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How to Say “To Bow Down” in Hebrew – Ulpan La-Inyan

Sun | Nov 05

How to Say “To Bow Down” in Hebrew – Ulpan La-Inyan

In Western society, with the exception of religious rites, there isn’t too much bowing going on. In biblical times, however, there was plenty, generating several terms for it: notably לקוד
– to take a bow
, לכרוע ברך
– to kneel, and להשתחוות
– to prostrate or bow down with one’s body stretched on the floor.
Then there’s לסגוד
, also appearing in the Bible but there only with the negative connotation of bowing down to idols. This inspires Modern Hebrew’s use of the word, for example:
הם סוגדים לכסף.
They bow down to money.
The root of לסגוד
, the letters ס.ג.ד
, appears across Semitic languages such as Aramaic, Arabic (مسجد – “masjid” means “mosque”), and Amharic (as in the Ethiopian-Jewish holiday – celebrated today – ስግድ – “Sigd” – meaning “bowing down”).

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