Traveling in Israel – in Hebrew

In this video, we encounter a variety of words and expressions that are key to traveling like an Israeli.


The first such word is לטייל . This means to travel, but it’s not travel in the utilitarian sense of getting from Point A to Point B. Rather, this is to travel leisurely. The noun form of this active-intensive verb is טיול a trip of a leisurely quality.


Typically, for Israelis, this leisurely trip involves traveling by foot or hiking. In fact, the proper Hebrew term for hiking is טיול רגלי leisurely travel by foot, but for most Israelis, the word טיול already presumes that this will be a hiking trip. To go hiking is לצאת לטיול to go out on a trip.




The next critical term is להצטייד to gear up, a reflexive-intensive verb of the root צ.י.ד meaning provisions.


In the video we learn these necessities:


כובע שמש a sun hat

משקפי שמש sunglasses

חטיפים snacks

קרם הגנה sunscreen

מסטיק chewing gum (to masticate is to chew)

אוזניות headphones/earphones


Okay, maybe some of these aren’t true necessities.




By far though, the most critical necessity for hiking in Israel’s hot sun is מים – water. Because if we don’t drink enough water, אפשר להתייבש – we can dehydrate. חס וחלילה God forbid.


להתייבש , like להצטייד, is a reflexive-intensive verb. Its root is י.ב.ש meaning dry. So להתייבש is literally, to get dried up.


להכיר את הארץ


What do Israelis look for כשהם יוצאים לטייל when they go hiking? להכיר את הארץ to get to know the land. As opposed to the word לדעת , which in Modern Hebrew means to know something cerebrally, intellectually, the word להכיר means to know something emotionally, spatially, as well as to get to know something – or someone.


Likewise, להכיר את הנוף means to get to know the landscape or the scenery.


Like the family in the video, many Israelis look for אתרי מורשת heritage sites when they go hiking – כשהם יוצאים לטייל . The word מורשת comes from the root י.ר.ש meaning inheritance.




Perhaps everyone שיוצא לטייל who goes hiking – is looking for meaning, on some level. This is חיפוש אחר משמעות a search for meaning. In fact, Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning is entitled, in Hebrew, האדם מחפש משמעות – literally, Man Searches for Meaning.


Just as they are looking for something profound, Israelis are likely to search for deep pools in which to swim. A natural spring is a מעיין or, more poetically, an עין . You may recognize the word עין from the body part – it also means eye. When connected to another word in an of (construct) relationship, עַיִן becomes עֵין .


But Israelis can’t get away from the deeper significance of the places in Israel they visit. Thus when naming a מעיין, they’re likely to invoke an event from Israeli history, as we see in the case of עין אלוהים – עין ג’וחה – עין לבנה .

After having studied literature and linguistics on the bachelors level and psychology on the masters, Ami decided to draw upon his hobby of learning languages, his understanding of human thought processes and his skill of explaining complex ideas in simple terms, to found a program that enables people to speak Hebrew with confidence.

1 Comment

  • Really enjoyed this. I might actually learn to speak more than three words of Ivrit!


    Rochel B. Reply

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