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Dec 18, 2014

how to say "to resist" in Hebrew


Technological innovations and cultural developments require Hebrew to produce new words. But drama - that existed way back in Biblical times.

The Hebrew word for to resist, found several times in the Torah, is לְהִתְאַפֵּק  listen and repeat, a reflexive-intensive verb of the root א.פ.ק (a.p.k) meaning strong.

For example:

חִכִּיתִי וְחִכִּיתִי, אָבָל בַּסּוֹף לֹא יָכֹלְתִי לְהִתְאַפֵּק וְאָכַלְתִּי אֶת כָּל הַסֻּפְגָּנִיּוֹת.
I waited and waited, but at the end I couldn't resist and I ate all the jelly doughnuts.

As for irresistible... well, Hebrew hasn't yet come up with a stand-alone word for it. What we say instead is אִי אֶפְשַׁר לַעֲמוֹד בְּפָנָיו  listen and repeat - one can't stand up against it, for example:

זֶה פִּתּוּי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשַׁר לַעֲמוֹד בְּפָנָיו.
It's an irresistible temptation.

חֲנֻכָּה שָׂמֵחַ!
Happy Hanukkah!

Dec 17, 2014

how to say "debut" in Hebrew


You may know the Hebrew word for firstborn, בְּכוֹר  listen and repeat.

Modern Hebrew calls upon the word בכור to produce a word for the more contemporary concept of a debutבְּכוֹרָה  listen and repeat.

For example:

הָיִנוּ בְּמוֹפַע הַבְּכוֹרָה שֶׁלָּהּ.
We were at her debut performance.

חֲנֻכָּה שָׂמֵחַ!
Happy Hanukkah!

Dec 16, 2014

how to say "urgent" in Hebrew


Something important needs to be done.

But something urgent needs to be done now.

The Hebrew word for important is חָשׁוּב  listen and repeat, of the root ח.שׁ( meaning think, as something important is worth giving attention. But the word for urgent is דָּחוּף  listen and repeat, of the root ד.ח.פ ( meaning push, since something urgent is pushed to the top of a list of priorities.

For example:

לְנַקּוֹת אֶת הַבַּיִת לִקְרַאת פֶּסַח זֶה חָשׁוּב אֲבָל לֹא דָּחוּף אִם עַכְשָׁו חֲנֻכָּה.
Cleaning the house for Passover is important but not urgent if it's now Hanukkah

חֲנֻכָּה שָׂמֵחַ!
Happy Hanukkah!

Dec 15, 2014

how to say "CPR" in Hebrew


Even if you have no background in Hebrew, chances are you've heard the expression !לַחַיִּים  listen and repeat before, meaning to life!

To produce a word for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR, Modern Hebrew invokes a word related to לחיים, the active-causative verb לְהַחֲיוֹת  listen and repeat - to revive or to make live - and forms a new noun, הַחְיָאָה  listen and repeat.

For example:

אַחֲרֵי עֶשֶׂר דַּקּוֹת שֶׁל בִּצּוּעַ הַחְיָאָה, הַיֶּלֶד הִתְחִיל לִנְשׁוֹם.
After ten minutes of performing CPR, the boy began to breathe.

Dec 14, 2014

how to say "thin" in Hebrew

רָזֶה, דַּק

When speaking about a person, the word for thin is רָזֶה  listen and repeat for a male, and רָזָה  listen and repeat for a female.

For example:

הִיא עָשְׂתָה דִּיאֶטָה וְעַכְשָׁיו הִיא מְאֹד רָזָה.
She went on a diet and now she is very thin.

When speaking about an object, however, the word is דַּק  listen and repeat for something masculine and דַּקָּה  listen and repeat for something feminine.

For example:

זֶה לֹא סֶפֶר דַּק בִּמְיֻחָד.
It's not a particularly thin book.

So we've covered people and objects. What about animals? There, Modern and Biblical Hebrew are divided. While in Modern Hebrew animals are רָזִים  listen and repeat and רָזוֹת  listen and repeat, in Biblical they are דַּקִּים  listen and repeat and דַּקּות  listen and repeat.

Minutes are also called דקות because they are slivers of time.

Dec 12, 2014

WEEKLY REVIEW - Make this Week's Doses of Hebrew Your Own

חֹמֶר לְשִׁנּוּן
Review Material
You spent time on your Hebrew this week.

Use these review materials to make it yours to keep.

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

Dec 11, 2014

how to say "jail" in Hebrew

בֵּית סֹהַר, כֶּלֶא

The most common Hebrew word for jail or prison is בֵּית סֹהַר  listen and repeat, as parents sometimes threaten their children:

אִם לֹא תִּתְנַהֵג יָפֶה, יָשִׂימוּ אֹתְךָ בְּבֵית הַסֹּהַר.
If you don't behave nicely, they'll put you in (the) jail. (to a son)

The origin of the word סוהר  listen and repeat itself, appearing only once in Biblical Hebrew, is unclear, though it may have to do with the fact that prisoners used to be kept in solitary confinement in a rounded pit, of the shape of a סַהַר  listen and repeat - some kind of round vessel.

A common synonym of בית סוהר is כֶּלֶא  listen and repeat, where the root כ.ל.א (k.l.a) means confinement.

Another lesson common synonym is בֵּית אֲסוּרִים  listen and repeat - house of (the) bound.