safek (SUH-feik) listen
safek (sah-FEK) listen


  • n. A doubt or doubtful case; suspicion.

  • n. An unresolved question, uncertainty.

Example Sentences

  • "We might think of a safek as a case with a sample space consisting of two opposite elements." (source)

  • "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
  • Yiddish


  • ספק safek 'doubt' > Y ספֿק sofek

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • 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 Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

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

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