Alternative Spellings

sofek, safeik, sofeik, safeyk, sofeyk, safayk, sofayk


  • A doubt or doubtful case.
  • "Unresolved question: Uncertainty" (Weiser)
  • "Doubt in the integrity of: Suspicion" (Weiser)

Example Sentences

  • "We might think of a safek as a case with a sample space consisting of two opposite elements." (
  • "There's a sofek in the Rishoinim about how the Tanna Kama taitshes the posuk." (Weiser)
  • "The bochrim avoided that restaurant because of a sofek in the kashrus." (Weiser)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew


ספק safek 'doubt'

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


North America


Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

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