The common Hebrew word for fire is אֵשׁ (esh).
A flame, however, is a לְהָבָה (leh-hah-VAH).
Perhaps the most well-known Biblical example of this word can be found in the psalm recited in synagogues Friday night before the לְכָה דּוֹדִי (leh-KHAH doh-DEE) liturgical poem: קוֹל (הַשֵּׁם) חֹצֵב לַהֲבוֹת אֵשׁ – the voice of G-d (changed to preserve sanctity) hews flames of fire (kohl (hah-SHEM) khoh-TSEV lah-hah-VOHT esh).
The root of להבה is ל.ה.ב (l.h.b), which gives rise to the Modern-Hebrew word for enthusiasm, or the state of being “fired up” – הִתְלַהֲבוּת (heet-lah-hah-VOOT) – see our entry on that.
This is the third in a series of fire-related entries for this week, the week of לַ”ג בָּעֹמֶר (lahg bah-OH-mehr), which starts tonight.
The theme of fire also relates to a video clip we released earlier this week, which will help you learn some essentials for Hebrew letter-writing and parent-teacher diplomacy.
The words for bonfire can be found here.
by Ami Steinberger Founder and Director, Ulpan La-Inyan
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