The Torah portion(s) to be read tomorrow by Jews the world over (in Israel, בְּחֻקֹּתַי – beh-khoo-koh-TAH-ee, and abroad בְּהַר-בְּחֻקֹּתַי – beh-HAHR-beh-khoo-koh-TAH-ee) feature various rules given to the People of Israel to be kept as they enter their promised land, as well as the consequences that would come should they not follow the rules.
There are many words for a rule in Hebrew, just as there are in English: law, ordinance, decree, dictate, edict, legislation, etc.
|by Mariano Kamp|
But then there’s the rules – those principles, often unspoken, by which people operate (or rebel against) in the various arenas of life.
In Hebrew, these rules are כְּלָלִים (keh-lah-LEEM), of the root כ.ל.ל (k.l.l) meaning all or completeness.
Examples of הכללים:
צָרִיךְ לְשַׂחֵק אֶת הַמִּשְׂחָק לְפִי הַכְּלָלִים
(one) needs to play the game by the rules
(tsah-REEKH leh-sah-KHEK et hah-mees-KHAHK leh-FEE hah-keh-lah-LEEM)
כְּלָלֵי מִשְׂחַק הַחַיִּים אֵינָם בְּרוּרִים לְכֻלָּם
the rules of the game of life are not clear to everyone
(keh-lah-LEH-ee mees-KHAHK hah-khah-YEEM eh-ee-NAHM beh-roo-REEM leh-khoo-LAHM)
Another application of the root כ.ל.ל is the word general. The synagogue where I like to pray Friday night is called בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת הַכְּלָלִי – the general synagogue (where all are welcome) – (BEH-eet hah-keh-NEH-set hah-keh-lah-LEE).
שבת שלום, וסוף שבוע נעים לכולם!
Shabbat Shalom and a pleasant weekend to all!
Hebrew vocabulary with…
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