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It's still summer in Israel. The bike ride from my rented German Colony apartment to Yeshivat HaKotel in the Old City (where I deliver Ivrit La-Inyan classes) requires that I take an extra shirt to change into when I arrive - since by the time I get to my destination, my shirt is too wet to run a class with the proper decorum.
|It's not me on the bike... but the picture gets the point across.|
A few weeks ago, however, it was so hot that even my second shirt wasn't enough. That type of weather is called, in Hebrew, שָׁרָב (shah-RAHV). The word appears in Biblical Hebrew, in Isaiah 49.
Another term commonly used by Israelis to describe such inclement weather is חַמְסִין (khahm-SEEN). According to Israeli environmentalist Dr. Oded Potchter, this word comes from Arabic and refers to the Arabian tradition that fifty such days a year exist (in the Middle East, I guess). The Arabic word for fifty is خمسون (khahm-SOON), which is pretty close to khahm-SEEN.
That's the major difference between שרב and חמסין - Hebrew versus Arabic.