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How to say "experiment" in Hebrew

You may know the Hebrew word (an active-intensive
verb) for to try - (leh-nah-
SOHT). This is to try both in the sense of to attempt and in the sense of to test and see whether
something will work. The Torah portion to be read this Shabbat by Jews around the world
mentions several instances in which the People of Israel in their desert journey try G-d, so to
speak, testing his patience.

Now, scientific testing is a relatively new activity and concept, one that doesn't have a
corresponding word appearing in the Bible. So those who breathe life into the Hebrew language,
giving it relevance and usefulness today, created a term forexperiment by taking the authentic
Biblical Hebrew verb, , and using its abstract noun form,
, to
meanexperiment or trial. After all, an experiment in its purest form is just a trial - the abstract
noun in English of the verb to try.
For example:

There are lots of experiments that can be done even without a lab.
(yesh hahr-BEH mah-ah-bah-DOHT sheh-ef-SHAHR lah-ah-SOHT gahm beh-LEE mah-ah-bah-DAH)

Shabbat Shalom, and a pleasant weekend to all!
(shah-BAHT shah-LOHM, veh-SOHF shah-VOO-ah nah-EEM leh-khoo-LAHM)

2. How to say "to get hurt" in Hebrew

The Hebrew word (leh-hee-pah-TSAH) means to get hurt in the

physical sense. Likewise, a (peh-tsee-AH) or a (PEH-tsah) is a

physical wound.

For example, you might hear a girl on a playground say:

I got a booboo (an injury)!
(kee-BAHL-tee PEH-tsah)

To which an adult might raise the level of speech, asking the girl:

Did you get hurt?

The root of these words is ..( p.ts.a). Its verb form is .

Another word meaning to get hurt is (leh-hee-pah-GAH).

Unlike , this word means to get hurt in both the physical and
emotional senses. And while refers to a specific person receiving

an injury, is used more generally, or about a larger group of

(peh-ghee-AH) and ( PEH-gah) mean injury in the general
For example (in which is used in its participle form as a noun):

. ,
Despite the intensity of the fire, no report was made of injured.
(lahm-ROHT ohts-MAHT hah-seh-reh-FAH, loh doo-VAHKH ahl neef-gah-EEM)

The word ..( p.g.a), very close to that

comes from the root

of the other verb presented here. is related to the word

for vulnerability, terror attack, and others.

appears prominently in this inspiring song by Israeli artists

Idan Raichel and Rita.

Both and are verbs, which you can learn to

conjugate using this chart.

3. How to say "a cast" in Hebrew

A few hours after I wrote yesterday's post about injuries, I fell off my bike
and eventually received a cast on my arm.

The Hebrew word for cast is (GHEH-ves). I am limited in my

research abilities due to my injury, so I cannot tell you the origin of this
word, but it is not in the Bible. Tomorrow I hope to write another, longer
entry (without depending on my friend Eric to type for me).

4. How to say "grateful" in Hebrew

The night after I fell off my bike, I woke up at 4am with pain that prompted
me to get in a cab and head to the (TEH-rem) urgent care center. They

gave me a - cast (GHEH-ves) - because it wasn't yet clear whether my

scaphoid bone was broken or sprained.

That early morning, I felt grateful - for the kind, professional (Arab) doctors
at , for having only injured my hand rather than having done something
worse, and, suddenly, for lots of other people in my life, not the least of
whom is my family. I suddenly started focusing on my relationships more
than I usually do.

Modern Hebrew doesn't have a single proper word for grateful. Rather, we
use an expression that means, literally, bound by thanks - ( ah-
SEER toh-DAH) in the masculine, and
( ah-see-RAHT toh-DAH)
in the feminine.

For example:


Today I'm grateful that I don't have a fracture, and that I can swim, ride a
bike and write this posting.
(hah-YOHM ah-NEE ah-SEER toh-DAH sheh-EH-een lee SHEH-vehr, veh-sheh-
ah-NEE yah-KHOHL lees-KHOT, leer-KAHV ahl oh-fah-NAH-yeem veh-leekh-
TOHV et hah-reh-shoo-MAH hah-ZOHT)

The Modern Hebrew expression for gratitude the noun is a bit different -
- recognition of a favor (hah-kah-RAHT toh-VAH).

(A little secret - the original Hebrew word for gratitude was (toh-
DAH), but this word has been hijacked by the much more popular
expression, thank you.)

Here's how practicing can actually make you happier and

healthier. Enjoy!

5. How to say "desire" in Hebrew

An essential balance to be struck in life is between desire
and discipline. The Torah portion to be read this Shabbat by Jews around
the world probes this challenge by presenting, on the one hand, the joys of
culinary pursuits, while on the other hand, limitations around these pursuits.

The Biblical Hebrew word for earthly desire or craving is (tah-ah-VAH),

of the root ..( a.v.h) meaning longing oryearning. In Modern Hebrew,

the word is used primarily to refer to lust.

That's desire on an earthly level. Then there's desire on a more esoteric level,
( rah-TSOHN),
what we call in English will. The Hebrew word for this is

of the same root as the active-simple verb,

- the basic word
for to want or to desire (leer-TSOHT).

An example of the word in action:

Nothing stands in the face of (the) will. (the Hebrew/Jewish
equivalent of when there's a will, there's a way.)
(eh-een dah-VAHR oh-MED beef-NEH-ee hah-rah-TSOHN)

Shabbat Shalom, and a pleasant weekend to all!
(shah-BAHT shah-LOHM, veh-SOHF shah-VOO-ah nah-EEM leh-khoo-LAHM)

6. More than one way to say "with" in Hebrew

(eem) is the very common Hebrew preposition meaning with.

But perhaps you've found it strange that when the word is declined, the
letters ( a) and ( m) disappear, and instead we get:

with me - (ee-TEE)

with us (one male) - ( ee-TAH-noo)

with you (one male) - ( ee-teh-KHAH)

with you (one female) - ( ee-TAHKH)

with you (males or mixed) - ( ee-teh-KHEM)

with you (females) - ( ee-teh-KHEN)

with him - ( ee-TOH)

with her - ( ee-TAH)

with them (males or mixed) - ( ee-TAHM)

with them (females) - ( ee-TAHN)

That's because the other very common Hebrew preposition, means with,
in addition to indicating the definite object.

You'll usually find the word alone meaning with in the names of business
partnerships, such as that of the tour company Horn and Leibovitz -


In Biblical Hebrew, and are virtually interchangeable.

7. How to say "without" in Hebrew

, ,
While the common Hebrew preposition for with is (eem), the one

for without is (beh-LEE).

But just like doesn't get declined with suffixes to mean with me, with

us, etc, and we use doesn't take suffixes either. Instead

(et) instead,

of , we use the Biblical synonym,

( beel-ah-DAH-ee), meaning
literally, apart from.

We get:

without me - (beel-ah-DAH-ee)

without us (one male) - ( beel-ah-DEH-ee-noo)

without you (one male) - ( beel-ah-DEH-khah)
without you (one female) - ( beel-ah-DAH-eekh)
without you (males or mixed) - ( beel-ah-deh-ee-KHEM)
without you (females) - ( beel-ah-deh-ee-KHEN)
without him - ( beel-ah-DAHV)
without her -
( beel-ah-DEH-hah)
without them (males or mixed) - ( beel-ah-deh-ee-HEM)
without them (females) - ( beel-ah-deh-ee-HEN)
Another way of saying without is ( leh-LOH). For example:
She wants coffee without sugar.
(hee roh-TSAH kah-FEH leh-LOH soo-KAHR)

8. How to say "exclusive" in Hebrew

Oftentimes the developers of Modern Hebrew are faced with the challenge of
creating a new word for a concept that didn't quite exist in Biblical and
Mishnaic times. One such concept is exclusivity.

As presented in yesterday's entry, one of the Hebrew words

meaningwithout is (beel-ah-DAH-ee), used with suffixes to form
phrases such as without me, without you, etc. Yesterday's entry provides
all the possibilities.

Modern Hebrew's developers borrowed the basic concept of without to label

the modern concept of exclusivity - or, being without most others. The word
they came up with is (beel-ah-dee-YOOT)

Exclusive is ( beel-ah-DEE) when referring to something masculine

( beel-ah-DEET) when referring to something feminine.

For example:

! ,
Exclusive deal, only for credit-card holders!
(meev-TSAH beel-ah-DEE, rahk leh-mahkh-zee-KEH-ee kahr-TEES ahsh-RAH-

is the official word that is becoming more and more in style. Most Israelis
are still using, however, (eks-kloo-SEE-vee).

9. How do say "decaf" in Hebrew

The basic Hebrew word for to take is (lah-KAH-khaht), an active-

simple verb.

Another more elegant word for to take is (leen-TOHL)

or (lee-TOHL) of the root .. (n.t.l), also a verb. But as

happens with more elegant words, this one is used only in certain cases, such
as in the phrase meaning decaffeinated -( neh-TOOL kah-feh-
EEN). In , the word - or ( nah-TOOL) when
unconnected to another word - means taken away or removed, making the
phrase for decaf mean literally, caffeine has been removed (from it).

Another phrase using you might come across is:

unleaded fuel
(DEH-lek neh-TOOL oh-FEH-ret)

On washing of hands -

If you're familiar with Jewish tradition, you almost certainly caught the
similarity between the word and ( neh-tee-LAHT yah-DAH-
yeem) - the ritual washing of the hands. You're probably also wondering
what washing has to do with taking away.

I was wondering the same thing until I found this Wikipedia article (only
the Hebrew version of the article contains this explanation). The article
explains that in the Rabbinic era, servants would wash the hands of their
Jewish masters: the servant would give the water to the master by pouring it
on his hands, while the master would in turn receive or take the water as it
bathed his hands.

Thus there is no literal connection between washing and taking away. Rather,
the phrase preserves the memory of a ritual that involved two
people, as opposed to today's pouring of water over one's own hands.

10. How to say "boundary" in Hebrew

to be read this Shabbat by Jews around the world falls smack in the middle
of the fifth of Five Books of Moses, ( SEH-fehr deh-vah-REEM) -
The Book of Deuteronomy, or literally, The Book of Words. and
its narrator, Moses, concern themselves primarily with preparing the Children
of Israel for entering their land - present-day Israel - and thus a word that
pops up over and over in the book, as well as in this week's portion,
is (gheh-VOOL) - border or boundary.

Despite the word's masculine gender, it appears feminine in the

plural: (gheh-voo-LOHT). However, since the word is masculine in
the singular form, it behaves like a masculine noun, even in the plural, when
described by an adjective. For example:

Poland has long borders on all (the) sides.
(leh-foh-LEEN yesh gheh-voo-LOHT ah-roo-KEEM beh-KHOHL hah-tseh-dah-

means not only a geographical boundary, but a personal and

interpersonal one as well.

For instance, the term setting boundaries, in Hebrew, is

( leh-hah-TSEEV gheh-voo-LOHT).

..( g.b.l), is almost

I find it interesting that the root of boundary -

identical to that of bravery, manhood and heroism -..( g.b.r). I am

convinced that the two roots share a core concept, since the first two root
letters are identical, and since the sounds l and r have a tendency to
alternate among languages and sometimes within languages.

If you agree with me on the commonality, how do you understand the

connection between .. and ..?
Use the "comments" form below to say your piece.

Shabbat Shalom, and a pleasant weekend to all!
(shah-BAHT shah-LOHM, veh-SOHF shah-VOO-ah nah-EEM leh-khoo-LAHM)