- "A literary composition written particularly of, on, or about the Torah" (Weiser)
- Hebrew or Aramaic book
- "What sefer are you learning?"
Languages of Origin
Textual Hebrew, Yiddish
Heb ספר séfer 'book', Yiddish ספֿר séyfer 'holy book'
Who Uses This
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
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).
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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