how to say “to make someone happy” in Hebrew

how to say “to make someone happy” in Hebrew

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My professor of Bible and Aramaic at Yeshiva University, Dr. Moshe Bernstein, taught me that 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant declared that it’s worth studying Hebrew for ten years just to read תְּהִלִּים ק”ד– Psalm 104. Jews all over the world read that psalm today and yesterday in honor of רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁthe “head” of the (Jewish) month.

Today’s dose comes from that spellbinding poem.

There’s to be happy – לִשְׂמוֹחַ, an active-simple פָּעַל verb

For example:

ֹשָׂמַחְתִּי לִרְאוֹת אֹתו.
I was happy to see him.

But then there’s to make someone else happy. That’s לְשַׂמֵּחַ, an active-intensive פִּעֵל verb.

An example from תהילים ק”ד:

וְיַיִן יְשַׂמַּח לְבַב אֱנוֹשׁ
and wine gladdens the heart of man

Another example:

מִצְוָה לְשַׂמֵּחַ חָתָן וְכַלָּה.
It’s a mitzvah to make a bride and groom happy.
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After having studied literature and linguistics on the bachelors level and psychology on the masters, Ami decided to draw upon his hobby of learning languages, his understanding of human thought processes and his skill of explaining complex ideas in simple terms, to found a program that enables people to speak Hebrew with confidence.

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