Recently, this off-topic question regarding Hebrew grammar was posted to our site. Although I think I can give a useful answer to this question, I have not done so, because the question is blatantly off-topic for this forum.

Since I first saw it, TKR has given feedback to the OP that the question is, in fact, off-topic. The OP has subsequently asked for guidance on where the question would be on-topic. A brief investigation by myself has resulted in no obvious appropriate answers to this question. Would it be considered OK to answer the OP's question under the circumstances, or would that be discouraged as giving tacit approval for off-topic questions?

1 Answer 1


The questions for which we give answers are de facto on topic. Answering Hebrew questions would indeed send the signal that we allow Hebrew. This specific question is an interesting one and would deserve an answer, but as I have elaborated on in another meta discussion, our site should not be a homeless shelter. Therefore, please do not answer off-topic questions. I closed the linked question.

A couple of practical ideas:

  • Why don't we have a meta question "Where to get answers to Hebrew questions?" pointing out resources an Q&A sites that could help? While Hebrew is off topic, I would consider it very reasonable to discuss possible solutions on our meta. That meta page would serve as a permanent help to people seeking advice in the future.

  • You can give hints in comments. I don't like answering in comments at all, but for a good question without a home on SE I would be more lenient. The question will be automatically deleted in due time and won't show in search results, so it is of little help to anyone else. Our site is not only here to serve those who ask, but also those who find the questions through search engines.

  • The scope is far more flexible in chat. As long as there is no huge flood of such questions — there certainly isn't now — I have nothing against discussing a little Hebrew in chat. The problem with chat is that it requires 20 reputation to use, thus disabling newcomers. Although chat records are kept indefinitely, they are hard to find and do not make for a useful resource for other readers.

  • Thank you for the guidance. I will certainly respect the site policies and understand the reason for not answering such questions.
    – varro
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 14:51

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