Jewish Journal

Tag: Hebrew

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  • The Jewish Bernie Sanders who only Vermonters know

    October 21, 2015 | 12:43 pm

    Bernie Sanders reads from the Passover Haggadah in Hebrew and jokes with his seder hosts about finding hametz, traces of leavening, after they have thoroughly cleaned the house in preparation for the holiday.

    The presidential candidate, a socialist competing for the Democratic...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Tannur

    October 20, 2015 | 3:14 pm

    Probably right after discovering how to start a fire, humans invented the clay oven, made to slap their dough onto the interior wall and cook on its top opening, with a bottom opening for kindling (often animal dung) and raking the ashes. Indeed, the word tannur has been around for...

  • Viral video puts Israelis and Palestinians at sharp odds

    October 15, 2015 | 9:47 am

    To Palestinians, the video shows a 13-year-old boy being left to die in the street as Israelis shout abuse at him. To Israelis, it shows a teenage knife attacker bleeding as police keep angry locals back and wait for an ambulance.

    The two minutes of amateur footage has become one...

  • Program aims to improve Hebrew education by focusing on teachers

    October 6, 2015 | 12:15 pm

    For years, many graduates of Jewish day schools around the world — and their parents — have expressed disappointment in their level of Hebrew proficiency despite years of Jewish education. 

    To help solve that problem — and in the process afford Hebrew educators the same respect...

  • Between Los Angeles and Tel Aviv: missing Israel

    By Elad Massuri

    August 12, 2015 | 3:02 pm

    It will soon be two years since I moved to the United States. What began as a study-related visit in the cool climate of Washington, D.C., turned into a permanent stay in the warm climate of Los Angeles. I’d always heard about the perfect California weather, but now that I’m here,...

  • Why do Jews embrace shame?

    By David Suissa

    August 4, 2015 | 5:14 pm

    Maybe by the time you read this, Israeli authorities will have identified a Jewish suspect in the horrible attack in Duma that left a Palestinian toddler dead and other family members severely injured.

    But as of now, all we know is that after several days of investigation by the...

  • Palestinian baby burned to death, Israel searches for Jewish extremists

    July 31, 2015 | 11:56 am

    After a Palestinian baby was burned to death in a West Bank arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a manhunt to track down the perpetrators.

    Netanyahu said in a statement that the arson Thursday night in the Palestinian West...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Artsot ha-brit (The United States)

    July 2, 2015 | 2:52 pm

    Students ask me: “What does artsot ha-brit, “the United States” have to do with brit, brit (milah), a “circumcision ceremony”? Then they add, jokingly: “Not everybody here is Jewish or circumcised.” 

    English often prefers adjectives as qualifiers, as with the United Nations, the...

  • Hebrew spoken by a rainbow of Young L.A. voices

    By Ryan Torok

    June 17, 2015 | 4:02 pm

    It’s story time at Lashon Academy Charter School, and Hebrew teacher Ravit Shemesh is reading a Hebrew-language picture book about a grandmother to a group of students sitting at her feet on the classroom’s carpet. Among them is Veer Joshi, a non-Jewish Indian student.


  • Hebrew word of the week: Daf

    June 11, 2015 | 11:34 am

    Some words have been around thousands of years, and their various meaning reflect cultural history. Daf is traced all the way to Sumerian (about 5,000 years ago). Its original meaning was “clay tablet,” which was the first “paper,” then later became “board, wooden panel,” to a ...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Kippah

    June 3, 2015 | 10:50 am

    Kippah is from the root  k-f-f, which means “to bend,” as in zoqef kfufim, “(God) raises those who are bent” (Psalms 145:14,  and prayer), closely related to k-f-y “to compel, force, invert, subdue.” So, kippah is “a bent shape, dome,” as in kippat shamayim “celestial sphere.”

  • Hebrew Word of the Week: Mammon

    May 13, 2015 | 3:56 pm

    Mammon is not in the Bible, where other words are used, such as hon ve-’osher be-veto, “Wealth and riches are in his house” (of the righteous) (Psalms 112:3), but it is very common in (Aramaic), Targumim and rabbinic literature. It may come from ma’mon “trust, deposit.”


  • Darth Vader says ‘I am your father’ in Hebrew (and 19 other languages)

    April 14, 2015 | 3:30 pm

    Ever wondered what the most famous Star Wars line sounds like in Hebrew? Or Thai? Or Catalan? Well, thanks to this supercut, now you can quench your insatiable thirst for this kind of knowledge.

  • Hebrew word of the week: Pardes

    March 18, 2015 | 4:13 pm

    Pardes: garden, orchard, orange grove

    Talmudic literature has many words taken from Persian, but they are usually rare in the Hebrew Bible (except in the later books of Esther and Daniel). However, pardes is well known, as in Song of Songs 4:13, pardes rimmonin, “orchard of...

  • Is this really the Torah God gave Moses at Sinai? (Part 1)

    By Roger Price

    February 25, 2015 | 10:14 am

    The Torah is the foundational text of the Jewish People. Initially, it asserts a pre-history and a purpose of the ancient Judahite kingdom to which contemporary Jews trace their emotional and often actual genetic origin, setting forth the kingdom’s legends and lore, its poetry and...

  • Chaos is my Heaven: Q-and-A with Itai Anghel

    By Rob Eshman

    February 12, 2015 | 1:18 pm

    Rob Eshman: What year did you first meet Commander Media, the leader of the female militia you film in your documentary.

    Itai Anglel: 2010.  She was already a commander. So when I saw her now, it was very good, you know. It meant for her, you know, that, “Okay, it’s fine. He can...

  • Why religion is a laughing matter

    January 9, 2015 | 12:09 pm

    Satire and caricature are funny things. The most effective satire makes us laugh — but then it also gives us something to chew on, to think about.  

    Not all satire is humorous, however. In the Middle Ages, caricatured figures were generally not intended to be funny, as for...

  • The spiritual challenge of centrism

    By Yossi Klein Halevi

    December 12, 2014 | 3:21 pm

    The following is an excerpt from the new preface to Yossi Klein Halevi’s recently reissued book “Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: The Story of a Transformation” (Little, Brown and Co.). 

    I moved to Jerusalem in 1982 and have now lived in Israel longer than I’ve lived outside it....

  • The High Holy Days: Something meaningful, or just going through the motions?

    By Rob Eshman

    September 23, 2014 | 3:12 pm

    Most of us who go to synagogue for the High Holy Days have no clue what’s going on.

    We don’t speak or read Hebrew well enough to understand the prayers or the Torah portion. We don’t know why we say the prayers in the order we say them. We don’t like the stilted English...

  • Recording of kidnapped teen’s emergency call released

    July 1, 2014 | 9:57 am

    The recording of the emergency call placed by one of the kidnapped teens was officially released after a leaked copy spread throughout Israel on WhatsApp.

    “I’ve been kidnapped,” a teen, identified by his father as Gilad Shaar, is heard whispering in the call made at 10:25 p.m....

  • Israeli mosque entrance torched in suspected price tag attack

    April 18, 2014 | 2:36 pm

    Israeli police are investigating the torching of the entrance to a mosque in northern Israel and the spraying of anti-Arab slogans on its walls.

    A security camera at the Abu Bakr al Sadik Mosque in Um al-Fahm filmed three unidentified men wearing masks spray painting “Arabs out”...

  • Israelis pay to send deported African kids to school in Uganda

    By Simone Wilson

    March 26, 2014 | 2:48 pm

    Among the 1,000 students who attend two brightly painted boarding schools in Kampala, Uganda, is a group of 72 South Sudanese children who speak perfect Hebrew on the playground.

    “It is unbelievable,” said Alex Gumisiriza, head of academic programs at the Trinity Schools Uganda...

  • Recognizing the ‘Jewish State’: Two definitions, two implications

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 19, 2014 | 11:33 am

    Two more views on the issue of calling Israel the Jewish State:
    The problem won’t go awaySymptoms of neurosis 

    There are two ways to characterize the State of Israel in Hebrew. One is Ha-M’dinah Ha-Y’hudit (“The Jewish state”) and the other is M’dinato shel Ha-am Ha-Y’hudi...

  • Finding God in neighborly kindness when disaster strikes

    January 15, 2014 | 4:07 pm

    “The epicenter of the earthquake was under our kitchen. The house jumped 10 feet in the air, and my wife and I woke to the beautiful view of the San Fernando Valley,” Rabbi Ed Feinstein, 59, of  Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, recalled with dry humor.

    Feinstein’s experience, as it...

  • Watch: Shaquille O’Neal speaks Hebrew

    January 14, 2014 | 10:27 am

    So a rabbi and a former NBA star walk into a trade show…

    Seriously though, Michigan rabbi (and JTA contributor) Jason Miller, actually did run into Shaquille O’Neal at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last Tuesday.

    Inspired by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons‘...

  • Growing tradition: Tu b’Shevat

    January 10, 2014 | 1:20 pm

    Would you throw a birthday party for your child at 3 a.m.? The Jewish New Year of the Trees, Tu b’Shevat (the 15th of the Hebrew month Shevat), falls in the dead of winter. Instead of colorful flowers or delicious fruit, deciduous trees are barren of even leaves!

    But this strange...

  • Harry Style’s 2014 New Years resolution: Learn Hebrew

    January 7, 2014 | 11:18 am

    Hebrew school-dreading children everywhere may have a new and very surprising source of inspiration. According to the Daily Star, One Direction’s Harry Styles has taken up Hebrew lessons.

    “Harry’s made it his mission to learn to speak and write Hebrew,” a source said, adding that...

  • New Israeli detention center falls flat

    December 17, 2013 | 9:56 am

    This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

    After three days of walking in the cold and snow, many of them on hunger strike, 150 African asylum seekers were forced onto buses and taken back to the new detention center in the Negev desert. The detainees say they want...

  • Poem: Sound Advice

    December 4, 2013 | 4:10 pm

    You have to know
    who to talk to:
    choose a dry
    so that what is said
    is kept there;
    like the rabbi’s
    never leaking out,
    it will remain sweet
    as water in a sealed pit.

    Bor sud, in Hebrew, is a water-proofed cistern, or sealed pit, which holds all the...

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