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how to say “courage” in Hebrew

Wed | Jun 13

how to say “courage” in Hebrew

אֹמֶץ
 
 
The People of Israel are standing on the shore of a sea. Behind them, an army of Egyptian horsemen is advancing quickly, with vengeance in their stride.
 
Moses receives the message from G-d that the people are to cross the sea. No one moves.
 
Then, one man takes a leap of faith and jumps into the water. He stands up, starts walking, and just as the water reaches his neck, the sea parts and the People of Israel start to cross over the dry land (Midrash on this week’s Torah Portion).

Such an action certainly requires faith. But it also requires courage.
 
The Hebrew word for courage is אֹמֶץ listen and repeat. While the English word courage comes from the Latin word cor meaning heart – so that courage might be also be called heartedness, the Hebrew word אומץ might best be defined as willingness to take actionA related word is מַאֲמָץ – effort.
 
An expression coming straight from the Bible, used until today by Jewish men giving encouragement or congratulating one another for positive action, is חֲזַק וֶאֱמָץ listen and repeat be strong and be courageous.
 
The feminine version is חִזְקִי וְאִמְצִי listen and repeat.

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