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Sep 3, 2014

how to say "to put (someone) to bed" in Hebrew


 listen and repeat means to lie down.

For example:

בְּשַׁבָּת אַחַר הַצָּהֳרַיִם, אַבָּא שׁוֹכֵב עַל הַסַּפָּה.
On Shabbat afternoon, Dad lies down on the sofa.

לשכב is an intransitive form (more or lesss) of an active-simple verb, whose root is שׁ.כ.ב (sh.k.b).

In order to express the idea of causing someone to lie down, or putting them to bed, Hebrew plugs that root into the active-causative verb form, yielding לְהַשְׁכִּיב listen and repeat.

For example:

אֶתְקַשֵּׁר אֵלַיִךְ אַחֲרֵי שֶׁאֲנִי מַשְׁכִּיב אֶת הַיְּלָדִים.
I'll call you (a female) after I put the kids to bed.

Sep 2, 2014

how to say "railing" in Hebrew

*** Yesterday's dose's sound files were mislinked, so you may have had trouble hearing them. My apologies.

You can hear the sound files now by visiting this page.


The Torah prescribes that homeowners put some kind of fencing or railing on their roofs, so that people don't fall off.

The Torah's word, in use today, is מַעֲקֶה listen and repeat, though today the word refers more often to the diagonal railing found on staircases.

For example:

כְּשֶׁאַתָּה יוֹרֵד, תַּחְזִיק בַּמַּעֲקֶה.
When you (a male) go down, hold on to the railing.

Sep 1, 2014

how to say "beloved" in Hebrew

אָהוּב, אֲהוּבָה

The Hebrew word for love is אַהֲבָה listen and repeat (yep, just like the Dead Sea brand), whose root is א.ה.ב (a.h.b).

To love is לֶאֱהוֹב listen and repeat, an active-simple verb. It also means to like.

For example:

אֲנִי אוֹהֵב פַּסְטָה.
I like pasta.

In that sentence, אוהב listen and repeat is the action, while פסטה listen and repeat is the recipient of my love or liking. The pasta could be said to be אֲהוּבָה listen and repeat - beloved, but only in theory, since אהובה is reserved for the object of genuine affection, as in:

לֵכִי לִישׁוֹן, אֲהוּבָתִי.
Go to sleep, my beloved (a female).

and, in the masculine,

הוּא הָיָה אָהוּב עַל כֻּלָּם.
He was loved by everyone.

אהוב listen and repeat and אהובה listen and repeat can also mean favorite, as in:

זֶה הַמַּאֲכָל הָאָהוּב עָלַי בְּיוֹתֵר.
This is my favorite food.

Aug 31, 2014

how to say "generation" in Hebrew


Most Hebrew nouns appear masculine in both singular and plural forms, or feminine in singular and plural forms.

For example, שָׁעוֹן listen and repeat is a clock, while שְׁעוֹנִים listen and repeat are clocks; and חַיָּה listen and repeat is an animal, while חַיּוֹת listen and repeat are animals.

Some words, however, can be deceiving. One of those words is the one for generation - דּוֹר listen and repeat - an ancient Hebrew word of masculine gender, whose plural form is דּוֹרוֹת listen and repeat, sporting a feminine ending.

But the gender of the word is determined by its singular form (with a couple of exceptions), which is masculine in this case.

Thus, for example, in...

כָּל הַדּוֹרוֹת הַקּוֹדְמִים כְּבָר יָדְעוּ אֶת זֶה.
All the previous generations already knew this.

...הדורות listen and repeat appears with its feminine-plural ending, but the word describing it, הקודמים listen and repeat, uses a masculine ending, since the noun itself is masculine.

Another notorious example of such a noun is the word for place - מָקוֹם listen and repeat in the singular and מְקוֹמוֹת listen and repeat in the plural.

Aug 29, 2014

make this week's Hebrew yours - REVIEW this week's doses!

חֹמֶר לְשִׁנּוּן
Review Material
Review, practice and test yourself on this week's doses of Hebrew!

שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם, וְסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ נָעִים!
Shabbat Shalom, and have a nice weekend!

Aug 28, 2014

how to say "judge" in Hebrew


We've seen that מִשְׁפָּט listen and repeat refers to that unit of speech or writing called sentence, and that its root is שׁ.פ.ט (sh.p.t) meaning judgment.

Likewise, a judge in most courts is a שׁוֹפֵט listen and repeat or שׁוֹפֶטֶת listen and repeat (male and female, respectively).

An example from this week's Torah portion:

שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֵּן לְךָ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֶיךָ...
You shall place judges and police in all your gates...
(Deuteronomy 16:18)

Likewise, a conventional court of justice is a בֵּית מִשְׁפָּט listen and repeat.

A Jewish religious court, however, is a בֵּית דִּין listen and repeat, and a judge in such a court is a דַּיָּן listen and repeat.

For example:

בֵּית הַדִּין בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מְטַפֵּל, בֵּין הַיֶּתֶר, בְּעִנְיָנֵי נִשּׂוּאִין.
The (Jewish) court in Israel deals, among other things, with marriage issues.

Aug 27, 2014

how to say "you're right" in Hebrew

אַתָּה צוֹדֵק

The literal translation of אַתָּה צוֹדֵק listen and repeat (to a male) and אַתְּ צוֹדֶקֶת listen and repeat (to a female) is you are just.

This may seem strange, until we take a good look at the word right and realize that it's also the root of the word righteousness. When people are right about something, they're in the right.

For example:

הֵם צוֹדְקִים בְּמָה שֶׁהֵם אוֹמְרִים.
They're right about what they're saying.