As you may have heard – or perhaps you’ve been experiencing it yourself – Jerusalem has been covered in snow since Thursday. For this city unprepared, such a snowstorm means limited electricity, no school, jolly kids, no public transportation, thousands of people stranded on the highway (for a time) and a shortage of fresh bread in the shops. There have been several fatalities as well, unfortunately.
Jerusalem is now thawing and things are moving back to normal, but the place is still a wonderful sight to be seen. It is a snowy or snow-covered city – עִיר מֻשְׁלֶגֶת listen and repeat.
I did a dose on snowy during last year’s snowfall, so here’s the lowdown on that. This time, I’d like to focus the lesson on the fact that the Hebrew word for city – עִיר listen and repeat – is a feminine noun, as you may have noticed from the term עיר מושלגת.
This may appear counterintuitive to you, as עיר does not have an ah ending like a typical feminine Hebrew noun such as דִּירָה listen and repeat (apartment) and עֲגָלָה listen and repeat (carriage, cart, stroller). What’s more, the plural of עיר appears masculine as well, with the ים- listen and repeat ending: עָרִים listen and repeat are cities.
This is the case with a substantial number of feminine nouns in Hebrew. Another notable one, also having to do with geography, is אֶרֶץ listen and repeat – land or Earth – although in that word’s case, the plural form appears feminine with the וֹת- listen and repeat ending: אֲרָצוֹת listen and repeat is lands.
Here are some examples:
הָעִיר יְרוּשָׁלַיִם לְבָנָה וּמֻשְׁלֶגֶת.
The city Jerusalem is white and covered in snow.
גַּם עָרִים אֲחֵרוֹת בָּאֵזוֹר מֻשְׁלָגוֹת, כּוֹלֵל קָהִיר.
Other cities in the region are covered in snow as well, including Cairo.
|קָהִיר מֻשְׁלֶגֶתsnow-covered Cairo|
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