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Aramaic term

Rabbi David SperlingAdar 24, 5777
132
Question
what does the Aramaic mean "v’kol man din smuchu lana"?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The phrase you quote is from the Talmud in the tractate of Sanhedrin, page 14a. The Talmud tells of the praises sung for two Rabbis when they were ordained with "Smicha", the original Rabbinic ordination. Here is the quote in English "When the Rabbis ordained R. Ammi and R. Assi, they sang thus of them: Only such men, only such men ordain ye for us, but ordain not for us any of the 'sarmitin' and 'sarmisin', or as some say, 'hamisin' or 'termisin'." (Interpretations of these words are varied. Jastrow says that it was a jest at Talmudic scholars using foreign words, and translates: Do not ordain for us any of those using words like 'sermis' (semis), 'sermit', (prob. distortion of 'tremis') 'hemis' and 'tremis'. Krupnik-Silberman translate, 'superficial scholars' (halbwisser). Dalman suggests, 'half-wits' and 'third-wits' (idiots and madmen)) [source – the Soncino translation of the Talmud]. The exact phrase you quote means - "only such men ordain ye for us". You may have seen this used as a way of complementing someone who is worthy of being a Rabbi, or someone who is the type of Rabbi one would like all Rabbis to be like. Blessings.
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