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Jul 30, 2010

how to say "a request" in Hebrew...


If you know some Hebrew, you surely know the word for please: בְּבַקַשָּׁה (be-vah-kah-SHAH). This word means, literally, in request.

The word for a request, likewise, is בַּקַשָּׁה (bah-kah-SHAH).

I'm taking בַּקַשּׁוֹת (bah-kah-SHOHT) for daily doses of Hebrew, people. Just hit the "comments" section below and send me some. And if you'd like to dedicate your word/phrase to someone, add that in the comment. I just might honor your בקשה :)

שבת שלום! (Shabbat Shalom)

Jul 28, 2010

how to say "to be shy" in Hebrew...


Israelis are big on hospitality. I think it's a Jewish-mother thing.

So that when you go to visit a relative, a friend, an acquaintance... you're likely to get served lots of snacks and a hearty meal, and be asked to take more - אַל תִּתְבַיֵּש (ahl teet-bah-YESH), they would say to a male; אַל תִּתְבַּיְּשִׁי (ahl teet-bah-ee-SHEE), they'd say to a female. Don't be shy!

To be shy or to be embarrassed is לְהִתבייש (le-heet-bah-YESH).

how to say "massage" in Hebrew...


A friend of mine, Avi Dzik, is a professional massage therapist. He just gave me a nice, soothing rub in honor of my birthday.

Many Hebrew speakers transliterate the English into מַסָאז' (mah-SAHZH - the apostrophe is supposed to go next to the ז - Blogger doesn't quite know how to handle this). However, the properly Hebrew term is עִסּוּי (ee-SOO-ee). It is a modern derivative of the root ע.ס.ה, which carries the meaning of kneading.

Jul 27, 2010

how to say "to clarify" in Hebrew...


לְבָרֵר (le-vah-REHR) goes beyond the English usage of to clarify. In Hebrew, this word is also used to mean to make sure or to find out - such as in, תְּבָרְרִי מָתַי הַסֶּרֶט (te-vah-reh-REE mah-TAH-ee hah-SEH-reht) - Find out (speaking to a female) when the movie is.

The root of the word is ב.ר.ר - the concept of clarity.

Jul 26, 2010

how to say "to get some fresh air" in Hebrew...


Perhaps you know the Hebrew word for air - אָוִיר (ah-VEER). Note the connection between the Hebrew and English words - they're both from the Greek aer, as in aerodynamics.

If I'm at a party in Jerusalem and want to get a breath of fresh air, I excuse myself, saying, אֲנִי צָרִיךְ קְצַת לְהִתְאַוְרֵר (ah-NEE tsah-REEKH ktzat le-heet-ahv-REHR).

I would say the same thing if I need to "get out of town" for a breath of fresh air... such as in this place, where I hope to take an excursion in the coming weeks:

Nahal Yehudiya - נחל יהודייהfeatured in Ulpan La-Inyan's Level 3 course

Jul 25, 2010

Hebrew classes begin today

Classes begin today
with Ulpan La-Inyan

Level 2 at AACI Jerusalem and Levels 1, 3 and 5 at AACI Central (Tel Aviv) begin today.

Level 4 begins tomorrow in Jerusalem.

Level 1 in Jerusalem was cancelled, but suddenly we're getting more interest, so we might open up the class over the next few days.

None of the classes are closed out - so if you'd like to join, contact us.

how to say "to fall in love" in Hebrew...


Since tomorrow is the Jewish festival of love (see Judges 21 for the background), I figured I'd put out a word that has to do with the subject.

Here's how to say to fall in love: לְהִתְאָהֵב (le-heet-ah-HEHV). For those familiar with the language, you'll notice the root א.ה.ב. (a.h.b), whose core meaning is love

For example, a man might say to a woman אֲנִי מִתְאָהֵב בָּךְ הַיּוֹם (ah-NEE meet-ah-HEHV bahkh hah-YOHM) -
I am falling in love with you today.

Happy טוּ בְּאָב (too be-AHV) - fifteenth of (the Jewish month of) Av!

Jul 23, 2010

how to say "to attend" in Hebrew...


The English word attend, historically, has to do with noticing - paying attention. That's the word used to indicate presence, as in, I plan to attend the play, or, I plan to be present at the play.

The Hebrew word used to express this type of presence is לְהִשְׁתַּתֵּף (le-heesh-tah-TEHF), which means, literally, to participate.

For example, הִשְׁתַּתַּפְתִּי בַּטֶּקֶס (heesh-tah-TAHF-tee bah-TEH-kess) - I attended the ceremony - or, literally, I participated in the ceremony.

Jul 22, 2010

how to say "landing" in Hebrew...

No, not the landing at the top of the staircase... I'm talking about the landing of a plane at an airport... or, for that matter, the landing of a bird on the roof. 

The Hebrew word is נְחִיתָה (ne-khee-TAH). It comes from the root נ.ח.ת ( The verb to land is לִנְחוֹת (leen-KHOHT), as in הוּא צָרִיךְ לִנְחוֹת כָּל רֶגַע (hoo tsah-REEKH leen-KHOHT kohl REH-gah) - He is supposed to land any minute.

Jul 21, 2010

thinking about learning Hebrew this summer? our classes start Sunday!

Ulpan La-Inyan 
Midsummer Courses...

...start this Sunday, July 25. The course lasts for six weeks; class meets 4-5 times a week for an hour or an hour and a quarter, depending on the level.

We've got all the levels (1-5) offered in Jerusalem, and Levels 1, 3 and 5 offered in Tel Aviv - both at the local AACI.

Here's the schedule

Here's the pricing.

Come join the fun... and empower yourself to communicate in Hebrew - with the friendliest, most effective conversational Hebrew program you've come across in a while... perhaps ever.

how to say "takeoff" in Hebrew

I just came back from Ben Gurion International Airport, where I saw off my parents who are returning to the US tonight from a trip to Israel.

I'm proud of our super-cool airport.

The word for takeoff is הַמְרָאָה (hahm-rah-AH), which comes from the verb לְהַמְרִיא (le-hahm-REE) - to take off, as what planes and other flying objects do.

Tomorrow, expect the word for to land.

Jul 20, 2010

how to say "foundation" in Hebrew...

Perhaps you know the word for basis or foundation, in the more abstract sense: יְסוֹד (yeh-SOHD).

There's another word, however, for the foundation or infrastructure of a house, a city, a state, etc: תַּשְׁתִּית (tahsh-TEET), such that Israel's Ministry of Infrastructure(s) is מִשְׂרַד הַתַּשְׁתִּיוֹת (mees-RAHD hah-tahsh-tee-YOHT).

Over the past three weeks, I've been featuring words and concepts that I believe help form the תשתית of that which the Jews are mourning - and hoping for - today. The Temple itself is just a facade without this תשתית; but with this תשתית, the Temple becomes the world's beacon of goodness, of life, of kindness...

So, to review (as we're apt to do often in Ulpan La-Inyan), here are some of the words I believe can form the תשתית of the Temple:

May this תִּשְׁעָה בְּאָב (teesh-AH beh-AHV) - ninth of Av - be the last one where the Jews are mourning. May it be a great celebration next time around. 

I believe it's up to us to create the reason for celebration.

Jul 18, 2010

how to say "to mourn" in Hebrew...


If you're familiar with Rabbinic law and literature, you probably know the word for mourner - אָבֵל/אָבֵלָה (ah-VEHL - m; ah-veh-LAH - f), as well as the word for mourning: אָבֵלוּת (ah-veh-LOOT).

Here's how to say to mourn: לְהִתְאַבֵּל (le-heet-ah-BEHL).

Why this word today? 

I wish אבלות on no one. But today is the day before the ninth of the Jewish month of אָב (ahv), the national Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem and the holy Temple - the loss of goodness emanating throughout the world.

Today's "three-weeks" call to action?

I'd like to connect to this אבלות more myself, to what this is all about, that the Jewish people is still mourning after thousands of years, even after Jerusalem is quite well built today... and yet there is what is lacking.

Let's reflect on this אבלות, the day before תִּשְׁעָה בְּאָב (teesh-AH be-AHV).

Jul 17, 2010

one week till Hebrew classes begin...

Ulpan La-Inyan 
Midsummer Courses...

...start next Sunday, July 25. The course lasts for six weeks; class meets 4-5 times a week for an hour or an hour and a quarter, depending on the level.

We've got all the levels (1-5) offered in Jerusalem, and Levels 1, 3 and 5 offered in Tel Aviv - both at the local AACI.

Here's the schedule

Here's the pricing.

Come join the fun... and empower yourself with Hebrew.

how to say "to unite" in Hebrew...


If you live in Israel, surely you've heard of the health care provider, מְאוּחֶדֶת (meh-oo-KHEH-deht). In English, it would be called United - like the airline. The word is feminine since it refers to קוּפַּת חוֹלִים (koo-PAHT khoh-LEEM) - health care provider (literally, "sick people's register" - we could also use some health care reform, at least in the wording...)

If you look closely at מאוחדת, you'll see the word אֶחָד (eh-KHAHD) - one

Likewise, the word for unity is אַחְדּוּת (ahkh-DOOT); and the word for to unite (as in a group of people becoming one, as opposed to causing others to unite) is לְהִתְאָחֵד (le-heet-ah-KHEHD).

Today's "three-weeks" call to action

Let's ponder the importance of אחדות, and see what we can do to promote it.

Jul 15, 2010

how to say "to internalize" in Hebrew...


With some basic Hebrew you'd know how to say inside, as in I'd rather sit inside - בִּפְנִים (beef-NEEM).

Here's how to say to internalize: לְהַפְנִים (le-hahf-NEEM). For example, הִפְנַמְנוּ אֶת הַמֶּסֶר (heef-NAHM-noo et hah-MEH-sehr) - we've internalized the message.

Today's "three-weeks" call to action

This Shabbat, I'm going to work on להפנים the idea that although I am an individual, I am identical to other human beings in anatomy and in Godly attributes. Through this awareness of the glorious sameness among myself and all humanity, I hope to come to a deeper love for, appreciate of and peace with others around me.

If you're up for it, join me.

Jul 14, 2010

how to say "to lack" in Hebrew...


If you know some Hebrew (about Level 3 in Ulpan La-Inyan), you probably know the word for it's missing - חָסִר (khah-SEHR).

Here's how to say to lack: לַחֲסוֹר (lah-khah-SOHR) or לַחְסוֹר (lahkh-SOHR). This word appears conjugated in Psalms 23: הַשֵּׁם רֹעִי לֹא אֶחְסָר (hah-SHEM roh-EE loh ekh-SAHR) - the Name (God) is my Shepherd, I shall not lack (or "want").

The word gets conjugated normally in the past and future tenses, but it functions only as an adjective in the present tense, with חָסֵר (khah-SEHR) instead חוֹסֵר (khoh-SEHR).

Today's "three-weeks" call to action

Join me today in giving something to someone that is lacking it.

how to say "penetrating" in Hebrew...


A room of a house or a building can be thought of as a part of the structure that has been penetrated. It is called, in Hebrew, a חֶדֶר (KHEH-dehr).

To penetrate is לַחֲדוֹר (lah-khah-DOHR) or לַחְדּוֹר (lahkh-DOHR).

That which is penetrating is חוֹדֵר (khoh-DEHR).

Today's "three-weeks" call to action

I've had experiences where someone says somethings that חודר - penetrates - right to my heart. Today I'm going to open myself up to another such experience by listening more... open-heartedly. 

I invite you to join me.

Jul 12, 2010

how to say "to experience"... in Hebrew


For those who have attended the Mayanot Birthright trip, you may recall the name of the tour operator - הַחֲוָיָה הַיִּשְׂרָאֵלִית (hah-hah-vah-YAH hah-yees-rah-eh-LEET) - the Israel (more accurately, "the Israeli") Experience.

To experience is לַחֲווֹת (lah-hah-VOHT).

What happens to us happens to us. But how we respond to what happens to us - much of our חוויה of what takes place - is in our control.

Today's "three weeks" call to action

I invite you to join me today in recalling a positive, successful interpersonal חוויה you've had - looking at what action you took for it to have gone well. 

Then, plan another one using the same principles.

Get speaking Hebrew... starting July 25 with Ulpan La-Inyan

Ulpan La-Inyan midsummer classes

We've got a midsummer session of our fun, relaxed and highly-effective conversational Hebrew classes, starting on July 25 and running through September 2.

We're offering a variety of levels at the AACI in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. 

I hope to see you in class! 
(I'll be sure to drop in at both locations)

Israeli music radio show... in English - "three weeks" special

Special show for the Three Weeks

As many of you know, I deliver a radio show once a week of Hebrew/Israeli music with some English explanation. The show is broadcast live at RustyMike Radio on Mondays from 3-4pm Israel time, and is rebroadcast the following Sunday early morning from 2-3am.

In observance of the three-week period of Jewish mourning this time of year, I won't be playing upbeat music. Rather I'll be focusing on some really special songs that get one thinking... and feeling.

how to say "to open (your) eyes" in Hebrew...


In English, we use the word open for virtually anything we're opening. In Hebrew, there's a special word for opening eyes.

Whereas לִפְתּוֹח (leef-TOH-akh) is to open in the general sense - such as פָּתַחְתִּי אֶת הַבַּקְבּוּק (pah-TAKH-tee et hah-bahk-BOOK) - I opened the bottle; לִפְקוֹח (leef-KOH-akh) means to open eyes, as in פָּקַחְתִּי אֶת עֵינַי וְרָאִיתִי עוֹלָם חָדָש (pah-KAHKH-tee et ei-NAH-ee ve-rah-EE-tee oh-LAHM hah-DAHSH) - I opened my eyes and saw a new world.

Today's "three weeks" call to action

Over the next day, let's all נִפְקַח עֵינָיִים (neef-KAHKH ei-NAH-yeem) - open (our) eyes and look for an opportunity to do something kind for someone else.

Jul 10, 2010

how to say "to enlist oneself" or "to devote oneself"... in Hebrew


Even if you're more or less fluent in Hebrew, there's a good chance you don't know this word.

To enlist oneself or to devote oneself - say, to a cause - is לְהֵרָתֵם (le-heh-rah-TEHM). For example, כָּל הַיְּלָדִים נִרְתָּמִים לַעֲזוֹר בַּבָּיִת (kohl hah-yeh-lah-DEEM neer-tah-MEEM lah-ah-ZOHR bah-BAH-yeet) - all the kids "are enlisting" to help in the house.

Today's "three-weeks" call to action:

Do one of two things, along with me. Either...

1. Think of a cause you can join that will allow you to even more good in the world than you're already doing, and make some sort of commitment to it (such as volunteering, donating money, etc)...


2. recommit with greater vigor to such a cause you're already involved in.

Thanks for the idea, Devorah!

Jul 8, 2010

how to say "to accept" someone (or something) in Hebrew...


If you know a little Hebrew (for example, if you've taken Level 1 of Ulpan La-Inyan), you're more than likely familiar with the word for to receive or to accept - לְקַבֵּל (le-kah-BEHL).

What you may not know, unless you've immersed yourself in Hebrew culture, is that to express the idea of accepting a person, the same verb is used. For example, אֲנַחְנוּ מְקַבְּלִים אוֹתָם כְּמוֹ שֶׁהֵם (ah-NAKH-noo meh-kah-beh-LEEM oh-TAHM kmoh sheh-HEHM) - we accept them as they are.

Todays "three-weeks" call to action

Here's a great website that teaches how לקבל other people exactly as they are - especially those we're closest to... I like "the work" it and find it invaluable. Check it out.

שַׁבָֹת שָׁלוֹם לְכוּלָם - Shabbat Shalom (le-khoo-LAHM) to all!

Jul 7, 2010

how to say "to hurt," as in feelings, in Hebrew...


If you spent time in Israel between 2000 and 2005, you certainly know the Hebrew word for terror attack  - פִּגּוּע (pee-GOO-ah). This word means, literally, an act of causing hurt.

To hurt someone emotionally is לִפְגּוֹע (leef-GOH-ah). For example, לֹא רָצִיתִי לִפְגּוֹעַ בָּך (lo rah-TSEE-tee leef-GOH-ah bahkh) means I didn't want to hurt you (f).

These words originate in the Bible with the root פ.ג.ע (p.g.a) meaning encounter. Somehow the root became more loaded over the generations.

Today's "three-weeks" call to action

The Sages tell us that Jewish Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE due to senseless hatred, which includes hurting one another over petty disputes.

Let's make it a point today not to sweat the small stuff... so that we don't cause pain to one another, and to ourselves.

deadline for Ulpan La-Inyan summer discount...!

Class starts on July 25... and the discount ends today! (Thursday)

Come join our nutty professors (just kidding - our teachers are super-hip) and learn to speak Hebrew in a way you've probably never before come across... that is, unless you've taken a course with us before, in which case you get more discounts.

Today (Thursday, July 25) is the last day to get a 5% discount for the upcoming Ulpan La-Inyan session, with conversational Hebrew courses at a variety of levels at AACI Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. 

In no time, you'll be feeling like this kid down here, at least vis-a-vis your Hebrew. 

Jul 6, 2010

how does one say "to contribute" in Hebrew?


If you're familiar with Jewish tradition and Jewish law, you probably know the word for contribution - תְּרוּמָה (troo-MAH). The root ת.ר.מ (t.r.m), which makes up the word תרומה, is itself actually derived from a more basic root - ר.ו.מ (r.w.m), which carries the basic meaning of height and loftiness.

So a תרומה has to do with raising something up - money, the spirit of the recipient... as well as the spirit of the giver.

To contribute or to donate is לִתְרוֹם (leet-ROHM). Likewise, to fund-raise (i.e. to get other people to donate) is לְהַתְרִים (leh-haht-REEM).

Today's "three weeks" call to action

Let's look for one way we can contribute to another person today who could really use it, beyond our regular contributions. This contribution can be monetary, but it can also be time or attention.

Jul 5, 2010

how to say "communicate" in Hebrew...


If you've taken our Level 1 conversational Hebrew class, or if you have equivalent background in Hebrew, you know that one of the words for to call someone on the phone is לְהִתְקַשֵּׁר (le-heet-kah-SHEHR). The root of that word is ק.ש.ר ( - connection. So when you call someone, you're connecting with them.

This guy (William Shakespeare) was a great communicator.

The word for to communicate is לְתַקְשֵׁר (le-tahk-SHEHR). For example, הִיא יוֹדַעַת הֵיטֵב לְתַקְשֵׁר עִם אֲנָשִׁים (hee yoh-DAH-aht hei-TEHV le-tahk-SHEHR eem ah-nah-SHEEM) - she knows well (how) to communicate with people.

Following this pattern, the word for the media - or the system of communications - is תִקְשׁוֹרֶת (teek-SHOH-reht).

Today's call to action

I'm going to make a conscious effort over the next day to make my communication clearer with others, so as to reduce misunderstandings. I invite you to do the same.

Jul 4, 2010

I've got a special radio show today on RustyMike

Special show for the Three Weeks

As many of you know, I deliver a radio show once a week of Hebrew/Israeli music with some English explanation. The show is broadcast live at RustyMike Radio on Mondays from 3-4pm Israel time, and is rebroadcast the following Sunday early morning from 2-3am.

In observance of the three-week period of Jewish mourning this time of year, I won't be playing upbeat music. Rather I'll be focusing on some really special songs that get one thinking... and feeling.

how to say "to identify with" in Hebrew...


If you've made aliyah, you surely know the term for ID card - תְּעוּדַת זֶהוּת (teh-oo-DAHT zeh-HOOT). The root of זהות - identity - is ז.ה.ה (z.h.h).

To identity with someone or something is לְהִזְדָּהוֹת (leh-heez-dah-HOHT). For example, הוּא מִזְדָּהֶה עִם הָעָם הַיְּהוּדִי (hoo meez-dah-HEH eem hah-AHM hah-yeh-hoo-DEE) - he identifies with the Jewish people. Today, on the Fourth of July, I also proudly מזדהה with the American people - as an American.

Or, a woman might say to her friend, אֲנִי מִזְדָּהָה עִם מָה שֶׁאַתְּ אוֹמֶרֶת (ah-NEE meez-dah-HAH eem mah sheh-AHT oh-MEH-ret) - I identify with what you're saying.

I'm proud to be an American,
but my first allegiance is to Israel.

The word להזדהות falls into the intensive-reflexive form - the הִתְפָּעֵל (heet-pah-EHL). So, in theory, the word should be לְהִתְזָהוֹת (leh-heet-zah-HOHT). However, since that's difficult to pronounce, the t and z sounds switch, and the t takes on a voice to blend well with the z, thus becoming a d.

Try pronouncing the variations - this may help you make sense of that last sentence in the previous paragraph.

In the meantime, listen and repeat...

Today's call-to-action

I'm going to take a few moments over the next day to reflect on my הִזְדַּהוּת (heez-dah-HOOT) - identificaion - with the Jewish people. Specifically, I'm going to reflect on what I do have in common with Jews who are unlike me - religiously, politically, ethnically... 

Then I'm going to take a few moments להזדהות with human beings from all walks of life.

I invite you to do the same.