sefer

Alternative Spellings

seyfer, seifer

Definitions

  • "A literary composition written particularly of, on, or about the Torah" (Weiser)
  • Hebrew or Aramaic book

Example Sentences

  • "What sefer are you learning?"

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Heb ספר séfer 'book', Yiddish ספֿר séyfer 'holy book'

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
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).

Notes

Also used as a proper noun in conjuction with Biblical and Rabbinic texts such as "Sefer Dvarim" is "The Book of Deuteronomy." "The phrase 'in sefer' refers to a comment of the author himself rather than to a comment recorded from hearsay or extracted from other works. 'That pshat is Reb Chaim in sefer.'" (Weiser 84)

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