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Jewish Journal

Tag: Hebrew Word Of The Week

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  • Hebrew word of the week: Hekhal

    4 days ago

    It is amazing how a word that signifies “holy of holies of the temple or tabernacle” is actually a loan word from a “pagan” language: the Sumerian word akkadian, which became e-kal or “big house, palace” (Isaiah 29:7; Daniel 1:4; 4:1).* 

    In the Bible, hekhal Adonai, “the palace...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Kavod

    6 days ago

    The term meaning honor and respect is very important in any society, but even more so in Middle Eastern societies. The English word “respect” means “look back (again), regard”; honor means “regard with great respect, dignity.” The Hebrew kavod is related to kaved, meaning “heavy.”*...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Tefillin

    3 weeks ago

    Tefillin:

    The form is an Aramaic plural (the Hebrew plural would be tefillim), whose singular would be tefillah, “prayer,” similar to tehillim “Psalms, ” plural of tehillah “psalter.”* However, the plural tefillin is used for both, as in tefillin shel yad “tefillin of hand,”...

  • 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...

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  • Hebrew word of the week: Bne-Horin

    April 9, 2015 | 11:11 am

    In the haggadah, bne-Horin, literally “sons of freeborn, noblemen” (Nehemiah 2:16), are contrasted with avadim “slaves.” The mishnah recognizes cases of half-slave, half-freeman — for instances when a slave who had two masters is freed by one but not by the other (Gittin 4:5).

    ...
  • Hebrew word of the week: Tapuz

    March 26, 2015 | 11:00 am

    Tapuz, the word for the orange fruit, is an acronym of tapuah zahav “apple of gold,” as is done in English when we say “SAT” for Scholastic Aptitude Test, or “AIDS” for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Tapuz contrasts with similar “apples”: tapuah(-ets) for “tree-apple,”...

  • 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...

  • Letters to the editor: Charedi draft, Israeli-Palestinian peace, Rav Jonathan Sacks and Germany

    March 19, 2014 | 10:01 am

    Thoughts From a ZOA Elite 

    Rob Eshman contends that a peace agreement with the Palestinians would bring huge benefits for Israel. Unfortunately, his argument does not stack up (“The Bright Side,” March 7).

    Mr. Eshman says that a peace will protect Israel as a Jewish and...

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