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Mar 31, 2011

special event - the Hebrew you always wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask...


Breaking the ice...

THANK YOU to those who have already helped! 


Next week, I'm doing a presentation in Raanana (Tues eve) and Jerusalem (Wed eve) entitled "The Hebrew You Always Wanted to Know... But Were Too Afraid to Ask."


You can send me your requests as well as get the details for the event, here.


If you're around, it would be great to see you!


יום טוב (yohm tohv) - Have a good one,

Ami


Discount DEADLINE - April 7!
Registration is open for our spring session. Check out our state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses
in JerusalemEfrat and Raanana.

how to say "push-ups" in Hebrew...


שְׁכִיבוֹת סְמִיכָה
THANK YOU to those who have already helped! 


For a good workout, I prefer to ride my bicycle and to do push-ups, over shelling out money on a gym membership.


The Hebrew expression for push-ups is שכיבות סמיכה (sheh-khee-VOHT smee-KHAH). 


שְׁכִיבָה (sheh-khee-VAH) means lying down. It comes from the verb לִשְׁכַּב (leesh-KAHV), meaning to lie down.


סמיכה (smee-KHAH) comes from the verb לִסְמוֹך (lees-MOHKH), meaning to support something physically (or to rely, to trust).








As the arms support the body during שכיבות סמיכה, the term is appropriate.


Discount DEADLINE - April 7!
Registration is open for our spring session. Check out our state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses
in JerusalemEfrat and Raanana.

Mar 30, 2011

how to say "to testify" in Hebrew...


THANK YOU to those who have already helped! 

Last night I attended the wedding of my friend יוֹחָנָן (yoh-khah-NAHN). I was given the honor of serving as an official witness - עֵד (ehd) - at the ceremony.


Now, I was an עד last night, but I hope to never have to testify - לְהָעִיד (leh-hah-EED).


Testimony is עֵדוּת (eh-DOOT).


להעיד is a "causative" הפעיל (heef-EEL) verb.

Discount DEADLINE - April 7!

Registration is open for our spring session. Check out our state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses
in JerusalemEfrat and Raanana.

Mar 29, 2011

how to say "tire" (as in a car tire, or a bicycle tire) in Hebrew...


THANK YOU to those who have already helped! 


About an hour and a half ago I was feeling tired and a bit out of sorts. So I deliberated between taking a nap and taking a bike ride. I chose the latter - and now I'm feeling good.






I rode from my flat on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem to the Malha mall (see the map of my route). 


The Hebrew word for tire - that black rubber round thing that gets put on the wheel of a car or a bicycle - is צָמִיג (tsah-MEEG). Multiple tires are צְמִיגִים (tsmee-GHEEM).


Discount DEADLINE - April 7!
Registration is open for our spring session.
Check out our state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses
in JerusalemEfrat and Raanana.

Mar 28, 2011

how to say "sautéed" in Hebrew...


THANK YOU to those who have already helped! 










Yesterday evening I had dinner with my friend Avi, who takes pride in his delicious, healthy cooking. He fried us up some schnitzel, but when I commented that he was frying it in olive oil instead of Canola, he corrected me, saying that was sautéeing, not frying. 





Sauté comes from French. The closest Hebrew word we have that captures the meaning is מֻקְפָּץ (mook-PAHTS) - so that sautéed (or stir-fried) vegetables are יְרָקוֹת מוקפצִים (yeh-rah-KOHT mook-pah-TSEEM). מוקפץ means, literally, caused to jump. The word fits into the הופעל (hoof-AHL) verb paradigm, the passive form of the הפעיל (heef-EEL).



To fry, on the other hand, is לְטַגֵּן (leh-tah-GHEN), a פיעל (pee-EL) verb.


I maintain that Avi was frying. Either way, the schnitzel came out tasty.



Registration is open for our spring session!
Check out our state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses
in JerusalemEfrat and Raanana.

Mar 27, 2011

how to say "blame" in Hebrew...


אַשְׁמָה, לְהַאֲשִׁים
THANK YOU to those who have already helped! 










Note the similarity between the English word shame and the Hebrew word אָשֵׁם (ah-SHEM). The Hebrew word describes a male as guilty. A guilty female would be אֲשֵׁמָה (ah-sheh-MAH).






Guilt, that nasty feeling that might nevertheless provoke us to do good, is אַשְׁמָה. One might say, יֵשׁ לִי רִגְשֵׁי אַשְׁמָה (yesh lee reeg-SHEH-ee ahsh-MAH) - I have guilt feelings (literally, feelings of guilt).


Then there's to blame someone... or, in Hebrew, to cause them to feel guilty. The word is לְהַאֲשִׁים (leh-hah-ah-SHEEM). It's in the "causative" הפעיל (heef-EEL) form.


For example, ...נְשִׂיא סוּרְיָה אַסַד מַאֲשִׁים (neh-SEE SOOR-yah AH-sahd mah-ah-SHEEM) - The president of Syria, Assad, blames...





Registration is open for our spring session.
Check out our state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses
in JerusalemEfrat and Raanana.

Mar 25, 2011

how to say "salty" and "saltbush" in Hebrew...


THANK YOU to those who have already helped! 








My סַבְתָּא (SAHV-tah) grandmother is a great cook. She learned how to prepare delicious dishes from her mother back in Hungary before the war.


סבתא has Hungarian taste in food. So from time to time she asks me, אֲתָּה אוֹהֵב דָּג מָלוּחַ (ah-TAH oh-HEV dahg mah-LOO-ahkh) - Do you like salty fish? I say no.


On Wednesday I was doing my radio show on RustyMike, and one of the songs I played contained the word מלוח. The line goes: וְרֵיחַ הַמָּלוּחַ עַל הַמָּיִם... (veh-REH-ahkh hah-mah-LOO-ahkh ahl hah-MAH-yeem). On air, I translated the line thus: ...and the smell of salt on the water (referring to the Jordan River). Something didn't make sense in my translation, but I read on.


After the show, my aunt Bila (סבתא's daughter) called me and let me know that the word מלוח in the song actually refers to a plant growing on the banks of the Jordan. In English, this plant is an saltbush:




The line then actually made a lot more sense to me.


If you're familiar with Israeli folk music, you've more than likely heard the song I'm talking about, Naomi Shemer's classic חֻרְשַׁת הָאֶקַלִיפּטוּס (khoor-SHAHT hah-eh-kah-LEEP-toos) - The Eucalyptus Grove.


Here's the song along with the lyrics translated to English.

To me it's eerie that I'm delivering to you this song on the day of an attempted terror attack (use Google Translate to get the gist of the article) in the Jordan Valley, the gorgeous part of Israel that sits on the bank of the Jordan. It's also our route up to Beit Alpha, where we celebrate Shabbat and holidays with Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia.


So how does today's word connect with this week's Torah portion? The portion goes on to describe the sacrificial offerings in the Temple and Tabernacle, which usually heralded joy... but sometimes tragedy. The sacrifices were offered with מֶלַח (MEH-lahkh) - salt.


שבת שלום וסוף שבוע נעים לכולם!
Shabbat Shalom and a pleasant weekend to all!



Registration is open for our spring session. Check out our state-of-the-art conversational Hebrew courses
in JerusalemEfrat and Raanana.