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Sep 30, 2012

how to say "autumn" in Hebrew


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סְתָו


There's still room in our post-holidays classes.


Some places in the world have four distinct seasons: summer, fall, winter, spring. But in regions such as Israel, there really was no need in ancient times for four names, since there were times when it was cold, and times when it was hot; times when it rained and times when the skies were blue.

Thus the word for autumn - סְתָו (stahv) - is a relatively new one in Hebrew. The word appears in the biblical שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים - Song of Songs (sheer hah-shee-REEM), but there it refers to the winter.

In any case, the holiday of סֻכּוֹת - Tabernacles (soo-KOHT) - heralds the end of the קַיִץ - summer (KAH-yeets) and the beginning of the rainy season... or, in borrowed terms, הַסְתָו - the fall (hah-STAHV).

חָג שָׂמֵחַ!
Happy (Sukkot) holiday!


Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we'll correct it for you if it's got errors. 



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Sep 28, 2012

how to say "speech" in Hebrew


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דִּבּוּר, נְאוּם


There's still room in our post-holidays classes.


Truth is, the appropriate word for speech in Hebrew depends on what you mean. Speech, as in the gerund form of the word speak - the act of speaking, is דִּבּוּר (dee-BOOR).

But if you are referring to speech in the elegant, dramatic sense - such as the great speech of George VI at the opening of World War II, the communications between G-d and the People of Israel in Biblical times, or the powerful, passionate delivery by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday at the UN - the word is נְאוּם (neh-OOM). The word for poetry - that genre found in the Torah portion to be read tomorrow by Jews around the world - is different.

Here's an example using both words for speech:



הַסֶּרֶט "נְאוּם הַמֶּלֶךְ" עוֹסֵק בִּבְעָיוֹת הַדִּבּוּר שֶׁל הַמֶּלֶךְ הַבְּרִיטִי, ג'וֹרְג' הַשִּׁשִּׁי.
The film, The King's Speech, deals with the speech problems of the British king, George VI.

Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we'll correct it for you if it's got errors. 




שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם וְסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ נָעִים לְכֻלָּם!
Shabbat Shalom, and a pleasant weekend to all!

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Sep 27, 2012

how to say "scotch tape" in Hebrew


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נְיַר דֶּבֶק

There's still room in our post-holidays classes.


Most Israelis are still likely to use the British-English word for American scotch tape - סֶלוֹטֵייפּ - sellotape.

But the proper Hebrew term that has become more and more popular is נְיַר דֶּבֶק (neh-YAHR DEH-vek) - literally, glue paper, where דבק means glue and נייר means paper

The Biblical-Hebrew root ד.ב.ק (d.b.k) means sticking to something. Perhaps the most well-known Biblical example is:

 תִּדְבַּק לְשׁוֹנִי לְחִכִּי אִם לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי, אִם לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת יְרוּשָׁלִַם עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי (תְּהִלִּים קל"ז)

Let my tongue cleave (stick) to the top of my mouth should I not remember you, should I not raise Jerusalem atop my greatest joy (Psalms 137)
This root forms the core of other important words in Modern Hebrew, such as דָּבִיק (dah-VEEK) - sticky - and לְהַדְבִּיק (leh-had-BEEK) - to stick (one thing to another).

For example:

דְּבַשׁ זֶה מַאֲכָל דָּבִיק בְּיוֹתֵר.
Honey is a most sticky food.

שִׁירָה, תַּעֲבִירי אֶת נְיַר הַדֶּבֶק, אֲנִי רוֹצֶה לְהַדְבִּיק אֶת שְׁנֵי הַדַּפִּים הָאֵלֶּה.
Shira, pass the scotch tape, I (a male) want to glue together these two pages.


Another application of the root is in the word דְּבֵקוּת (deh-veh-KOOT) - allegiance or devotion, particularly in a religious sense.

Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we'll correct it for you if it's got errors. 

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Sep 25, 2012

how to say "openness" in Hebrew


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פְּתִיחוּת



What's your level
of conversational Hebrew?


Correction to last entry:

The Hebrew word for stability - יציבות - should be vocalized this way: יַצִּיבוּת (yah-tsee-VOOT), not יְצִיבוּת (yeh-tsee-VOOT). Thank you, David G, for pointing that out.


Today's entry:

יוֹם כִּפּוּר - Yom Kippur - (yohm kee-POOR) is a time of reflection and connection to the divine.


These wonderful things can only take place with an open heart:

לֵב פָּתוּחַ

Openness is פְּתִיחוּת (peh-tee-KHOOT). For example:

יוֹם כִּפּוּר זֶה זְמַן טוֹב לְהַתְחִיל לְטַפֵּחַ פְּתִיחוּת שֶׁתַּמְשִׁיךְ לְמֶשֶׁךְ הַשָּׁנָה כֻּלָּה.
Yom Kippur is a good time to start cultivating openness that should last the entire year.

Have a great one!


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Sep 23, 2012

how to say "stability" in Hebrew


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יַצִּיבוּת


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The Biblical-Hebrew root י.צ.ב (y.ts.b) means standing firm. Some words employing this root still in use today are:

לְהִתְיַצֵּב
to stabilize


מַצָּב
situation/condition
(of the different but related root נ.צ.ב - n.ts.b)


Imagine a woman who has been injured but is undergoing some good treatment:


הַמַצָּב שֶׁל הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁנִפְגְּעָה מִתְיַצֵּב.
The condition of the woman who was hurt is stabilizing.


Once the woman is clearly on the mend, the sentence would read:


מַצָּבָהּ יָצִיב.
Her situation is stable.


And thus the word for stability is יַצִּיבוּת.


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Sep 21, 2012

an expression meaning "don't go it alone"


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אֵין הַבּוֹר מִתְמַלֵּא מֵחֻלְיָתוֹ



Check out our fall classes, keeping in mind that the deadlines to save 200 shekels is this Sunday, September 23 for most branches.






In the Torah portion to be read tomorrow by Jews around the world, Moses passes his leadership of the People of Israel on to Joshua, assuring him that G-d will be with him - that the burden of leadership will not fall on him alone.

An ancient Talmudic expression that found its rightful place in modern Hebrew language and culture expresses the sentiment of the person who recognizes that he cannot accomplish it all himself, but that he rather must receive help in order to survive and to thrive.

The expression is:

אֵין הַבּוֹר מִתְמַלֵּא מֵחֻלְיָתוֹ.

The meaning:

In ancient Israel, communities would dig a hole in the ground in which to store rainwater. Covering this hole was a large stone with a smaller hole in it, into which rainwater would be collected from higher ground through a series of pipes. The hole in the cover alone could not collect the necessary water; help was needed from surrounding areas.

Thus a person must receive help from the outside as well - she cannot go it alone.

Breaking down the expression:

בּוֹר
hole

מִתְמַלֵּא
is filled up (a variation of the reflexive-intensive הִתְפַּעֵל verb form)

מֵחֻלְיָתוֹ 
from/through (the hole in) its cover
(meh-khool-yah-TOH)
...where חֻלְיָה means cover - in Modern Hebrew more commonly, a link in a chain or a segment of the spinal cord)

In plain English, The hole is not filled up through its cover.

Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we'll correct it for you if it's got errors. 




שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם וְסוֹף שָׁבוּעַ נָעִים לְכֻלָּם!
Shabbat Shalom, and a pleasant weekend to all!
(shah-BAHT shah-LOHM, veh-SOHF shah-VOO-ah nah-EEM leh-khoo-LAHM)   


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how to say "happiness" in Hebrew


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אֹשֶׁר


Check out our fall classes, keeping in mind that the deadlines to save 200 shekels is this Sunday, September 23 for most branches.




There's the emotion of joy - a momentary state of elation, positive energy, the desire to give and bless. In Hebrew, this joy is שִׂמְחָה (seem-KHAH).

And then there's joy of the long term, a less elated but more constant state of happiness or contentment. This is אֹשֶׁר (OH-shehr), which sounds the same as the word for wealth - עֹשֶׁר (also OH-shehr) when spoken by most Modern Hebrew speakers.


If you're confused, here's a common Hebrew wish that will help ease your burden:


עושר ואושר!
Wealth and happiness!

Someone happy or content is מְאֻשָּׁר (meh-oo-SHAHR) in the masculine and מְאֻשֶּׁרֶת (meh-oo-SHEH-ret) in the feminine. These are adjectives based on the passive-intensive פֻּעַל verb form.


Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we'll correct it for you if it's got errors. 




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Sep 19, 2012

how to say "rich" in Hebrew


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עָשִׁיר, עֲשִׁירָה



This fall, we're offering opportunities to learn to speak Hebrew, in many Anglo communities in Israel and online. 

Check out our fall classes, keeping in mind that the deadlines to save 200 shekels is September 23 for most branches.





אֵיזֶהוּ עָשִׁיר? הַשָּׂמֵחַ בְּחֶלְקוֹ.
Who is wise? 
The one happy with his lot.
- The Sages

The Hebrew word for wealth is עֹשֶׁר (OH-shehr) - not to be confused with the word for happiness, the subject of tomorrow's entry.

Thus the word for wealthy is עָשִׁיר (ah-SHEER) in the masculine and עֲשִׁירָה (ah-shee-RAH) in the feminine.

For example:


חָשׁוּב לֶאֱכוֹל מַאֲכָלִים עֲשִׁירִים בְּאַנְטִיאוֹקְסִידַנְטִים.
It's important to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants.


הֲאִם מְדִינוֹת עֲשִׁירוֹת צְרִיכוֹת לְסַיֵּעַ לִמְדִינוֹת עֲנִיּוֹת?
Must wealthy countries aid poor countries?

Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we'll correct it for you if it's got errors. 




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