, translate the quote into English. Well, Zackary Sholem Berger did the job for me, here. Thank you Zackary.

c) I will be traveling for most of the next 5 weeks. I do plan on continuing to add new entries here, but I obviously won't be carrying my entire library with me. So while the information might be less comprehensive than usual, I'm sure I can rely on the readers here to let me know if I've forgotten an important fact.

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