If you’ve had conversations in Hebrew with children, you probably know how to say, be careful! (literally, caution!) – זְהִירוּת (zeh-hee-ROOT).
Dog in yard!”
To be careful is לְהִזָּהֵר (leh-hee-zah-HEHR). It’s a verb of the נפעל (neef-AHL) variety – not really active or passive, or even reflexive.
There’s another way to express be careful, though you won’t find Israelis using it in everyday speech. You will, however, find it in poetry and song (such as in Arik Einstein’s classic about kids growing up)… as well as in this week’s Torah portion.
לָגוּר (lah-GOOR) means to reside or to sojourn, but it also means to fear. In this week’s Torah portion, the Moabites fear that the Children of Israel will engage them in battle, etc, as they have with two other powerful kings: וַיָּגָר מוֹאָב מִפְּנֵי הָעָם מְאֹד (vah-YAH-gohr hah-AHM mee-peh-NEH-ee hah-AHM meh-OHD). Note that the pronunciation of the last syllable of ויגר is gohr and not gahr.
|The portion of Balak tells one of the most
fascinating stories of Biblical proportion.
And in Arik Einstein’s song, the parting words of the father as his son sets out on his journey are גּוּר לְך – beware for yourself (goor leh-KHAH). In this case, גור is a proper imperative – “command.”
שבת שלום וסוף שבוע נעים לכולם!
Shabbat Shalom and a pleasant weekend to all!