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Apr 24, 2014

how to say "balance" in Hebrew

אִזּוּן, שִׁוּוּי מִשְׁקָל

One could argue that the lifestyle guidelines presented in the Torah are all about balance, especially in light of this week's portion.

The Hebrew word for balance when talking about non-physical things such as lifestyle is אִזּוּן listen and repeat. It comes from the word for that organ that helps us keep our balance when we stand and walk - אׁזֶן listen and repeat, the ear.

For example:

הָרוֹפֵא מְחַפֵּשׂ אֶת הָאִזּוּן הַנָּכוֹן שֶׁל תְּרוּפוֹת.
The doctor is looking for the right balance of medications.

Balance in the physical sense is שִׁוּוּי מִשְׁקָל listen and repeat - literally, equalizing weight.

For example:

הָאָזְנַיִם מְאַפְשְׁרוֹת לָנוּ לִשְׁמוֹר עַל שִׁוּוּי מִשְׁקָל.
Our ears (the ears) enable us to keep (our) balance.

Apr 23, 2014

how to say "to go wild" in Hebrew


For the Jews it's been Passover, and for students around the world it's been spring break. As parting advice for the latter, parents might tell their son:

תַּעֲשֶׂה חַיִּים, אָבָל אַל תִּתְפָּרֵעַ יוֹתֵר מִדַּי.
Have a good time (literally, make life), but don't go too wild.

The word ַלְהִתְפָּרֵע listen and repeat - to go wild - is a reflexive-intensive verb of the root פ.ר.ע (p.r.a) meaning wild

Likewise, The Wild West is ַהַמַּעֲרָב הַפָּרוּע listen and repeat.

The root פ.ר.ע is likely related to that of a wild donkeyפֶּרֶא listen and repeat, from which Biblical Hebrew derives the term פֶּרֶא אָדָם listen and repeat  - a wild donkey of a man.

Apr 22, 2014

how to say "cappuccino" in Hebrew

קָפֶה הָפוּךְ

There's a line from a popular song from the nineties that goes, "I like my sugar with coffee and cream."

Even though they're Jewish, I bet the Beastie Boys didn't know that what they're describing is pretty close to the Israeli version of cappuccino. 

ְקָפֶה הָפוּך listen and repeat, literally, flipped coffee, refers to cappuccino or similar coffee items ordered in an Israeli cafe. 

For example:

כּוס קָפֶה הָפוּךְ יְכוֹלָה לַעֲזוֹר בַּחֲזָרָה לַשִּׁגְרָה אַחֲרֵי הֶחַג.
A cup of cappuccino can help with the return to the routine after the holiday.

Apr 14, 2014

how to say "pilgrimage" in Hebrew

צַלְיָנוּת, עֲלִיָּה לָרֶגֶל

General Pilgrimage

Various religions the word over recommend or require pilgrimages to holy sites.

The generic term for pilgrimage in a given religion is צַלְיָנוּת listen and repeat, while a pilgrim is a צַלְיָן listen and repeat or a צַלְיָנִית listen and repeat, referring to a male or female, respectively.

For example:

מִילְיוֹנֵי צַלְיָנִים מֻסְלְמִים מַגִּיעִים לְמֶכָּה מִדֵּי שָׁנָה.
Millions of Muslim pilgrims come to (arrive at) Mecca every year.

The words צליינות and צליין come from the Aramaic word pray - צָלֵי listen and repeat. The words are not related to the Hebrew לִצְלוֹת listen and repeat to roast.

Jewish Pilgrimage

Specifically-Jewish pilgrimage to Jerusalem is עֲלִיָּה לָרֶגֶל listen and repeat - literally, going up for the occasion, where רֶגֶל listen and repeat refers to an occasion, something for which people pick up their legs and go somewhere.

Likewise, the three festivals for which Jews would once and continue to flock to Jerusalem are שְׁלֹשׁ הָרְגָלִים listen and repeat.

Holiday for me

I'll be on vacation during Passover, so I won't be writing much, if at all, over the next week or so.

In the meantime, if you haven't yet watched our Passover video lesson, here it is.

חָג שָׂמֵחַ!
Happy (Passover) holiday!

Apr 13, 2014

how to say "preparations" in Hebrew


The word for to prepare something, in Hebrew, is the active-causative verb לְהָכִין listen and repeat. The root is כ.ו.נ (k.w.n), the same as many common Hebrew words including כֵּן listen and repeat - yes and נָכוֹן listen and repeat - correct.

For example:

הֵכַנְתִּי אֲרֻחַת עֶרֶב טְעִימָה מְאֹד.
I prepared a very tasty dinner.

Likewise, preparation is הֲכָנָה listen and repeat.

For example:

הַהֲכָנוֹת בְּעִצּוּמָן לִקְרַאת חַג הַפֶּסַח.
The preparations are in full swing for the Passover holiday.

Apr 11, 2014

review and own the words from our Passover video!

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!

Apr 10, 2014

how to say "from" in Hebrew

מִן, מִ-, מֵ-

The word מִן listen and repeat means fromYou'll find it in Biblical Hebrew, in Rabbinic writings and in literary contexts of Modern Hebrew.

You're more likely, however, to encounter the abbreviated, prefix versions:

-ִמ listen and repeat in most contexts


-מֵ listen and repeat where the following sound historically would become difficult to pronounce using -מִ.

For example:

בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יָצְאוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם...
The Children of Israel left from Egypt...

...מֵעַבְדוּת לְחֵרוּת.
...from slavery to freedom.