שַׁעַר Given the importance of this item to civilization, the Hebrew word for gate or opening – שער – is one of the oldest, and may even be related to the German word Tor – gate or door (perhaps door is related as well). שער is also used to mean a book cover, as well as an entrance to a city […]
תַּחֲנָה מֶרְכָּזִית This is a particularly useful expression, both for people who use public transportation in Israel and for those who don’t use it themselves but drop off and pick up friends and family who do. The expression is תחנה מרכזית, where תחנה means station and מרכזית means central. For example: סע באוטובוס 405 מהתחנה המרכזית. Take […]
סַע! לֵךְ! קָדִימָה! In English, to give someone a green light to do something, you might say go! or go ahead! In Hebrew, you’re likely to hear people saying !סע, which means literally travel! For example, the motto of one of Israeli’s shared car services (CityCar) is: פשוט קח וסע. Just take and go. סע […]
פָּשׁוּט Whereas in English it takes three (albeit short) words to say it’s just that…, Hebrew keeps it simple with one word: פשוט, which means, well simple or simply. For example: לא התכוונתי להתעלם ממך, פשוט הייתי נורא עסוק. I didn’t mean to ignore you (a female), it’s just that I (a male) was really busy.
לְהִתְעַלֵּם The Hebrew word for world is עולם, though the Biblical meaning is eternity. The root of עולם is ע.ל.מ meaning concealment. So when ע.ל.מ gets plugged into the reflexive התפעל verb form, we get to ignore (to pretend that something is not there) – להתעלם. For example: אי אפשר להתעלם מהעובדות. (You) can’t ignore the facts.
חֹמֶר לְשִׁנּוּן Review Material You spent time on your Hebrew this week. Use these review materials to make it yours to keep. To take full advantage of the review material, click on “Choose a study mode” in the bottom right corner of the box above. שבת שלום, וסוף שבוע נעים! Shabbat Shalom, […]
לְהַדְרִים The Hebrew word for south is דרום. Its ah vowel in the beginning gets shortened to a short eh or cut off entirely when דרום appears in an of relationship (construct state or סמיכות), as in: הנגב נמצא בדרום הארץ. The Negev is in the south of Israel. To go south is להדרים. For example: הוא עבד ביקב בצפון, […]
יֶקֶב Referring in Biblical Hebrew to an element in the wine-making process, today יקב refers to the entire winery. For example: תעשיית היין הישראלית חזקה מאוד – יש כאן יותר מ-300 יקבים. The Israeli wine industry is very strong – there are over 300 wineries here. In an of relationship (construct state or סמיכות), the plural […]
תַּעֲשִׂיַּת הַיַּיִן Such a beloved item among people, it’s no surprise that the word for wine is similar in many languages. In Hebrew, it’s יין. Here’s a Biblical example: ויין ישמח לבב אנוש. (תהלים ק”ד, ט”ו) And wine gladdens the human heart. (Psalms 104:15) The word for industry is תעשייה, deriving from the root ע.ש.ה meaning doing. When […]