Today marks the passing (here’s an entry about how to say that in Hebrew) of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, head of the world-renowned Mir Yeshiva.
The 5,000 students of the Mir were joined by tens of thousands of other mourners who bemoaned the loss – אָבְדָן (ohv-DAHN) – of this great leader and teacher of Torah, particularly its aspects of morality and refined personal conduct. He was an heir both in spirit and in flesh – a great-grandson – of the Alter of Slobodka.
The word אובדן comes from the root א.ב.ד (a.b.d), which engenders other words and expressions such as לְאַבֵּד (leh-ah-BED) – to lose something or someone, אָבֵדָה (ah-veh-dah) – a lost object, and לָלֶכֶת לְאִבּוּד (lah-LEH-khet leh-ee-BOOD) – to get lost trying to find one’s way (literally, to go to loss).
אובדן, the loss of a dear one, should not be confused with הֶפְסֵד (hef-SED), a material or financial loss.
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