מוּמְיָה, חָנוּט, אִמָּא’לֶה
The Torah portion to be read this Shabbat by Jews around the world features that staple of ancient-Egyptian culture and a main character in horror films, the mummy. In the Torah’s case, the mummies happen to be יַעֲקֹב listen and repeat – Jacob, the forefather – and יוֹסֵף listen and repeat – his son Joseph.
The most widely-used Hebrew word for mummy is a transliteration of English (whose source is the ancient-Persian word for wax) – מוּמְיָה listen and repeat.
לֹא כֻּלָּם אוֹהֲבִים סְרָטִים עִם מוּמְיוֹת.
Not everyone likes movies with mummies.
Another lesser-used term is חָנוּט listen and repeat – literally, embalmed – the passive participle of the active-simple verb לַחֲנֹט listen and repeat – to embalm – appearing in the Torah portion. Note that חנוט sounds just like חֲנוּת listen and repeat, the Hebrew word for a shop. The two words are not related.
Lastly, mummy may mean something more than one embalmed to some of you readers – it may mean what Americans call mommy. In Hebrew, that’s אִמָּא’לֶה listen and repeat. See yesterday’s dose for a full glossary of family members.
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