I am in love with the Land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael. What do I love about it? First, it is my birthplace and our homeland. It is holy and infused with holiness and history in every step we take. Being there makes Tanach come alive — all that we have been taught is real and tangible.
But there is something else that touches my soul when I am there, and it is the Hebrew language. I love hearing it and speaking it. It is music to my ears. Within a week I feel comfortable speaking and I am always learning new words and expressions. I even start dreaming in Hebrew.
I love the logic of the language. Every word starts with a shoresh, a root, and not only grammar is built on the shoresh, but different words are created that have a connection. For example, “laredet” means “to go down.” We go down-stairs, down a hill, and when Israelis move away from Israel it is called “yeridah” because they are going down from the holiness of Eretz Yisrael. Yeridah is also used to describe a sale in a store — a lowering of price.
“La’alot” means to go up. Men get an “aliyah” to the Torah, meaning they go up to make the berachah, but the word aliyah is also used to mean someone who is moving to Israel and going higher in kedushah. Even when traveling to Yerushalayim from the airport you feel your “aliyah” as you slowly go higher into the mountains surrounding Yerushalayim and finally see Yerushalayim sparkling at the top of those mountains.
“Kar” means cold, a “mekarer” is a refrigerator, and “kerach” is ice. “Avir” means climate or atmosphere, both physical weather climate as well as political climate. And “aviron” is an airplane that flies in the atmosphere, although I was corrected by my grandchildren. Aviron is not used anymore. An aircraft is called a “matos” because “latos” is to fly.
More spiritually, the word Amen has the same shoresh as the word emunah and is the abbreviation for the words Kel Melech Ne’eman. So every time we say Amen we are verbalizing our emunah in Hashem and proclaiming Him as our faithful King and King of the entire world.
Maybe I’m a linguistic nut, but I find Hebrew to be poetic. So did David HaMelech, I imagine, when he wrote so many beautiful tefillos. His words are gems that have stayed vibrant for 3,000 years. Hashem created the Hebrew alef-bet and wrote the Torah in lashon ha’kodesh. But Hashem put life into the language, a vibrancy that allows it to evolve and to be used today, as well as in ancient times. It is a language that has stayed relevant, just as the Torah, the Land of Israel, and the Jewish nation are as relevant and vibrant today as in days gone by.
Ohr Natan of Briarwood Holds Historic Mikvah Opening
How a Little Bronx Boy Inspired the IDF to Establish a New Approach to Soldiers Missing in Action. Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff will speak on Sunday, August 4, 6:45 p.m. at YIKGH. Free admission.
Major RCCS Event in Kew Gardens Hills. August 6, 7:45 p.m. at Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills. Guest Speaker: Rabbi Frand.
Matchmaking and Shabbos-Box Making. Singles event combined with doing a chesed during the Nine Days. August 7, 7–9 p.m. 72-23 139th Street (side entrance) KGH. An opportunity to do a chesed during the Nine Days by making Shabbos boxes for hospitals and also an opportunity for singles to meet. Anna Aronovitch and other shadchanim will be there as well. For more information, contact Susie Garber at 917-696-2433. Ages 30s and 40s.
Three Weeks Shiur Series. This Shabbos, August 3, 5 p.m., the second shiur of the annual Three Weeks Shiur Series for women will take place in the Ahavas Yisroel simcha hall (147-02 73rd Avenue) and feature Rabbi Hayim Schwartz. The next shiur will take place on August 10.
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.