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‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
Tel Aviv - Los Angeles Partnership
Joint Teachers’ Seminar No. 9, December 2009
Writing: Anna Kislanski
Language Editing: Hamutal Levy
Graphic design: Nurit Herskkovits, [email protected]
llustrating Eliezer Ben Yehuda's figure: Izhar Shkedi
Kislev 5770, December 2009
Dear Educators and Coordinators,
It is our pleasure, every year, to welcome you to the Joint Educators Seminar of the Tel Aviv - Los
Angeles Partnership.
The topic that we will explore this year, "Beyond Words - In Search of a Common Jewish Language",
is a unique and creative topic that evokes ideas which do indeed extend beyond words. Languages,
apart from being a form of verbal expression, also incorporate forms of artistic expression: in
designing materials such as Judaica, in the art of acting whether in theater and film, in dance, in
song, in music, in painting, and surely in architecture and landscape design as well. If we desire to
do so, we'll be able to go even further and reach spheres that affect our daily lives, such as food and
clothing. Jewish elements can be found in all of these. Language, in all its forms of expression, is a
way to communicate, both through content as well as the representation of culture.
The word "language" in Hebrew ("safa') is used to describe the tongue of communication (in all
the aforementioned forms) and the part of the mouth through which the words emerge - "lips"
("sfatayim"). It is also used to describe the brims of objects (e.g. a cup filled to its "safa") or the
edges of two different elements that do not mix with one another - such as "the safa of the ocean"
(the seashore) or "the safa of the river" (the riverbank).
The main objectives of this Seminar, which each year focuses on a topic of Jewish significance, are
to offer inspiration and generate educational ideas and activities through which we can motivate the
students in both communities to find a "common language", while at the same time preserving the
"unique language" of each community in all the various contexts of the language.
As coordinators of the twinning program at your schools, you create programs that enable students to
uncover the common bonds they share with the students at the twinned school - bonds that are founded
on their shared history and culture as members of the Jewish people - and which are reinforced by
the culture and the values which they currently share and will share in the future, in all the languages
they make use of.
We greatly admire the efforts you have invested and thank each and every one of you for your
commitment and dedication to this highly valuable program. You are all taking part in endeavors
which guarantee the continued commitment to the partnership between the Jewish students in the
Los Angeles community and the students in Tel Aviv.
We wish to extend our deep appreciation to the excellent staff of the Tel Aviv - Los Angeles
Partnership, for the long hours and hard work they have invested in organizing and coordinating all
the aspects associated with preparing the Joint Seminar, for the workshops, and for the educational
and administrative work that they provide to the twinning program throughout the year.
We wish all of us success at the Seminar, and hope that we will derive the maximum benefit and
make use of language in the most positive manner possible. As our sages have already indicated:
"Truthful lips endure forever" (Proverbs 12:19).
Dr. Bruria Agrest
Chair of the Education Committee
In Tel Aviv
Susan Jacoby-Stern
Chair of the Education Committee
In Los Angeles
‫יש לי שפה ומדינה‬
‫והרמוניה קולית שממתינה‬
‫עם כמה חברים‬
..‫שהולכים ושרים בדרך‬
‫השיר הזה מעכשיו מוכן‬
‫אותנו כאן לחבר‬
‫ואם נשיר אז בבוא הזמן‬
‫אולי נתחיל לדבר‬
‫שלמה גרוניך‬
I have a language and country
And vocal harmony that's awaiting
With some friends
Who are walking and singing on the way…
This song is ready from now on
To connect us here
And if we sing then when the time comes
Perhaps we'll begin to speak.
Shlomo Gronich
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Dear Coordinators and Colleagues,
This pamphlet is designed to accompany the Ninth Joint Educators Seminar, held for the communities
of educators from Tel Aviv and Los Angeles. This seminar constitutes an additional tier in our
educational work, through which we aim to strengthen the bonds between the two communities and
create a common language and a developing and creative culture.
The subject of this year's seminar is the Hebrew language, marking the 100th anniversary of the
publication of Ben Yehuda's dictionary, Jewish languages and language as a metaphor. This topic
offers us an infinite array of possibilities for study, listening, reflection and creativity. We'll explore
the importance of the Hebrew language in Jewish culture as well as its contribution to the renewal of
the Jewish entity in the State of Israel. We'll reflect upon the meaning of words and texts in Jewish
tradition and culture. We'll attend a discourse dealing with Jewish languages, such as Yiddish and
Ladino, and how they have influenced the culture and the spoken language.
This year we'll experience Shabbat in Tel Aviv, including many of the diverse possibilities that the
city has to offer us.
The pamphlet presents the seminar's rationale and its place in the sequence of seminars which have
taken place thus far. It also provides details about the seminar itinerary. Each and every day focuses
on a particular topic and issues that provoke thought and discussion, coupled with source material
for further inspiration and enrichment. We'll take part in an interesting symposium, we'll attend a
production of the play "The Dybbuk" - which has won international acclaim and awards - and we'll
also experience metaphorical languages, such as video art and Jewish music. We'll see a collection
of Judaica and experiment with plastic art. The numerous workshops that we'll experience are also
cited in the pamphlet.
Much thought, planning, creativity and work have been invested in this seminar, both on the part of
the educational staff in Tel Aviv as well as the educational staff in Los Angeles, and both on the part
of the steering committees that were set up for the purpose of the seminar on both sides of the globe
as well as the professionals who have contributed their leadership and their insights.
We extend our thanks to all those who have assisted in preparing the seminar: to Dr. Bruria Agrest
and Mrs. Susan Jacoby-Stern - the joint chairs of the Education Committee, to Hagar Shoham-Marko
- Director of the Partnership, to Dafna Lev - Director of the Municipality's Education Administration,
for her advice regarding the content of the seminar and her ongoing involvement, and to the educational
staffs, and in particular Sherry Davis and Anna Kislanski - for their endless devotion and investment.
Thank You!
We hope that this seminar will empower our work as educators, will equip us with ideas and materials
for classroom study, will enhance the itineraries of our delegations, and strengthen the ties between
us as educators of the future generation.
Haya Ben Dror,
Education Director in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv - Los Angeles Partnership
Ahuva Ron,
Education Director in Los Angeles
Tel Aviv - Los Angeles Partnership
‫עיריית תל אביב יפו‬
‫מינהל החינוך התרבות והספורט‬
‫לשכת מנהלת המינהל‬
Tel-Aviv-Yafo Municipality
Education, Culture and Sports Administration
The Office of the Administration Director
December 3, 2009
Dear Educators,
Language, in general, is a fascinating topic which is important to address it. Language is an aperture
to culture. When we learn a language, we also learn about a nation>s culture.
The Hebrew language - throughout all its chronological periods and whether the language of the
Bible, the language of the sages, the language of liturgists, the language of the army or the language
of the «Gashashim» (comedy group), etc., both spoken and written language, is the mirror of our
culture, of the Jewish people who live both in and outside of Zion, in the past as well as the future.
In a lecture delivered to literature teachers and educators, the author Amos Oz reiterated the
importance of the Hebrew language as the foundation of our identity. The language carries with it
cultural traditions from the past and from the present.
Recently, much has been said about the shallowness of the language spoken by young people and
the detachment from the vocabulary used in the past. The language of the Bible and liturgy, or that
of Agnon, sounds like a foreign language to them. There is a feeling that something must be done.
I embrace the choice that was made to deal with this subject at the Joint Seminar being held here, in
Israel, and perhaps from Zion the message will come forth.
Dafna Lev
Director of the Education, Culture and Sports Administration
Table of Contents
About the Joint Educators Seminar:
A Brief History and Presentation of the Seminars' Continuum ................................................ 10
The Ninth Joint Educators Seminar: "Beyond Words:
In Search of a Common Jewish Language" - Presentation of the Rationale ........................... 11
The Program of the Ninth Joint Educators Seminar ................................................................. 12
Thursday, 30 Kislev, December 17, 2009
A Workshop to Get Acquainted: Mother Tongue - Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski .................... 21
'My Mother Tongue' - Ehud Manor
'A Yiddishe Mama' - Sophie Tucker
Introductory activity related to the topic of language
Lecture: "Eliezer Ben Yehuda and the Revival of the Hebrew Language" Ruvik Rosenthal ............................................................................................................................. 23
Ruvik Rosenthal - biographical information
'Itamar Ben Avi' - Ruvik Rosenthal
Workshop: Hebrew as a Common Language - Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski .......................... 24
'Ten Hebrew Words'
Workshop: Reading Poems in Different Languages Followed by Discussion Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski ......................................................................................................... 29
'House Call' - Agi Mishol
'From the Place Where We're Right' - Yehuda Amichai
'Dreaming in Spanish' - Shlomo Yidov, Ehud Manor
'A Yiddishe Mameh' - Jack Yellen and Lew Pollack
'The Home' - Natan Yonatan
'Here I Am' - Avraham Sutzkever
Lecture: "About the Role of Language in his Work" - David Grossman ................................ 33
David Grossman - biographical information
"Writing in the Dark' - David Grossman
Friday, 1 Tevet, December 18, 2009
Opening a Window: Yoav Ben-Horin, Gila Ingvir ...................................................................... 39
'A Walk to Caesarea' - Hannah Senesh
Jerusalem Tour: "In the Footsteps of Eliezer Ben Yehuda and the Hebrew Language"...... 40
From 'A Dream Come True' - Eliezer Ben Yehuda
Itinerary - Courtesy of Yad Ben Zvi
Kabbalat Shabbat - 'Miketz' Weekly Torah Portion ................................................................. 43
'Come Sabbath Bride' - Avraham Shlonsky
'A Tel Aviv Prayer' - Rannie Yeger
Shabbat (Saturday), 2 Tevet, December 19, 2009
Shabbat services at different synagogues ................................................................................... 51
Walking tours in Tel Aviv led by coordinators: .......................................................................... 51
"Shabbat Culture" - Haviva Tesszvan, Yael Gur
"In the Footsteps of the Language of Artists, Poets and Authors" - Einat Lev Haim, Yotam Yizraeli
"A Small City with a Single Boulevard" - Koby Vilner and Udi Nevo
A Bialik Style Shabbat in Tel Aviv ............................................................................................... 51
'About Ohel Shem and Oneg Shabbat' - Hayyim Nahman Bialik
Havdalah and Melave Malka - Beit T'fillah Yisraeli ................................................................. 53
'Distinguishing the Sacred from the Profane'
About Beit T'fillah Yisraeli
Sunday, 3 Tevet, December 20, 2009
Opening a Window: The 'Miketz' Weekly Torah Portion Yoav Ben-Horin, Lior Siboni ....................................................................................................... 59
Tour of the Rishon Le-Zion Museum .......................................................................................... 60
Rishon Le-Zion's contribution to formulating the national identity of the renewed settlement in
Pre-State Israel
About the 'Haviv' school
Map of the 'Pioneers Tour' in Rishon Le-Zion
Lecture: "Hebrew from Ben Yehuda to Modern Times and its Role in
Jewish-Israeli Culture" - Prof. Gilad Zuckerman ..................................................................... 63
Prof. Gilad Zuckerman - biographical information
'Israeli, A Beautiful Language' - Prof. Gilad Zuckerman
Workshop: Contemporary Issues in Hebrew, in Education and in Jewish Culture:
Experiences and Personal Challenges - Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski ..................................... 72
"Speak in the Language of the Hebrew Man" - a proposed activity at the schools
Panel of Artists on the Subject of Jewish Languages - Sarit Seri ............................................. 75
Michal Heled - Poet: Hebrew and Ladino
Shimon Shloush - Poet: Hebrew, Palestinian Arabic and Jewish Arabic
Assaf Talmudi and Noam Inbar - "Oy Division" Ensemble: Music and Yiddish
'In Yiddish It Sounds Better' - Ronen Tal, Gaya Koren
'The Language Arena: The Year 56887 (Terapapu) Has Arrived' - Ruvik Rosenthal
Play: 'The Dybbuk' - Adapted from S. Ansky ........................................................................... 84
About the Itim Theatre Ensemble and Rina Yerushalmi
'Descending In Order to Ascend' - Maayan Vine
Monday, 4 Tevet, December 21, 2009
Work at the Schools ...................................................................................................................... 91
Tuesday, 5 Tevet, December 22, 2009
Continued work at the schools ...................................................................................................... 95
Workshop: "Partners Café" - Raising Ideas for Improving the Curricula
and Resolving the Challenges Facing Us (Educational Staff) .................................................... 95
Format: "Partners Café"
Joint Seminar Final Party ............................................................................................................. 96
About the performance "Dialog"
Wednesday, 6 Tevet, December 23, 2009
Opening a Window: Deborah Kollin, Yoram Amir .................................................................... 99
'A Ballad About a Horse With a Spot on Its Forehead'- Yoram Teharlev
Lecture: "The Role of Language and the Word in Jewish Culture:
Becoming Familiar With Women's Prayer" - Dr. Aliza Lavie ................................................. 103
Dr. Aliza Lavie - biographical information
From 'Women's Prayer' - Dr. Aliza Lavie
Workshops Dealing With Art as Language ............................................................................... 107
Music as a Common Language - Yehuda Katz
Judaica, Objects and Symbols - Bill Gross
Video Art - Efrat Kedem
Plastic Art - Shari Davis
Concluding Activity: Implementing New Ideas from the Joint Seminar ............................... 107
Wrap-Up, Feedback, and Verbal and Written Evaluation of the Seminar ............................ 108
'Before We Part' - Nurit Bat-Shahar Tzafrir
"Tefilat Haderech' (The Traveler's Prayer)
The "Invasion" of the Hebrew Language by Foreign Words .................................................. 111
Suggested Reading on the Topic of Jewish Languages ............................................................. 121
Contact Information .................................................................................................................... 123
A Brief History of the TA-LA Joint Teachers Seminar
The Joint Teachers Seminar has been a key element of the school twinning project for the past
seven years. It is the only twinning activity at which all schools are represented at the same time,
fostering the development of a shared language for the examination of significant Jewish themes.
Held annually in December, the Seminar promotes wide-ranging debate, discussion, and reflection
about the land, state, and people of Israel. It is a critical "greenhouse" for incubating new ideas and
perspectives and tries to challenge teachers conceptually, as well as help them connect broad themes
and ideas to practical classroom activities.
The first seminar explored the concept of "Peoplehood" and its relationship to Jewish self-perception.
The second seminar addressed the idea of "Homeland" and how American and Israeli Jews may
view it differently. The third seminar examined the proposition "To Be a Jew," and looked at the
various ways that idea has been expressed in Jewish life. The fourth seminar (held in Los Angeles;
the previous three seminars all took place in Israel) held up the image of the "Educated Jew" and
connected that image to the teachers’ role in their respective schools. The fifth seminar experienced
affective and spiritual elements of Judaism (titled, "With All Your Heart"). Two years ago the seminar
addressed the concept of Tikkun Olam and Jewish view of engagement in the world. The seventh
seminar focused on the idea of belonging to a community and how we act on the precept of "Kol
Yisrael Areivim Zeh LaZeh," (All Israel is Obligated to One Another).
Last year the seminar celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv, and focused on
Tel Aviv’s role as a symbol of the new Hebrew culture being developed in Palestine, and what Tel
Aviv "means" in the Israeli imagination.
Each year, we "tweak" the seminar model to improve the program, but generally, it includes the
following elements:
* Formal seminar days, with invited speakers as well as cooperative "breakout groups."
* Curriculum planning days, with the faculties working on their individual programs in the various
* A Shabbaton, exploring spiritual, religious, and cultural expression of Jewish identity.
* Travel/touring days, to learn more about different areas in Israel.
* Sessions devoted to practical application of theoretical constructs.
The 2009 Joint Teachers Seminar, Beyond Words - The Search for a Common Jewish Language, will
take place December 17-23 in Tel Aviv. During the seminar we will discuss the following ideas:
* The revival of Hebrew and its impact on the Jewish State.
* The significance of words and text within Jewish tradition, community and culture.
* The challenges of creating a modern Hebrew-Speaking country in Eretz Yisrael.
* Language challenges facing Israeli and Diaspora communities.
* How can encounters with Jewish Languages deepen and enrich our understanding of Jewish
Identity, History and Culture?
* The use of "metaphoric languages" to create a bridge between diverse Jewish communities.
* What is the language of Partnership—How can we express and expand our understanding of Jewish
language and create a shared vocabulary?
- 10 -
Joint teachers' Seminar no. 9
Beyond Words
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Celebrating 100 years to the 1st publication of
Eliezer Ben Yehuda's Dictionary
This seminar will revolve around 3 circles:
The circle of the Hebrew Language
differentiated eras of the Hebrew Language and their meaning; Holy Language - Secular Language:
change and development; Modern Hebrew; Slang (jargon); Affinity between the Hebrew language
and Jewish and Israeli culture; Hebrew literature and spoken day-to-day Hebrew; The relationship
between reality (Aliyah, Israeli wars..) and language; What is Hebrew for Israelis, what is it for Jews
in Los Angeles; "Lean" Hebrew - danger or an evolvement?; Language as an intensifying component
of identity; Why Learn Hebrew in LA?...
The circle of Jewish Languages
on the phenomenon of creating unique Jewish languages: Aramaic, Yiddish, Ladino, Jewish-Arabic,
Esperanto etc.; The connection between language, community and culture; The importance of these
languages in current days, as their place in Jewish culture's development.
The circle of Metaphoric languages
Language as a communication means and as a creativity element; Language as liaison; Language as a
differentiating factor creating gap between communities; What is "The Partnership Language"?; On
our ability to develop and create a joint language.
Metaphoric Languages: Joint values, Humor, Arts, Graffiti, Body Language, Slang, Literature, Music,
Judaica, Cinema, Television, Theater, Dance, Jewish and Israeli Symbols, The Language of Prayer,
Clothing and so on..
During this seminar we will work around 4 key concepts, to outline our fields of communication and
Culture, Content, Community, Communication
These concepts will help us arrange and to contemplate our questions and issues within the circles
mentioned above.
- 11 -
Joint teachers’ Seminar no. 9
Beyond Words
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Celebrating 100 years to the 1st publication of
Eliezer Ben Yehuda’s Dictionary
Tuesday, 28 Kislev, December 15, 2009
2:50 PM
El Al Flight #06
Depart to Tel Aviv
Arrive at LAX 3 hours before departure flight time
Wednesday, 29 Kislev, December 16, 2009
Focus of The Day: Los Angeles Educators Arrive
2:00 PM
Arrive in Israel, Drive to Yad Ha'shmona
Check-in & Settle
in Rooms
Informal Welcome
TA Staff
Welcoming Activity
Shari and Anna
Only for LA Participants 7:00
Lighting Hanukkah Candles & Dinner
Free Evening for Coordinators
Meeting for Partnership Central Staff (TA & LA)
Thursday, 30 Kislev, December 17, 2009
Focus of The Day: The Significance of Hebrew Language in Jewish Culture
Essential questions for the day:
* How did Eliezer Ben Yehuda contribute to the revival of Hebrew, and how did this impact the
Jewish State?
* What is the significance of words and text within Jewish tradition, community and culture?
8:00 AM
Formal Opening of the JTS
Joined by TA Coordinators at Yad
Introductory Activity
Shari & Anna
Exploring Our Mame Loshen
(Mother Tongue)
- 12 -
Lecture 1: "Eliezer Ben Yehuda
and the Revival of the Hebrew
Rubik Rosenthal
12:00 PM
Workshop on Shared Hebrew
Shari & Anna
Workshop "10 Hebrew Words"
Optional Hike/Walk or Rest
Hike weather permitting
Sunset Poetry Reading
A selection of Jewish Poems read
in Hebrew and English with an
exploration of using poetry as joint
Lecture 2: "Hebrew Language
and the Creative Work of Israeli
Author David Grossman
David Grossman
Lighting Hanukkah Candles &
At Yad Ha'shmona
Evening Bonding Time
Friday, 1 Tevet, December 18, 2009
Focus of The Day: Exploring Ben Yehuda’s Impact on the Modern Hebrew Language
Essential questions for the day:
* What motivated Eliezer Ben Yehuda and his family to become the first Hebrew speaking family
in Eretz Israel?
* What challenges did Ben Yehuda and his generation face in creating a modern Hebrew-speaking
culture in Eretz Israel?
7:00 AM
Pack Up and Load Buses
Breakfast & "Opening the Window"
Pair of Coordinators
Share Text
"Opening the Window"
Depart for Jerusalem
Walking Tour of Jerusalem - The First
Hebrew Speaking Family in Modern
Israel - Following the Path of Eliezer
Ben Yehuda
With Guides
Yad Ben Zvi
Two Separate Guides and
Tours (English and Hebrew)
12:00 PM
Drive to Tel Aviv
Packed lunch en-route.
TA Coordinators dropped off
at Arlozoroff train station,
LA Coordinators check in to
Orchid Hotel; All prepare for
Arrive in Tel Aviv
- 13 -
Tour at Ha'Carmel Market and
surroundings (Optional)
Observing the actual
preparation of Shabbat:
Closing off shops and
welcoming the day of rest.
Lighting of Hanukkah & Shabbat
At Hotel (Joined by TA
Shabbat Welcoming Circle
At the sea shore (white
garments) and Joint Kabbalat
Shabbat at the Hotel (Those
who wish can attend different
Joint Shabbat Dinner
At the Hotel.
Oneg Shabbat
A group of
Evening of songs & melodies.
Saturday, 2 Tevet, December 19, 2009
Focus of The Day: Experiencing Shabbat in Tel Aviv
8:00 AM
Synagogue options for those
who would like to attend
Late breakfast for
coordinators returning from
Tours in Tel Aviv
Option of strolling by 3 coordinated
* Shabbat Tarbut - Chaviva T. &
Yael Gur.
* Following the footsteps of artists,
poets and writers - Einat Lev Haim
& Yotam Y'zraeli.
* A small city of single boulevard" Coby Wilner & Udi Nevo.
1:00 PM
Hosted by local families: teachers and
parents from Tel Aviv Schools
"Tel Avivian Shabbat
According to Bialik's
Tradition - Bialik's Oneg
Shabbat in Tel Aviv"
Tour of Beit Bialik
At Bialik House—All Coordinators
will meet here for the remainder of
Shabbat & Havdala
"My Shabbat Experience"
Joint Conversation
Havdala & Melave Malka
Along with "Beit T'fila Israeli"
Free Evening
- 14 -
Sunday, 3 Tevet, December 20, 2009
Focus of The Day: The Intersection of Jewish Languages
Essential questions for the day:
* How has Hebrew changed over time and place?
* What are the language challenges facing Israeli & Diaspora communities, and what can we learn
from each other?
* How can encounters with diverse Jewish languages deepen and enrich our understanding of
Jewish identity, history and culture?
7:00 AM
Drive to Rishon Le'Zion Museum
Begin with "Opening the
Tour Museum: "In the Beginning
(1882-1922) - It Started Here"
Hebrew & English
Pair of Coordinators Share Text;
Tour introduces the many
"FIRSTS" in Eretz Israel at this
hands-on museum
12:30 PM
Lecture 3: "Hebrew in Jewish
& Israeli Culture: Changes and
Challenges Since Ben Yehuda
Prof. Ghil’ad
At Rishon Le'Zion Museum
Coffee and Coordinator Discussion
Led by Shari &
Hebrew, Education and Jewish
Culture - Contemporary Issues,
Personal Experiences, and
Drive to Tel Aviv
Beit Bialik 4:15
"Speaking with Diverse Jewish
Voices: Sharing Language, Identity
& Culture through the Arts"
Panel moderated
by writer/performer
Sarit Seri
At Mania Hall. Artists’ Panel
with Assaf Talmudi & Noam
Inbar, from the Yiddish musical
ensemble Oy Division; Prof.
Michal Held, Ladino poet;
Shimon Shlush, Judeo-Arabic
At Mania Hall
Travel to Nachmani Hall
Administrative management of Tel Aviv's Municipality; Schools' principals & guests are invited to join us here
Play: "The Dybbuk"
Post-Performance Meeting with
Director of "The Dybbuk"
A Yiddish play by S. Ansky, a
great Jewish writer and collector
of Jewish folk lore.
Rina Yerushalmi
- 15 -
Evening concludes at 10:00pm.
Monday, 4 Tevet, December 21, 2009
Focus of The Day: Collaborative Planning in the Schools
Essential questions for the day:
* How can we best use our time in the schools to effectively plan our delegations and joint
* What areas of joint planning do we need to focus on for the coming year?
* What does our "Action Plan" for the coming year look like?
8:00 AM
Breakfast and Meeting for Coordinators and
LA Staff
At Orchid Hotel
Coordinators to twin schools by cab.
Arrive at schools by 9AM. Coordinators from
each twinning work together for the whole
day; Partnership's TA & LA staff will visit
2:00 PM
Lunch Meeting for Partnership Central Staff
Los Angeles Coordinators with TA Hosts
Tuesday, 5 Tevet, December 22, 2009
Focus of The Day: Collaborative Planning in the Schools & Sharing Ideas to Improve our Programs
Essential questions for the day:
* As we conclude our work together in the school, do we have a written Action Plan we agree on?
* What are the issues and challenges we face as coordinators, and how can we share ideas and
creatively problem solve together?
7:30 AM
Coordinators to twin schools
by cab
Continuation of coordinators' work
at twin schools. Simultaneously,
Partnership's TA and LA staff will
visit schools
12:00 PM
All LA & TA Coordinators meet
(gymnasia Herzliya, 106 Jabotinsky
street, TA)
Revisiting the "Partnership
Café"—round table discussions
and idea sharing on how to
address Partnership challenges
and improve our programs.
Important that all TA and LA
Coordinators are present for this
Back to hotel/homes
Free time
Depart hotel to Beit Brodet
Dinner and Evening of Fun
Celebrate JTS 2009!
- 16 -
Evening concludes at 10:00pm.
Wednesday, 6 Tevet, December 23, 2009
Focus of The Day: Developing An Expressive Language Between Twin Schools
Essential questions for the day:
* How can we use "metaphoric languages," ie. The arts, literature, Jewish symbols, prayer to create
a bridge between diverse Jewish communities?
* What is the language of Partnership - How can we express and expand our understanding of
Jewish language and create a shared vocabulary?
7:30 AM
Breakfast and Check Out
Leave Luggage at Hotel
Drive to "Yafe-Li"
All Activities for the day
take place at "Yafe-Li"
Final "Opening the Window"
Pair of Coordinations
Share text
Lecture 4: "The Significance of Words &
Text in Jewish Tradition"
Dr. Aliza Lavie
The Activities for the day
all take place at
Choice between 4 workshops - Round #1
1. Music as Joint Language (Yehuda Katz)
2. Judaica: Objects as Symbols (Bill Gross)
3. Video Art & Contemporary Issues
(Presenter TBD)
4. Jewish Folk Art -A Hands-On Exploration
of Our Common Culture (Shari Davis)
Rotation to Workshop #2
11:45 PM
Choice between 4 workshops - Round #2
Final interactive activity
Shari & Anna
Appling new ideas from
the JTS
Written evaluation, summation & goodbyes
L.A. Delegation Meet at the Hotel to Drive
to the Airport
12:40 AM
El Al Flight #005 Depart to Los Angeles
Arrive in LA Thursday,
Dec 24, at 6:15 AM
- 17 -
- 18 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Thursday, 30 Kislev, December 17, 2009
- 19 -
Focus of The Day
The Significance of Hebrew Language
in Jewish Culture
Essential questions for the day
How did Eliezer Ben Yehuda contribute
to the revival of Hebrew, and how did
this impact the Jewish State?
What is the significance of words
and text within Jewish tradition,
community and culture?
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A Workshop to Get Acquainted:
Mother Tongue - Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski
My Mother Tongue
‫שפת אימי‬
‫ קורין אלאל‬,‫אהוד מנור‬
Ehud Manor, Corinne Allal
Sometimes, when on my own,
I ask what flows inside my blood.
Sometimes, when on my own,
I ask who flows inside my blood.
Who am I pulling forward innocently,
On the steep path of my very existence?
Dragging forward in my joy and in my rage My mother tongue is still heard night and day.
,‫ ביני לבין עצמי‬,‫לפעמים‬
.‫אני שואלת מה זורם בתוך דמי‬
,‫ ביני לבין עצמי‬,‫לפעמים‬
,‫אני שואלת מי זורם בתוך דמי‬
,‫את מי אני גוררת הלאה לתומי‬
?‫בדרך התלולה של עצם קיומי‬
- ‫מושכת הלאה באושרי בזעמי‬
.‫יומם ולילה עוד מתנגנת שפת אימי‬
Sometimes, when on my own,
I hear the voice of my dream.
Sometimes, when on my own,
I hear the crying of my dream,
And trembling it asks me how I am,
And it asks where my country is and who my nation is.
I show it a document, it’s all official,
But my mother tongue is still heard in my name.
,‫ ביני לבין עצמי‬,‫לפעמים‬
.‫אני שומעת את קולו של חלומי‬
,‫ ביני לבין עצמי‬,‫לפעמים‬
,‫אני שומעת את בכיו של חלומי‬
,‫והוא שואל אותי ברעד לשלומי‬
.‫והוא שואל היכן ארצי ומי עמי‬
,‫ הכל רישמי‬,‫אני מראה לו תעודה‬
.‫אבל בשמי עוד מתנגנת שפת אימי‬
A Yiddishe Mama:
Excerpts from a Speech Made by the Singer Sophie Tucker
As I stand here before you, my old mother's image appears. Not a polished woman, and not an
elegant lady…a hard-working woman, hunched and bent over from the burden of her troubles. But a
woman with a pure Jewish heart and endless dedication that radiated from her eyes in that one-room
apartment, where she grew old and her hair turned white. She sat and sewed, dreaming about the
years which had passed, when the house was full of the voices of boisterous children. The aromas of
the pie and other Sabbath dishes emerged from the kitchen.
Believe me when I say that our house was not lacking poverty, but none of us, the children, lacked
anything. The piece of bread in her mouth she happily shared with all of us. Because for her
children, she was even willing to sacrifice her life.
She did her own cleaning, did her own sewing, and did her own laundry. While rocking the cradle,
she did her daytime work. She was also busy at night, but would always find the time to diaper a
baby. That's a Jewish mother. How happy you all are that your mother is still alive. Thank G-d for
that day and night.
Despite her wig, don't be ashamed of her and don't try to hide her. You must kiss her hands and
ensure her well-being and welfare. Pray to G-d for her health, to keep her alive. G-d can give you
all the wealth in the world - millions of dollars, diamonds, big and beautiful houses. But there is one
thing you'll never receive more of, and G-d bestows it only once in a lifetime.
- 21 -
‫ מתוך דבריה של הזמרת סופי טאקר‬- ‫א יידישע מאמא‬
,‫ לבד כיבסה‬,‫ לבד תפרה‬,‫לבד ניקתה‬
,‫עבדה בימים‬.‫תוך נענוע העריסה‬
.‫טרחה בלילות ותמיד מצאה זמן לחתל תינוק‬
,‫זאת היא האמא היהודיה‬
‫כמה מאושרים אתם האנשים‬
.‫אשר אמכם עודנה חיה‬
.‫ברכו את אלוהים על כך יומם ולילה‬
.‫עם פאתה הנוכרית אל תתביישו ואל תבקשו להסתירה‬
.‫ לדאוג לשלומה ורווחתה‬,‫עליכם לנשק את ידיה‬
.‫ לשמור על חייה‬,‫שאו תפילה לאלהים לדאוג לבריאותה‬
,‫האל יכול להעניק לכם את כל העושר שבעולם‬
.‫ יפים‬,‫ בתים גדולים‬,‫ יהלומים‬,‫מיליוני כספים‬
,‫אך דבר אחד לא תקבלו יותר‬
.‫ רק פעם אחת בחיים‬,‫זאת השם מעניק לכם‬
,‫כאשר אני עומדת כאן לפניכם‬
.‫עולה לפני דמותה של אמי הישישה‬
.‫ ולא גבירה הדורה‬,‫לא אשה מפורכסת‬
.‫ שחוחה וכפופה מרוב צרותיה‬,‫אשה קשת יום‬
.‫אך אשה עם לב יהודי טהור ומסירות אין קץ ניבט מעיניה‬
.‫ בה הזדקנה והלבין שיער ראשה‬,‫באותה דירת חדר‬
.‫ חולמת על אותן שנים עברו‬,‫יושבת היא ותופרת‬
.‫ מקולות והמולה של ילדים‬,‫כאשר הבית המה‬
‫מן המטבח עלו ריחות הפשטידה‬
.‫ותבשילי השבת האחרים‬
.‫ בביתנו לא חסרה הדלות‬,‫האמינו לי על דברתי‬
.‫אך מאיתנו הילדים לא החסירה דבר‬
.‫ נהגה לחלוק ברצון עם כולנו‬,‫את פת הלחם מפיה‬
.‫ היתה מוכנה להקריב גם את חייה‬,‫כי למען ילדיה‬
Mama Loshen (Mother Tongue): A Workshop Exploring Memory &
Meaning From the Language of our Home
The word mama loshen translates as «mother tongue» in Yiddish. In fact, the phrase mama loshen often
signifies the word «Yiddish» as in, « I speak the mama loshen» (Yiddish) with my grandmother.»
In this workshop, we are playing with this concept of mother tongue by asking participants to reflect
on one's first language, or native language, or the language of one's home-- or ancestral home.
Workshop Description:
* Consider a meaningful word, phrase or saying, in a language you grew up hearing.
* Ask yourself, who spoke that language? When was the word/phrase used? How does is make you
feel? What memories does it bring up?
* We will use the metaphor/symbol of a flag to affirm, present, declare our words.
* Write your word/phrase on the outside of the small paper flag and decorate the flag with the colored
markers. On the inside (the flag opens) write why this is significant to you.
* Slip a wooden dowel into the flag.
* Break up into hevruta (groups of 4). Discuss together what you wrote and why.
* At the conclusion, we will all go around the room, flags in hand, and introduce ourselves and
our mama loshen word to the whole group.
* All the flags will be assembled as a collective work of art and displayed on the tables in
the diningroom.
These flag images were created
by artist/educator Benny
Ferdman from New Community
Jewish High School and are
inspired by the flags atop silver
spice boxes.
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Lecture: "Eliezer Ben Yehuda and the Revival of the
Hebrew Language" - Ruvik Rosenthal
Ruvik Rosenthal - biographical information
Ruvik Rosenthal, born 1945, an expert on Modern Hebrew, and winner of the Sokolov Award
for Journalism, has published best-selling books on Israeli Hebrew, including a large, influential
Dictionary of Israeli Slang.
Itamar Ben-Avi
Ruvik Rosenthal
Everyone in Tel Aviv knew Mr. Yerushalayim Segel and Mr. Mordechai Neumann very well. The
first was a certified subtitle translator who worked in cinema, whereas the other was a man of letters
and language who had published and brought important books to press.
And so the two of them sat in the Hungarian café, which in their opinion was the best café in Tel Aviv,
a city known for its many excellent cafes, and while happily partaking in some coffee and the raisin
cheese cake, began to tell jokes. Jokes, as you well know, can be told in two languages. One way
is in Hebrew. But jokes in Hebrew, even the best among them, are destined to hit the ground like a
branch of deadwood. The other way is in Yiddish, which alters a mediocre or even more insignificant
joke into a piquant and colorful story, causing both the teller and the listener to roar with laughter for
a long while.
Neumann began telling a joke about the sages from Chelm, that imaginary city of fools whose elders
passed laws governing every small and large matter alike, to the extent that a person who went out
into the street didn't know whether to start walking with his right foot or his left foot. Yerushalayim
asked him, "are you talking about Chelm or are you talking about Tel Aviv?"
And as the two continued to sit and tell jokes, a tall, handsome man with a striking face entered the
café, accompanied by a small entourage.
Do you know who that is?" asked Yerushalayim.
"Of course," whispered Neumann. "It's none other than Itamar, Itamar Ben-Avi!"
Itamar overheard the conversation, became serious and immediately approached their table, stood
next to it and said: "I believe, gentlemen, that you are speaking in jargon, and this is a Hebrew
Neumann wanted to say that the café was Hungarian and not Hebrew, but blushed and remained
silent, and Itamar returned to his companions.
"And what is this Itamar, a policeman?" complained Mordechai to Yerushalayim, "and who is he to
tell us what to do? You, who convert movies into the Hebrew language, and I, who publish secular
and sacred books in Hebrew? And is it a sin to make jokes in Yiddish?"
"And, please," whispered Yerushalayim, "don't forget that this is the very same guy who preaches in
his newspaper that we should write Hebrew in Roman characters. His father would turn over in his
"So," said Mordechai, "let's tell him that we are speaking Yiddish, but in Roman characters!"
The two burst out in loud laughter and Itamar looked at them with suspicion and a touch of hostility. A
spark suddenly appeared in Yerushalayim's eyes. He asked the waiter for a plain piece of paper from
one of the café's notebooks, and wrote on it (in Roman characters): "Do you know ITA MARBENA
VI?" He showed the note to Mordechai, who could hardly contain his laughter, and asked the waiter
to give it to the distinguished gentleman sitting at the table in the right-hand corner of the café.
- 23 -
Itamar laid out the note, read it a couple of times, raised his head in the direction of Mordechai and
Yerushalayim, and shrugged his shoulders in astonishment, as if to say, this guy, why on earth should
I know him? Yerushalayim and Mordechai looked at him with laughing eyes but said nothing. And
then Itamar read the note once again and a huge grin covered his face. He looked at the two men,
who were now laughing openly, lifted his hands in defeat, and also broke out in a contagious laughter.
And within a minute or two, loud laughter was heard throughout the entire café, even though most of
its patrons had no idea about what or why they were laughing.
Workshop: Hebrew as a Common Language Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski
'Ten Hebrew Words'
Hebrew and the jewish connection
As educators, we are all aware of how difficult it can be to communicate “Israel" to students in North
America and at the same time we find it difficult to communicate Diaspora Jewry to Israelis. We
search for meaningful hooks on which to hang the stories that our kids will understand.
When we try to teach about Israel, we find that teaching Geography is difficult. The political structure
is harder still. If only we could help them feel the frenzy of a Friday afternoon in Jerusalem, the wild
enthusiasm of Yom Ha-Atzma’ut in Tel Aviv, or the historical echoes of a hike at Ein Gedi! But until
we get them to Israel, these things are very hard to transmit.
And when we make an attempt to explain to Israelis about the Ruach and the sense of community of
Diaspora Jewry they often cannot understand the community structure, the sense of responsibility,
the diversity.
Israelis and North Americans need to find a common language, not just in the sense of having a
way to communicate to each other but rather find a way for Hebrew to function as a tool with which
Jews are familiar. North American Jews hear it at services, they sing it at Pesach and Chanukah, and
they see it in the synagogue. Even if they are not at all comfortable with the language, they identify
it as an important element of Jewish life. Israelis use Hebrew as the language of playgrounds and
police stations, cab drivers and cabinet ministers, lovers and lawyers. They argue, dream, think and
remember in Hebrew. As such, it Hebrew provides a useful connector to Jews all over the world.
As part of our attempt to connect North American Jews and Israel we present you with ten of the best
Hebrew connectors that we have found, and some background on each.
There are many wonderful creative ways to use these words. Here is just one suggestion:
To create a meaningful discussion and connection to the Hebrew language, Israel and Jewish
communities in the Diaspora.
To explore the connection between Jewish context, Hebrew and modern Israel.
To explore the relationship of the participants to the Hebrew language and to their Jewish Identity
through discussing the words.
To enable the participants to come up with their own set of values, embedded in Hebrew words and
their connectedness to the Jewish People.
- 24 -
Papers, pencils/pens.
Copies of the 10 Hebrew words list.
Large papers/flip-chart (optional) and markers
Time Frame
45-60 minutes.
Opening exercise (15 minutes):
The facilitator will ask of each participant to write down his/her favorite phrase/word in English and
favorite phrase/word in Hebrew.
The participants will share their phrases and comment on questions such as:
What phrase was easier for you to come up with - the English or the Hebrew? Do you think this can
be related to the fact that Hebrew/English is your mother tongue?
What makes these phrases your favorite?
How can these phrases represent your thoughts? Your sense of Jewishness?
Introduction to subject (1 minute):
Language is a powerful way of personal expression, as we’ve seen through the above exercise. Let us
further explore this idea by finding out how the some Hebrew words can serve as our way of personal
expression as Jews and connection to Israel/North American and World Jewry.
10 Hebrew words
Chevruta (10 minutes):
The participants will get a copy of the 10 Hebrew words (see below). In Chevruta (2-4 people), they
will be asked to decide on three words that for them would be the most important words to represent
their connection to Israel, World Jewry and Jewish Identity. Each sub-group will have to be prepared
to present the words they chose and the main reason those words were chosen.
Group discussion (20 minutes):
Each sub-group will present the 3 words they had chosen as well as the rationale behind their choices.
The facilitator will write the words on the blackboard/Large paper (5 minutes).
The group will hold the following discussion (15 minutes):
How did you feel performing this task? How did your sub-group reach an agreement?
Facilitator - please pay attention to the words chosen by the sub-groups and point that to the
participants during your discussion:
Were there words that keep repeating (Being chosen by all/most sub-groups)?
Were there words that were not chosen by any of the groups?
Do all the chosen words represent people’s connection to Israel/Judaism or just their general
Ask the participants: Are there words “missing" in this list of 10? If you had to choose an 11th word?
What word would that be? Is this the same word you had on your note (your favorite-personal
Hebrew word) in the beginning of this discussion? If your choice is different this time - can you
explain why the difference?
- 25 -
Summary: One way to explain the difference between the words chosen is because the request at
the beginning of the program was personal and individual, whereas now the discussion bares a
more collective nature - “10 words to represent a collective connection to Israel" and that sense
of responsibility towards the collective and the Jewish people was translated to this last request.
Language, though very personal also connects people together, as the Hebrew language connects all
Jews together and brings us closer to the land and the state of Israel.
Shalom ‫שלום‬
On the simplest level, shalom is just “hello" or “goodbye." These are such small words,
acknowledgments of our comings and goings, and of the effect that the presence or absence of other
human beings has in our day to day life. But shalom comes from shalem ‫ שלם‬meaning “whole"
or “complete." We are most whole, most complete during the time that is framed by the book-ends
of “shalom-hello" and “shalom-goodbye," the times when we are with others. And an extraordinary
level of wholeness or completeness is that state which we label as shalom-peace, whether between
individual neighbors or between neighboring states. But the highest level of shalom - wholeness,
completeness, peace — is identified by a Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 9:9): “Great is shalom, for the
name of the Holy Blessed One is shalom."
Yisrael ‫ישראל‬
In 1948, the Zionists who had settled in Palestine since the late 19th century declared the existence of
a new Jewish State. They chose to name the new country Israel, or Yisrael in Hebrew. But the name
Yisrael had a long pre-1948 history. It first appears in Genesis as the new name given to the patriarch
Jacob, at the end of his long night of wrestling with an opponent who may have been an angel or even
God. The biblical text there explains the name by having the opponent say to Jacob, “No longer shall
you be called Jacob, but Yisrael, for you have striven with God and humans and you have prevailed"
(Gen. 32:29). Later, the Bible calls the people who were descendants of Jacob B’nai Yisrael‫בני‬
‫ ישראל‬, literally children of Israel, or Israelites. Eventually the name became associated with the
Northern Kingdom (the 10 northern tribes) after its split with the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But
the connotation of Yisrael as a wrestler, especially one who wrestles with God, has remained ever
since. It sheds an interesting light both on the country that bears the name, and on the people who
are called Yisrael, for twice a day our liturgy has us proclaim, “Listen Yisrael, the Eternal is our God,
the Eternal is One!"
Eretz ‫ארץ‬
An eretz is a land, any land at all. In the Bible, the word is used to label Egypt, Mesopotamia, Canaan,
and more. But somewhere along the line, the word, with the definite article, Ha-aretz or “the land,"
came very specifically to mean the land of Israel. God said to Avram, “Go forth from your land (meartz’kha) and from your birthplace and from your parents’ home to the land (ha-aretz) which I will
show you" (Gen. 12:1), and from that time to this “the land" has meant something very special to the
Jewish People.
Makom ‫מקום‬
A makom is a place. That’s all, just a place. Any place. But two curious things happen to the Jewish
understanding of that simple word. The classical rabbinic commentators couldn’t stand the idea of
a word being so generic and non-specific. When they come across non-specific words, they obsess
over finding specificity in them. So for example, when the Bible mentions an ish ‫ איש‬- “a man" - the
commentators assume that it means an angel, or Elijah the Prophet. Likewise with the completely
non-specific makom. The rabbis often interpret it as meaning the site in Jerusalem where the Temple
would eventually be built. This is based on the story of the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22) where
we read that, on the third day of his journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place (ha-makom)
- 26 -
from far off. The rabbis identify that occurrence, and all subsequent occurrences of the word as
meaning Mount Moriah, or what would eventually become the Temple Mount. The other curious
metamorphosis that the word undergoes is that, in the early Talmudic period, Ha-Makom becomes
one of the names for God, as in the formula of comfort we offer to mourners: “May Ha-Makom
comfort you together with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."
Zikaron ‫זכרון‬
Zikaron means “memory." Memory is tremendously important in Jewish life. It is sacred. We know
how many people come to synagogue for the Yom Kippur Yizkor Service, or Memorial Service (the
word Yizkor‫ ) יזכור‬has the same Z-K-R ‫ ז כ ר‬root as zikaron). And we say the word twice during
Kiddush every Friday night: Zikaron l’ma’aseh v’reshit ‫זכרון למעשה בראשית‬- a memory of the act
of Creation, and zekher ‫(זכר‬another form of the same root) l’y’tziat Mitzrayim ‫ליציאת מצריים‬- a
memory of the exodus from Egypt. The same sacred act of remembering is what overwhelms all of
Israeli society on Yom Ha-Zikaron, Memorial Day, the day immediately preceding Yom Ha-Atzma’ut, when the entire nation mourns and remembers all those who have been killed defending
Tikvah ‫תקוה‬
Tikvah means “hope." The national anthem of Israel is HaTikvah - The Hope. What a wonderful
comment on Israeli and Jewish society. So many nations choose as a national anthem a song that
celebrates past military victories. But hope, the theme of Israel’s anthem is not about the past, but, by
definition, about the future. And the hope that it expresses is not about military victory, but simply
that we be “a free people in our land, Eretz Tziyon ‫ארץ ציון‬- the land of Zion, Jerusalem."
Shutfut ‫שותפות‬
Shutfut means “patnership". As in English - this word describes mutuality, responsibility, honesty
and commitment. For us - North American and Israelis - this word defines our realtionship; Jewish
Educators working side by side to create meaningful expereinces for students, families and teachers
on both sides of the ocean.
Zehut ‫זהות‬
Zehut in Hebrew has two contradicting meanings. On one hand “Zehut" means “identical" . The
other meaning is the complete opposit: “Identity" - identity means no two people are alike. One’s
identity is of uniqueness, individuality and “knowing who I am".
For us, the Jewish people, the second meaning is more significant. The term Jewish Identity contains
a deep set of values, looking at the world through a Jewish lens and making Jewish choices based on
one’s own Jewish consceinceness.
Kehillah ‫קהילה‬
Kehillah comes from the root ‫קהל‬. Kahal means crowd, gathering of people. When these people
come together to pray or learn they are called Kahal Kadosh - a sacred crowd. When this “sacred
crowd" starts to function as a group based on mutual commitment to one another, form structures to
assist one another and act, with Jewish conscience to make the world a better place. They become
Kehillah which means “Community". “MiKahal LeKehillah". From Crowds to community.
Moledet ‫מולדת‬
Moledet comes from the root ‫ילד‬. Words such as Yeled ‫ילד‬, child, and To give Birth ‫ ללדת‬derive
from that same root. Moledet in Hebrew means “Birth Place"; The place where Jews (and previously
the Israelites) were born as “People" through God’s promise to Abraham. Eretz Yisrael.
Since then, Jews born in Israel or otherwise - consider Israel as the Homeland of the Jewish People.
- 27 -
But what does it mean to have a Homeland you were not born in or lived in? How can one feel
attached to a place that is hundreds of thousands miles away? And on the other hand Israelis, who
live their everyday life in this difficult and yet wonderful country, do they feel a special commitment,
pride, anger, joy towards their Homeland?
Our role, as Jewish Educators, is to explore this question among ourselves and with our students and
to connect with our Jewish Homeland in significant ways.
Amiyut ‫עמיות‬
Amiyut comes from the noun ‫עם‬. Am in Hebrew means People, and Amiyut means “Peoplehood".
It’s funny, both in English and Hebrew dictionaries these words do not exist and if you’ll type the
word on your computer it will underline as a wrongly spelled word. This word is “new" but the term,
Peoplehood, is as old as the Jewish People. To have a sense of “Peoplehood" is to understand that
Jews all over the world, in Israel and the Diaspora are “Areivim Ze Ba’Ze". Committed and care for
one another even if they are far away. Even if they never met...
- 28 -
Workshop: Reading Poems in Different Languages
Followed by Discussion Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski
House Call
‫ביקור בית‬
Agi Mishol
‫אגי משעול‬
On a formica table
In a brown 40-page wood-free notebook
I write:
Agi Fried, Gedera, Israel,
Asia, The Earth, The Universe -
‫על שולחן פורמייקה‬
‫במחברת חומה נטול עץ ארבעים דף‬
:‫אני כותבת‬
,‫ ישראל‬,‫אגי פריד גדרה‬
- ‫ היקום‬,‫ כדור הארץ‬,‫אסיה‬
But the melodic emotion artery pours out to me
And its ground water gushes forth in Hungarian:
Agi, Agnes, Agitza, Aginka
What's your connection to the surrounding sea of sheaves?
From the Place Where We’re Right
Yehuda Amichai
‫אבל עורק הרגש החלילי ניגר לי‬
:‫ומי תהומו מפכים בהונגרית‬
‫ אגינקה‬,‫ אגיצה‬,‫ אגנס‬,‫אגי‬
.‫מה לך ולים השיבולים שמסביב‬
‫מן המקום שבו אנו צודקים‬
‫יהודה עמיחי‬
‫מן המקום שבו אנו צודקים‬
‫לא יצמחו לעולם‬
.‫פרחים באביב‬
From the place where we’re right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.
‫המקום שבו אנו צודקים‬
‫הוא קשה ורמוס‬
.‫כמו חצר‬
The place where we’re right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.
‫אבל ספקות ואהבות עושים‬
‫את העולם לתחוח‬
.‫ כמו חריש‬,‫כמו חפרפרת‬
‫ולחישה תישמע מן המקום‬
‫שבו היה הבית‬
.‫אשר נחרב‬
But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, like a plow.
And a whisper will be heard from the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.
- 29 -
Dreaming in Spanish
‫חולם בספרדית‬
‫ אהוד מנור‬,‫שלמה יידוב‬
Shlomo Yidov, Ehud Manor
‫אני קם בעברית בבוקר‬
,‫ושותה בעברית קפה‬
‫משלם בעברית ביוקר‬
.‫על כל דבר שאני קונה‬
I get up in the morning in Hebrew
And drink my coffee in Hebrew,
I overpay in Hebrew
For everything that I buy.
‫בשפתו של דוד המלך‬
‫אני חי ומשמיע קול‬
- ‫וקורא סיפורים לילד‬
.‫ תמיד מימין לשמאל‬,‫כן‬
In the language of King David
I live and speak
And read stories to my child Yes, always from right to left.
‫בעברית יש מילים בשפע‬
- ‫ כמעט‬,‫להגיד את הכל‬
‫יש בה תקע ויש בה שקע‬
.‫אך אין מילה בעברית לטאקט‬
There are many words in Hebrew
To say almost anything It has a plug and it has a socket
But there's no word in Hebrew for tact.
‫מתרגש בעברית מפרח‬
,‫ונושא בעברית תפילה‬
‫רגע‬-‫מתרגז בעברית בן‬
.‫ומרביץ בעברית קללה‬
A flower excites me in Hebrew
And I say a prayer in Hebrew,
I instantly get angry in Hebrew
And release a curse in Hebrew.
Without effort I think and I write in Hebrew
And I love to love you exclusively in Hebrew.
It's a wonderful language, I won't have any other
But at night, at night I still dream in Spanish.
I keep faithful to you in Hebrew
And close the blinds in Hebrew.
I say "good night" to you in Hebrew
And also count sheep in Hebrew.
‫אני חושב ואני כותב בעברית בלי קושי‬
.‫ואוהב לאהוב אותך בעברית בלעדית‬
‫ לא תהיה לי אחרת‬,‫זאת שפה נהדרת‬
.‫ בלילה אני חולם עוד בספרדית‬,‫אך בלילה‬
‫אמונים בעברית שומר לך‬
.‫וסוגר בעברית תריסים‬
‫"לילה טוב" בעברית אומר לך‬
.‫וגם סופר בעברית כבשים‬
- ‫העברית משתנית בלי הרף‬
.‫זה התחיל בלוחות הברית‬
‫אני חי בשפה דוהרת‬
.‫ בעברית‬,‫ כנראה‬,‫ואמות‬
Hebrew is constantly changing It began with the Ten Commandments.
I live in a language galloping forth
And will probably die, in Hebrew.
Without effort….
- 30 -
My yiddishe momme (Lew Pollack / Jack Yellen)
Of things I should be thankful for I’ve had a goodly share
And as I sit here in the comfort of my cosy chair
My fancy takes me to a humble eastside tenement
three flights up in the rear to where my childhood days were spent
It wasn’t much like Paradise but ‘mid the dirt and all
There sat the sweetest angel, one that I fondly call
My yiddishe momme I need her more then ever now
My yiddishe momme I’d like to kiss that wrinkled brow
I long to hold her hands once more as in days gone by
and ask her to forgive me for things I did that made her cry
How few were her pleasures, she never cared for fashion’s styles
Her jewels and treasures she found them in her baby’s smiles
oh I know that I owe what I am today
to that dear little lady so old and gray
to that wonderful yiddishe momme of mine
My yiddishe momme I need her more then ever now
My yiddishe momme I’d like to kiss that wrinkled brow
I long to hold her hands once more as in days gone by
and ask her to forgive me for things I did that made her cry
How few were her pleasures, she never cared for fashion’s styles
Her jewels and treasures she found them in her baby’s smiles
oh I know that I owe what I am today
to that dear little lady so old and gray
to that wonderful yiddishe momme of mine
)‫א יידישע מאמע (ג‘ק ילן ולב פולאק‬
‫רצית כבר להיות חיל לפני מנין שנים‬
‫היית אז כבר מפקד על כל הילדים‬
‫ובקרבות עם מטאטא הפכת לתותחן‬
?‫אך מי ליום הולדת לך קנתה רובה קטן‬
‫נשים רבות הן בעולם אשר אותן תאהב‬
‫בכל מקום אותן תזכור אף אם בשדות הקרב‬
‫תמונותיהן איתך תישא בתיק עור צהבהב‬
.‫אחת ויחידה היא זאת אשר ידעה לכבוש לבב‬
‫א יידישע מאמע‬
‫כיצד יכלה היא לסרב‬
‫א יידישע מאמע‬
.‫לו גם ביקשת את הלב‬
,‫א יידשע מאמע‬
,‫הן טוב ממנה לא תדע‬
‫א יידישע מאמע‬
.‫תמיד תרחיק ממך כל רע‬
?‫כי מה לה בעולם עוד חוץ משארית בשרה‬
‫אתה זרקת את השיבה בשערה‬
,‫ ימי עבר‬,‫אתה שכחת כבר שנות ילדות‬
.‫עתיד העם חשוב כי לכולנו הוא יקר‬
‫א יידישע מאמע‬
‫היא לנו נכס יחידי‬
‫א יידישע מאמע‬
.‫קרובה לכל לב יהודי‬
‫א יידישע מאמע‬
‫אותה זנחת בפינה‬
‫א יידישע מאמע‬
.‫על זאת היא לא שמרה טינה‬
‫כי אתה הלוחם וגיבור היום‬
‫לה נשארת הילד של תמול שלשום‬
‫מרחוק תפילתה תלווך‬
‫בימי מלחמה ושלום‬
‫כי אתה הלוחם וגיבור היום‬
‫לה נשארת הילד של תמול שילשום‬
‫מרחוק תפילתה תלווך‬
‫בימי מלחמה ושלום‬
- 31 -
The Home
‫נתן יונתן‬
Natan Yonatan
,‫הבית זה מקום‬..
‫שאם אתה חייב לשוב אליו‬
,‫תמיד פתוחה בו דלת לקראתך‬
‫שירים הם לפעמים‬
‫האהבה האחרונה‬
.‫לבית שָרחַק‬
…Home is a place,
Which if you must return to
Always has an open door awaiting you,
Songs are sometimes
The last love
For a home that has grown distant.
:‫אמא שלי אמרה לי‬...
,‫ כשתהיה רחוק שם לבדך‬,‫ילד‬
‫ געגועיך‬...‫החברים הכי טובים שלך יהיו‬
…My mother told me:
Son, when you’ll be alone there faraway,
Your best friends will be…your longings.
Here I Am
Avraham Sutzkever
‫אברהם סוצקעוור‬
Here i am, full-grown, flourishing,
It's as if fiery bees has strung me with songs.
I heard you calling from the first light
And set out to you through darkness. Dust. Sweat.
Towns and villages fell away from me,
One flash of lightning set ablaze
My old gray home.
Rain washed away the last traces
And i was left standing before your name
As before the blue Mirror of conscience,
My hands, stripped branches,
Bang impatiently at your door.
Fresh with marvels,
My eyes are drawn to you like sails.
But suddenly: the door's ajar.
You are not here.
- 32 -
‫ במלוא תפארתי משגשג‬,‫הנני‬
.‫ כמו מדבורים בוערות‬,‫עקוץ בשירים‬
‫שמעתי אותך קורא אלי מאור ראשון‬
.‫ זיעה‬.‫ אבק‬.‫והלכתי אליך דרך חשיכה‬
,‫עיירות וכפרים נפלו מפני‬
‫הבזק אחד של ברק הצית‬
.‫את ביתי הישן האפור‬
‫הגשם שטף עקבות אחרונים‬
‫ואני נותרתי עומד לפני שמך‬
.‫כמו לפני המראה הכחולה של המצפון‬
,‫ קשורות ענפים‬,‫ידיי‬
.‫נקשו בחוסר סבלנות על דלתך‬
,‫רעננות מניסים‬
.‫נמשכו עיניי אליך כמו מפרשים‬
‫פתע הדלתות נפתחו קמעא‬
.‫ואינך כאן‬
Lecture: "About the Role of Language in his Work" David Grossman
David Grossman - biographical information
David Grossman was born in HYPERLINK "
jerutoc.html"Jerusalem and studied philosophy and theater at the Hebrew University. He began a
25-year career at Israel Radio at the age of 10 as a correspondent for youth broadcasts.
Grossman's prose is intricate, structurally complex and noted for its daring and innovative technique.
Injustice as a human phenomenon is a central theme, whether it is a socio-political condition or
psychological obsession.
Internationally acclaimed as a superb author, David Grossman expresses the courage, pain and
occasionally brutal truth of Israeli reality with a strength and honesty rarely equaled.
Writing in the Dark
By David Grossman
"To our joy or to our misery, the contingencies of reality have a great influence on what we write,"
says Natalia Ginzburg in her book "It’s Hard to Talk About Yourself," in the chapter in which she
discusses her life and her writing in the wake of personal disaster.
It is hard to talk about yourself, and so before I describe my current writing experience, at this time in
my life, I wish to make a few observations about the impact that a disaster, a traumatic situation, has
on an entire society, an entire people. I immediately recall the words of the mouse in Kafka’s short
story "A Little Fable." The mouse who, as the trap closes on him, and the cat looms behind, says,
"Alas . . . the world is growing narrower every day."
Indeed, after many years of living in the extreme and violent reality of a political, military and
religious conflict, I can report, sadly, that Kafka’s mouse was right: the world is, indeed, growing
increasingly narrow, increasingly diminished, with every day that goes by. And I can also tell you
about the void that is growing ever so slowly between the individual human being and the external,
violent and chaotic situation within which he lives. The situation that dictates his life to him in each
and every aspect.
And this void never remains empty. It is filled rapidly — with apathy, with cynicism and, more than
anything else, with despair: the despair that fuels distorted situations, allowing them to persist on
and on, in some cases even for generations. Despair of the possibility of ever changing the prevailing
state of affairs, of ever being redeemed from it. And the despair that is deeper still — despair of what
this distorted situation exposes, finally, in each and every one of us.
And I feel the heavy toll that I, and the people I know and see around me, pay for this ongoing state
of war. The shrinking of the "surface area" of the soul that comes in contact with the bloody and
menacing world out there. The limiting of one’s ability and willingness to identify, even a little,
with the pain of others; the suspension of moral judgment. The despair most of us experience of
possibly understanding our own true thoughts in a state of affairs that is so terrifying and deceptive
and complex, both morally and practically. Hence, you become convinced, I might be better off
not thinking and opt not to know perhaps I’m better off leaving the task of thinking and doing and
establishing moral norms in the hands of those who might "know better."
Most of all, I’m better off not feeling too much — at least until this shall pass. And if it doesn’t, at
least I relieved my suffering somewhat, I developed a useful numbness, I protected myself as best I
could with the help of a bit of indifference, a bit of sublimation, a bit of intended blindness and large
- 33 -
doses of self-anesthetization.
In other words: Because of the perpetual — and all-too-real — fear of being hurt, or of death, or of
unbearable loss, or even of "mere" humiliation, each and every one of us, the conflict’s citizens, its
prisoners, trim down our own vivacity, our internal mental and cognitive diapason, ever enveloping
ourselves with protective layers, which end up suffocating us.
Kafka’s mouse is right: when the predator is closing in on you, the world does indeed become
increasingly narrow. So does the language that describes it. From my experience I can say that
the language with which the citizens of a sustained conflict describe their predicament becomes
progressively shallower the longer the conflict endures. Language gradually becomes a sequence of
clichés and slogans. This begins with the language created by the institutions that manage the conflict
directly — the army, the police, the different government ministries; it quickly filters down to the
mass media that are reporting about the conflict, germinating an even more cunning language that
aims to tell its target audience the story easiest for digestion; and this process ultimately seeps into
the private, intimate language of the conflict’s citizens, even if they deny it.
Actually, this process is all too understandable: after all, the natural riches of human language, and
their ability to touch on the finest and most delicate nuances and strings of existence, can hurt deeply
in such circumstances, because they remind us of the bountiful reality of which we are being robbed,
of its true complexity, of its subtleties. And the more this state of affairs goes on, and as the language
used to describe this state of affairs grows shallower, public discourse dwindles further. What remain
are the fixed and banal mutual accusations among enemies, or among political adversaries within
the same country. What remain are the clichés we use for describing our enemy and ourselves;
the clichés that are, ultimately, a collection of superstitions and crude generalizations, in which we
capture ourselves and entrap our enemies. The world is, indeed, growing increasingly narrow.
My thoughts relate not only to the conflict in the Middle East. Across the world today, billions of
people face a "predicament" of one type or other, in which personal existence and values, liberty and
identity are under threat, to some extent. Almost all of us have a "predicament" of our own, a curse
of our own. We all feel — or can intuit — how our special "predicament" can rapidly turn into a trap
that would take away our freedom, the sense of home our country provides, our private language,
our free will.
In this reality we authors and poets write. In Israel and Palestine, Chechnya and Sudan, in New
York and in Congo. Sometimes, during my workday, after several hours’ writing, I lift my head
up and think — right now, at this very moment, another writer whom I don’t even know sits, in
Damascus or Tehran, in Kigali or in Belfast, just like me, practicing this peculiar, Don-Quixote-like
craft of creation, within a reality that contains so much violence and estrangement, indifference
and diminution. Here, I have a distant ally who doesn’t even know me, but together we weave this
intangible cobweb, which nevertheless has tremendous power, a world-changing and world-creating
power, the power of making the dumb speak and the power of tikkun, or correction, in the deep sense
it has in kabbalah.
As for me, in recent years, in the fiction that I wrote, I almost intentionally turned my back on the
immediate, fiery reality of my country, the reality of the latest news bulletin. I had written books
about this reality before, and in articles and essays and interviews, I never stopped writing about it,
and never stopped trying to understand it. I participated in dozens of protests, in international peace
initiatives. I met my neighbors — some of whom were my enemies — at every opportunity that I
deemed to offer a chance for dialogue. And yet, out of a conscious decision, and almost out of protest,
I did not write about these disaster zones in my literature.
Why? Because I wanted to write about other things, equally important, which do not enjoy people’s
complete attentiveness as the nearly eternal war thunders.
I wrote about the furious jealousy of a man for his wife, about homeless children on the streets of
Jerusalem, about a man and a woman who establish a private, hermetic language of their own within
a delusional bubble of love. I wrote about the solitude of Samson, the biblical hero, and about the
- 34 -
intricate relations between women and their mothers, and, in general, between parents and their
About four years ago, when my second-oldest son, Uri, was to join the army, I could no longer
follow my recent ways. A sense of urgency and alarm washed over me, leaving me restless. I then
began writing a novel that treats directly the bleak reality in which I live. A novel that depicts how
external violence and the cruelty of the general political and military reality penetrate the tender and
vulnerable tissue of a single family, ultimately tearing it asunder.
"As soon as one writes," Natalia Ginzburg says, "one miraculously ignores the current circumstances
of one’s life, yet our happiness or misery leads us to write in a certain way. When we are happy, our
imagination is more dominant. When miserable, the power of our memory takes over."
It is hard to talk about yourself. I will only say what I can at this point, and from the location where
I sit.
I write. In wake of the death of my son Uri last summer in the war between Israel and Lebanon,
the awareness of what happened has sunk into every cell of mine. The power of memory is indeed
enormous and heavy, and at times has a paralyzing quality to it. Nevertheless, the act of writing itself
at this time creates for me a type of "space," a mental territory that I’ve never experienced before,
where death is not only the absolute and one-dimensional negation of life.
Writers know that when we write, we feel the world move; it is flexible, crammed with possibilities.
It certainly isn’t frozen. Wherever human existence permeates, there is no freezing and no paralysis,
and actually, there is no status quo. Even if we sometimes err to think that there is a status quo; even
if some are very keen to have us believe that a status quo exists. When I write, even now, the world
is not closing in on me, and it does not grow ever so narrow: it also makes gestures of opening up
toward a future prospect.
I write. I imagine. The act of imagining in itself enlivens me. I am not frozen and paralyzed before the
predator. I invent characters. At times I feel as if I am digging up people from the ice in which reality
enshrouded them, but maybe, more than anything else, it is myself that I am now digging up.
I write. I feel the wealth of possibilities inherent in any human situation. I sense my ability to choose
between them. The sweetness of liberty, which I believed that I had already lost. I indulge in the
richness of true, personal, intimate language. I recall the delight of natural, full breathing when I
manage to escape the claustrophobia of slogan and cliché. Suddenly I begin to breathe with both
I write, and I feel how the correct and precise use of words is sometimes like a remedy to an illness.
Like a contraption for purifying the air, I breathe in and exhale the murkiness and manipulations of
linguistic scoundrels and language rapists of all shades and colors. I write and I feel how the tenderness
and intimacy I maintain with language, with its different layers, its eroticism and humor and soul,
give me back the person I used to be, me, before my self became nationalized and confiscated by the
conflict, by governments and armies, by despair and tragedy.
I write. I relieve myself of one of the dubious and distinctive capacities created by the state of war in
which I live — the capacity to be an enemy and an enemy only. I do my best not to shield myself from
the just claims and sufferings of my enemy. Nor from the tragedy and entanglement of his own life.
Nor from his errors or crimes or from the knowledge of what I myself am doing to him. Nor, finally,
from the surprising similarities I find between him and me.
All of a sudden I am not condemned to this absolute, fallacious and suffocating dichotomy — this
inhumane choice to "be victim or aggressor," without having any third, more humane alternative.
When I write, I can be a human being whose parts have natural and vital passages between them; a
human who is able to feel close to his enemies’ sufferings and to acknowledge his just claims without
relinquishing a grain of his own identity.
Sometimes when I write, I can recall what we all felt in Israel, for one singular moment, when the
airplane of the Egyptian president Anwar Sadat landed in Tel Aviv 30 years ago, after decades of
war between the two nations: then, all of a sudden, we discovered how heavy is the load we carry all
- 35 -
our lives — the load of enmity and fear and suspicion. The load of permanent guard duty, the heavy
burden of being an enemy, at all times.
And what a delight it was, to remove for one moment the mighty armor of suspicion, hate and
stereotype. It was a delight that was almost terrifying — to stand naked, pure almost, and witness a
human face emerge from the one-dimensional vision with which we observed each other for years.
I write. I give intimate private names to an external and foreign world. In a sense, I make it mine. In a
sense, I return from feeling exiled and foreign to feeling at home. By doing so, I am already making a
small change in what appeared to me earlier as unchangeable. Also, when I describe the impermeable
arbitrariness that signs my destiny — arbitrariness at the hands of a human being, or arbitrariness
at the hands of fate — I suddenly discover new nuances, subtleties. I discover that the mere act of
writing about arbitrariness allows me to feel a freedom of movement in relation to it. That by merely
facing up to arbitrariness I am granted freedom — maybe the only freedom a man may have against
any arbitrariness: the freedom to put your tragedy into your own words. The freedom to express
yourself differently, innovatively, before that which threatens to chain and bind one to arbitrariness
and its limited, fossilizing definitions.
And I write also about that which cannot be brought back. And about that which is inconsolable.
Then, too, in a manner I still find inexplicable, the circumstances of my life do not close in on me
in a way that would leave me paralyzed. Many times every day, as I sit at my desk, I touch on grief
and loss like one touching electricity with his bare hands, and yet I do not die. I cannot grasp how
this miracle works. Maybe once I finish writing this novel, I will try to understand. Not now. It is too
And I write the life of my land, Israel. The land that is tortured, frantic, drugged by an overdose
of history, excessive emotions that cannot be contained by any human capacity, extreme events
and tragedies, enormous anxiety and paralyzing sobriety, too much memory, failed hopes and the
circumstances of a fate unique among all nations: an existence that sometimes appears to be a story of
mythical proportions, a story that is "larger than life" to the point that something seems to have gone
wrong with the relation it bears to life itself. A country that has become tired of the possibility of ever
leading the standard, normal life of a country among countries, a nation among nations.
We writers go through times of despair and times of self-devaluation. Our work is in essence the
work of deconstructing personality, of doing away with some of the most effective human-defense
mechanisms. We treat, voluntarily, the harshest, ugliest and also rawest materials of the soul. Our
work leads us time and again to acknowledge our shortcomings, as both humans and artists.
And yet, and this is the great mystery and the alchemy of our actions: In a sense, as soon as we lay our
hand on the pen, or the computer keyboard, we already cease to be the helpless victims of whatever
it was that enslaved and diminished us before we began to write. Not the slaves of our predicament
nor of our private anxieties; not of the "official narrative" of our country, nor of fate itself.
We write. The world is not closing in on us. How fortunate we are. The world is not growing
increasingly narrow.
- 36 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Friday, 1 Tevet, December 18, 2009
- 37 -
Focus of The Day
Exploring Ben Yehuda’s Impact on the
Modern Hebrew Language
Essential questions for the day
What motivated Eliezer Ben Yehuda
and his family to become the first
Hebrew speaking family in Eretz
What challenges did Ben Yehuda
and his generation face in creating a
modern Hebrew-speaking culture in
Eretz Israel?
- 38 -
Opening a Window: "Sign Language" Yoav Ben-Horin, Gila Ingvir
A student named Danielle Ben Menahem, who has a severe hearing disability, took part in the last
Ironi Tet delegation to NCJHS in Los Angeles.
Danielle has integrated exceptionally well at her school, and the same holds true for her visit at the
twinned school in LA. The family which hosted her took on the challenge, and made many efforts to
ensure that Danielle's stay would be smooth and helped her to get her bearings.
Danielle does not speak sign language. Rather, reads lips and makes use of an apparatus that focuses
and augments the sounds, which she gives to the teacher or lecturer in her classroom.
Sign language is one of the languages taught at New Community Jewish High School, and our
students took part in a number of lessons on the subject.
We will take this opportunity to present you with some basic information about hearing disabilities
and sign language.
Hearing loss results from genetic or non-genetic factors, and can appear immediately at birth or at a
later stage in life. Hearing loss affects the quality of our communication, the acquisition of language,
the clarity of our speech, the ability to exhaust our learning potential, our emotional development,
and our self-esteem and self-confidence. It can also lead to social isolation and affect the fabric of
family life.
Today, nearly all deaf people know how to communicate - whether using spoken language or sign
language. For all practical purposes, sign language is a language just like any other.
A myth exists that sign language is an international language. This is not true. Each country has its
own sign language which has developed over the years on the basis of its particular cultural milieu.
We'll learn how to sing the song "A Walk to Caesarea" by Hannah Senesh - in sign language.
A Walk to Caesarea
‫הליכה לקיסריה‬
My Lord, My Lord
Let it never end
The sand and the sea
The whisper of the waters
The gleam of the sky
The prayer of man.
‫ אלי‬,‫אלי‬
‫שלא יגמר לעולם‬
,‫החול והים‬
,‫רשרוש של המים‬
,‫ברק השמיים‬
.‫תפילת האדם‬
,‫החול והים‬
,‫רשרוש של המים‬
,‫ברק השמיים‬
.‫תפילת האדם‬
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Jerusalem Tour: "In the Footsteps of Eliezer Ben Yehuda
and the Hebrew Language"
From "A Dream Come True" - Eliezer Ben Yehuda (The flame of love for the
Hebrew language was kindled in my soul)
I dreamt a dream.
About forty three years have elapsed since that wonderful moment in my life, when I suddenly saw
the vision for the first time, in a night of Diaspora darkness, and only about forty three years, not even
half a century - and here I'm seeing it come true. And the dream which I'm now seeing come true,
the fulfillment of a so very wonderful dream, is so bright in splendor, glory and beauty, that there are
moments when bad thoughts arise in my mind, lest this not be reality, but what appears as a dream
come true is actually just another dream.
But a sense of the reality's actuality quickly prevails and disperses all the thoughts. Isn't everything a
dream, are all the horrible events that we witnessed during past twenty years also not a dream - then
the visage of that dream, which I dreamt nearly half a century ago, as having come true, which we all
now see, is not a dream. It is an act of reality. The things that Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild on
behalf of the British government are real in reality's actuality.
No! They are not a dream, but rather a dream come true.
And should this be the sense of actuality, it increases and is set in my soul, as much as my thoughts
surely sail across the 40 years that have elapsed between the dream and it becoming true, and many
memories emerge from the depths, floating and becoming stable before my very own eyes. And
I gaze at them and find that they are not few, so it seems they are worthy of being brought to the
attention of the public precisely now, during these great moments when that dream has begun to
come true.
But, as a kind of introduction to the dream, I see a need to record in a few lines the way in which fate
guided me in my childhood until dreaming that dream.
All my life I have regretted two things about which I cannot be consoled.
I was not born in Jerusalem, not even in the Land of Israel.
And my speech from the moment I was able to utter words - was not Hebrew.
From the moment that I set foot on the land of our forefathers, I enlisted all my strength to become
'Land-of-Israelized.' With love I bore the dust of her ashes, with thirst I took in breaths of her air, with
joy I viewed her mountains and valleys, with splendor the changing colors of her skies, her sunrises
and sunsets, and with a sense of sacredness I listened to the yearnings of her rivers and streams. And
I can say that, in general, I feel that I am a 'Land of Israeli', a Jerusalemite. Any connection between
me and other countries has been severed, and I feel love only for one country - the Land of Israel. I
love the essence of the country, I even like its sufferings, its illnesses and fevers. Despite that, I must
admit that there are some moments in my life when childhood memories take over, when longings
for my native land awaken from their hiding places, and then - I suddenly see before me scenes from
places that are not from the Land of Israel, and these places speak to my soul in a language of hidden
affection. And then I feel that I was not born in the Land of Israel and that I'll never be able to sense
that same deep affection for the land of our forefathers, which a person has for the place of his birth
and childhood, and similar to the matter of the country, the same holds true for the language.
I think that all my friends from the Diaspora who have settled in the Land of Israel over the past
40 years will admit that I am more Hebrew than them. Not when it comes to love for the Hebrew
language, and not when it comes to mastering the language, but simply in terms of time and quantity.
I began speaking Hebrew many years before them, and I speak Hebrew every day and much more
- 40 -
than them. I speak Hebrew, and only Hebrew, and not only with the members of my household, but
also with every man and woman whom I've met, anyone who can understand Hebrew, more or less.
And while doing so I do not adhere to the rules of good manners or respect for women, and behave
with considerable rudeness, rudeness which has caused me a great deal of hate and opposition in the
Land of Israel. And the Hebrew language has not only become the language of speech, but also of
thought, and I think in Hebrew day and night, when awake and when dreaming, when I'm healthy and
when I'm sick, and even when I'm tormented by severe physical pain.
Nonetheless, I must again admit: sometimes, when my mind is submerged in thoughts, particularly
relating to the past, to the days of my childhood and youth, and without even realizing it, my mind
is momentarily released from the burden of Hebrew which I have forcibly placed upon it for many
years, then - I suddenly sense for a moment that I'm not thinking in Hebrew, that from beneath my
thoughts in Hebrew words some foreign words have emerged, in Ashkenazi and also in Russian
and French! And then I feel that in even in my case, Hebrew is not my mother tongue, that my first
utterances were not in Hebrew, that I was not nourished with the sounds of this language together
with the milk of my mother's breast, and that my ears did not hear them when my mother put me to
sleep in my cradle. And then I feel that despite all my love for the Hebrew language, I'm certainly
unaware of that same taste of affection for the language which someone feels after his ears have
heard its sounds since the day of his birth and someone who has spoken it from the moment of his
first utterances.
And each time I ask myself to whom should I be most grateful, because nevertheless, I too am a
'Land of Israeli' and a Hebrew as well. Who led me to this, to leave my foreign homeland and the
foreign language of my speech as much as forty years ago, and to settle in the land of my forefathers
and begin speaking in the language of the forefathers. Each time I ask myself this question, the face
of one of my childhood teachers illuminates my eyes - and it is Rabbi Yossi Bloiker, the head of the
yeshiva in the city of Plotsk in Russia.
When I arrived in that city to study Torah at the big yeshiva, with the intention of becoming a rabbi,
I by chance met one of the 'boys,' and this 'boy' tried to convince me not to attend the big yeshiva
which had many students, but rather to attend a new and smaller yeshiva which had fewer students,
claiming that the head of the smaller yeshiva, Rabbi Yossi Bloiker, despite his young age, was a great
Torah scholar and more clever than the head of the older and larger yeshiva. I was allured by what
the boy had said and on Saturday night, immediately after the evening prayers, the boy took me to the
home of the head of the yeshiva. The scene that was revealed to me when I entered the house, and
the effect that this scene had on me - I will never forget. A man about 35 years old was pacing back
and forth in a large room - which, taking into account the period and the status of rabbis and scholars
in Russia at the time, it was also quite tasteful. The man was tall and thin, a reddish hair and beautiful
eyes, and dressed in a garment made of expensive Atlas cloth. And the divine presence was on his
face and he was singing in a fine and pleasant voice:
Eliyahu Hanavi, Eliyahu Hanavi, Eliyahu Hanavi…
Eliyahu Hatishbi, Eliyahu Hatishbi, Eliyahu Hagiladi
Will soon herald the coming of Messiah ben David.
Nearly breathless, I stood next to the 'boy,' not lifting my gaze from the head of the yeshiva who, to
me, actually looked like an angel in G-d's army, and his agreeable appearance and the sound of his
pleasant singing captured my soul.
After about fifteen minutes, when the head of the yeshiva finished the Saturday night songs, the boy
approached him and told him who I was and what I wanted. And the head of the yeshiva turned to
me with a look of consent, and in a gentle voice asked me to describe what I had already learned. He
told me that he was interested in accepting me to his yeshiva and asked me to come by the following
day so he could test me, and the test was successful. And Rabbi Yossi Bloiker chose me to be a
companion and assistant to one of his students who studied at the yeshiva, who was the son of a rich
man from one of the villages. And apart from my studies with him at the yeshiva and in his home,
- 41 -
accompanied by my companion the rich student, the head of the yeshiva was especially kind to me
and invited me to come to his home every Friday night, before dawn broke, to study some columns
of Shabbat laws - the Beit Yosef and the Bayit Hadash - with him and all his assistants.
And it's only natural that this invitation filled my soul with a sense of pride due to this great honor
which the head of the yeshiva had bestowed on me. But apart from that, I sensed a genuine great
passion to study such exalted books with such a rabbi, which even the wisest of scholars are not
highly conversant in. Therefore, I didn't miss even one night of the Friday nights of that entire 'time.'
The 'time' was winter; but even on nights with snowstorms and chilling frosts, like a lion I overcame
it all, got up and went to Rabbi Yossi Bloiker's home. In the beginning, it was a bit difficult for me
to get up so early, but the caretaker of the synagogue would pass by each and every Friday night and
wake all those still asleep with a cry, half of which was in the holy language and half of which (the
words closed with half crescents) was in Ashkenazi, in a melancholic chant:
"Jews, the people of the holy (remember the) the Creator of all (rise) for the work of the
This cry, which would drown out the howl of the winter night wind, would sever the cords of sleep
from my eyes and reinforce the desire in my heart to leave my warm bed and go study Torah with the
beloved head of the yeshiva. I thus increasingly became the head of the yeshiva's favorite student,
and got closer and closer to him. Once, when I came to him on a Friday night to study a column of
Shabbat laws, instead of the large, thick book on the table, I found a thin open book, and the head of
the yeshiva began to talk to me about the holy language and about 'grammar.' And he told me that the
thin open book was a book of grammar entitled 'Tzohar HaTaiva,' and that he wanted to teach me the
wisdom of the holy language's grammar in addition to the wisdom of the Torah, which too is much
needed to understand the wisdom of the Torah.
Gradually and skillfully he began to divulge a little bit to me, that there are books written in the holy
language which make use of beautiful figures of speech.
And once, when sitting and studying a 'page of Gemara' with him, and no one else was in the house,
he took a small book out of the cushion of his chair, which he opened and gave to me and asked me
to read to him from it.
It was the book 'Koor Oni,' a Hebrew translation of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
Before I managed to read even a few passages, there was a knock at the door and the head of the
yeshiva grabbed the book out of my hands and hid it again under his cushion, and we once again
began discussing the Gemara at hand.
That was the start of my 'education.' I don't know whether I would have ultimately been trapped in
the spirit of this 'education' had the head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yossi Bloiker, not dragged me into
it. But that's what fate wanted, that I should draw the start of my education from such a wonderful
source, from such a scholar who was both so great and so nice. It was then that the flame of love for
the Hebrew language was first kindled in my soul, a flame which the numerous waters of life's flow
could not subsequently extinguish. And this love for the Hebrew language is what rescued me from
the danger lurking on the path of my new life.
Kol Yisrael Chaverim (KIACH) School, Even Yisrael Neighborhood, Lemel School, Zichron Moshe
Neighborhood, Beit Ha’Am, The House of Ben-Yehuda, Beit Machanayim, The House of Rachel
(the Poet), Beit Ticho, The House of Abu-Shdid family, Etheopia Street.
- 42 -
Kabbalat Shabbat - 'Miketz' Weekly Torah Portion
Come, Bride
‫בואי כלה‬
Avraham Shlonsky
‫אברהם שלונסקי‬
Please wrap my soul in a prayer shawl close to my chest
And sing out loud - come, bride
Oh my beautiful wife, light the candles
And prepare the challah for Kiddush.
‫עטוף נא אל שדי את נפשי בטלית‬
‫ בואי כלה‬- ‫וזמר בקול‬
‫הו אשתי היפה הדליקי הנרות‬
‫ולקידוש הכיני החלה‬
Tonight he has already blessed his Sabbath candles
And laid out a white cloth for Kiddush
Today I want to return home
To kiss the mezuzah on the door.
‫הלילה כבר ברך על נרות שבתו‬
‫ולבנה לקידוש מוטלת‬
‫היום אני רוצה בשובי הביתה‬
‫לנשק המזוזה בדלת‬
My Lord, please wrap our bodies in a prayer shawl
And please sing out loud: come, bride
Our beautiful wives will light the candles
And we will make a blessing over the challah.
‫עטוף נא ריבוני גופנו בטלית‬
‫ בואי כלה‬:‫נזמר נא בקול‬
‫נשינו היפות תדלקנה הנרות‬
.‫ואנו נקדש על החלה‬
Because there are seven days in the week
And the candelabra has seven branches
And he who has lit the candelabra with his soul
Will distribute the oil for its light.
‫כי שבעה הם ימים ימות השבוע‬
‫ושבעה יש קנים למנורה‬
‫ומי אשר הדליק המנורה בנפש‬
‫הוא ייצק השמן לאורה‬
Remember how we returned in foreign ships
We who make the ascent in your name
Jews will now come to the Land of Israel
And the joy will be great in their dwellings.
‫התזכור איך שבנו בספינות לועזים‬
‫אנחנו העולים בשמך‬
‫עת יהודים יבואו לארץ ישראל‬
‫מה תרב במעונם השמחה‬
Have you forgotten? And your hands are a sail
Sails for the ascending ship
We are worthy to sit first
At the feast of your great Sabbath.
‫האתה שכחת? וידך הן פרשה‬
‫מפרשים לספינה העולה‬
‫אנחנו ראויים לשבת ראשונה‬
.‫במשתה שבתך הגדולה‬
'A Tel Aviv Prayer'
Rannie Yeger
A Glatt Secular Sabbath Prayer
Hundreds of secular Jews in scores of communities and special synagogues receive the Sabbath
with traditional prayers and Hebrew songs
Haaretz, January 20, 2005
Byline: Yair Sheleg
Rani Yeger, a lecturer in history and Jewish philosophy at Alma College in Tel Aviv, is one of the
founders of "The Israeli House of Prayer" - a secular synagogue which convenes at the College once
every other week for Sabbath eve (Kabbalat Shabbat) prayers. They started about seven months ago
- 43 -
with 15 people and today, he says, about 80 people take part in the prayers - and the "auditorium
is full." The idea was formulated after the founders visited the B'nai Jeshurun ("BJ") synagogue in
Manhattan, which has become a hit among the local Jewish elite thanks to the integration made there
between prayers, music, dance, and sermons relating to current affairs.
"We visited there," says Yeger, "as part of a project organized by the San Francisco Jewish Federation,
which aimed to introduce Israelis to the diversity of Jewish life in the United States. It was a
meaningful experience for all those who took part in the trip, including Orthodox Jews. More than
anything else, it was clear to us that it wasn't like any synagogue who knew in Israel. I currently live
in Jerusalem but grew up in downtown Tel Aviv, and I think that the secular city is actually a more
conducive platform for new religious experiences than Jerusalem is. We also thought that, there, we
would find the audience we want to speak to."
Yeger stresses that he's talking about prayer, and not "just a secular Kabbalat Shabbat. We come to
pray, despite all the problematics associated with this concept for a secular person." The prayers
combine traditional Kabbalat Shabbat songs with contemporary Hebrew poetry - Leah Goldberg for
example. "We have a book made of plastic folders containing texts, and each time we choose what
to put in and what to take out. But there are also some permanent texts, such as "Lecha Dodi" or the
"Shema", and many people actually articulate the need for this kind of stability," says Yeger.
What need does secular prayer fulfill? "First of all, people have a great need for a sense of community
in view of the alienation characterizing the city," says Yeger. "Some come to talk to G-d, some come
to talk to other Jews, and some simply just need a perspective to sum up the week and want time
not be homogeneous. But beyond that, there is a deep spiritual need, a need to rise above simply
watching television on Friday night. There's something too immutable in an Orthodox synagogue
from our perspective. And for me personally, it was important to begin shaping the sacredness from
within us, as opposed to something external that we defer to. I was looking for a place where it's not
necessarily compulsory to stick to the traditional text. From my perspective, if during the week a
huge terror act has taken place, it's hard to begin a prayer with a Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat tune,
as if nothing has happened.
"By us, each day of the week also receives response time. After each of the Kabbalat Shabbat
Psalms, we ask the congregants to relate what happened to them on the particular day of the week
to which each Psalm refers. (According to tradition, each of the six hymns preceding "Lecha Dodi"
corresponds to one of the six days of the week. "Lecha Dodi" signifies the Sabbath. Y.S.). By
doing so, the prayers are also linked to events experienced during the week by the members of the
congregation. On the other hand, we were not looking to form just another Reform congregation,
not because we have anything against them. But rather, we wanted to be connected to some sort of
ideology or movement that has a political agenda."
"The Israeli House of Prayer" is one of the congregations that was presented at a large conference
held last week at Kibbutz Yifat in the Jezreel Valley, which dealt with the role of the Sabbath in
Israeli society. The conference was organized by the "Midrasha" at the kibbutz movement's Oranim
Academic College, an institution which for many years has promoted the study of Jewish texts among
secular Israelis. In recent years the Midrasha has also become increasingly involved in adapting
Jewish texts to the secular public.
One of the conference sessions dealt with the secular Kabbalat Shabbat ceremonies, which have
gained momentum in recent years. The Midrasha's director, Dr. Moti Zeira, is personally familiar
with 12 congregations around the country which conduct these kinds of prayers: Tel Aviv, Yavne,
- 44 -
Nazareth Illit, Afula, Tivon, et al. Some are more established, others less. According to Zeira,
about 20-100 people take part in each of these congregations. "There is also a congregation that
numbers several hundred people at the community settlement "Shimsheet" in the Lower Galilee,
whose prayers are led by Itamar Lapid, the son of Herut Lapid who was very active in rehabilitating
Israeli prisoners.
Shai Zarchi, a Midrasha teacher and a founder of the secular Kabbalat Shabbat congregation in
Nahalal, believes that "the demand may produce many more congregations. There are lots of people
who work very hard during the week and are looking for spiritual content on at least one day. But
they feel that they themselves lack the knowledge in order to take the lead. The bottleneck, therefore,
is the number of people who have the knowledge to lead congregations." To attain this objective,
people at the Midrasha have joined forces with "Kolot" - a religious-secular Beit Midrash (House of
Learning) in Jerusalem in order to train secular congregation leaders (a substitute for rabbis).
Many congregation founders are individuals who have had years of experience learning Jewish texts,
but reached the conclusion that academic study alone was not sufficiently rewarding. One of them
is Hen Ben-Or Tzfoni, one of the founders of the prayer congregation in Nahalal (founded more
than four years ago, and the first in the wave of these kinds of congregations). Tzfoni, who is on the
faculty of the Midrasha at Oranim, says: "At a certain stage I felt that all my journeys which involved
learning about and renewing ceremonies, were no longer rewarding. All the time we were 'talking
about', or conducting ceremonies for others, and we wanted something for ourselves." However,
as Yeger says, "the congregation which comes to us is no longer comprised of just people who
are graduates of Jewish text studies, but rather they are individuals who immediately bonded with
the prayers." Furthermore: even the graduates of Jewish text studies needed a visit to the U.S.
and exposure to Jewish life there in order to understand that prayer can also be relevant to secular
individuals. Most of the speakers at the conference also made particular note of the visit to the B'nai
Jeshurun (BJ) congregation as having been a factor leading them to think about this issue.
One of the conference participants, Ofek Meir, who had previously attended Sabbath services at the
Leo Baeck Reform synagogue in Haifa, said that even for him, the encounter with the synagogue
in Manhattan had been meaningful. It was there that he learned about the importance of music in
the ceremony. Meir, a musician by profession, says: "For years we held a modest Kabbalat Shabbat
at Leo Baeck, with 30 people in attendance. But following the visit in Manhattan we brought a
flute, guitar and piano, and every Sabbath 200-250 people now attend." He also spoke about the
diverse needs that the Kabbalat Shabbat meets, "ranging from singing together to the intellectual
need associated with the sermon." But in his opinion, as well, "the primary need is nonetheless the
prayer itself."
The philosophical dilemma related to secular prayer does in fact exist, but the need for prayer is
so great that Tzfoni said at the conference: "People aren't concerned with this dilemma, but simply
pray." Yeger adds: "the question of the significance of prayer to a secular person - whom are they
praying to, does he really hear us - is certainly always there. But it doesn't clash with the act itself.
There is power here of an experience that extends beyond these questions."
The dilemma is articulated in the choice of the texts. "Coming closer to the traditional text has
happened gradually," says Tzfoni. "In the beginning, the "Shema" sounded very Orthodox to us,
intricately connected to the concept of G-d, and we didn't include it. We later incorporated it in
our prayer book without actually reciting it. Today, we recite the "Shema" passage out loud, but
the portion which follows it, is said silently. Some people also have a problem with the "Amidah"
(Eighteen Benedictions) prayer due to the divine presence. There is an ongoing dialog within the
- 45 -
congregation between those who are deterred by an abundance of traditional texts, especially people
who grew up in religious homes and later abandoned that lifestyle, and those who very much want
So what do the texts include? In each congregation, there is a combination of traditional texts and
Hebrew songs. At the congregation in Nahalal, there is naturally a special emphasis on Sabbath
songs originating in the kibbutz movement, such as "Sabbath Descends on the Ginnosar Valley," a
song composed in the Jezreel Valley (by Yehoshua Rabinov from Kibbutz Gvat).
Zarchi has already taken another step forward. In an age where the national religious public is
characterized by its growing spiritual initiatives rather than ones associated with Jewish law, he, as a
secular person, is talking about the need for "secular Jewish law." In this context, at the conference
he quoted Hayyim Nahman Bialik. 75 years ago, in response to a member of Kibbutz Ginigar who
sought his advice with regard to the Passover seder celebration, Bialik wrote: "Celebrate the holidays
of your forefathers and add something of your own to them, according to your strength and according
to your taste and according to your festivity. Most important is that you do everything out of faith
and out of a living sense and emotional need, but don't try to be too smart." Zarchi says, "in my view,
if the Sabbath, as well as all the cultural renewal in Israel, doesn't have a normative element entailing
a commitment to uphold things in a practical and ongoing manner, and not only 'talking about' it, we
won't have a culture." However, he immediately goes on to say, "in the Land of Israel, as understood
by Bialik, because the basic sense of belonging to the Jewish people exists in any event, Jewish law
can also be less widespread than it was in the Diaspora. But it's clear that the Sabbath must constitute
this kind of an anchor."
Without Shopping, With Public Transportation
One of the purposes of the conference held at Yifat was to promote the effort to pass a Sabbath law
that would legally enforce the distinction between cultural and entertainment institutions that would
be open on the Sabbath and commercial bodies which would not be allowed to conduct business
(including shopping centers and malls that are currently open).
This effort began with a religious-secular covenant that was drafted about two years ago between
Prof. Ruth Gabizon from the Hebrew University and Rabbi Yaakov Madam from the "arrangement"
yeshiva in Gush Etzion. Apart from them, the Israel Democracy Instituted also drafted a proposal for
a general constitution in Israel, which too would address the matter of the Sabbath.
Prof. Yedidya Stern from the Department of Law at Bar Ilan University, who is a senior fellow at the
Israel Democracy Institute and a member of the headquarters seeking to implement the covenant,
and Yoav Artzieli, a secular jurist who heads the above-cited headquarters, prepared the Knesset bill.
In addition to separating commerce from culture and entertainment, the bill also calls for limited
operation of public transportation and the introduction of a mediation institution that would be
authorized to determine the Sabbath arrangements and resolve local disputes in this matter.
Stern presented the proposal to the council of YAHAD (a Hebrew acronym for Secular and Religious
Together), an organization that promotes religious-secular dialog which he is a member of, and they
are enlisting political support for the law. According to Stern, "most members of the Likud support
it, as do most members of the Labor Party. Shinui is opposed, but members of its Yahad faction have
shown understanding, at least due to social reasons. And the major innovation: the ultra-Orthodox
agreed not to oppose it. In other words, they will not vote for the bill but will also not undermine the
understanding by exploiting coalition agreements."
- 46 -
It is not quite clear what secular people will get out of the law. Even today the commercial and
entertainment areas are open on the Sabbath. Natan Sharansky, the minister who serves as liaison
between the government and YAHAD's council and is active in forming the political lobby favoring
the law, believes that "secular people will be able to reach a national consensus with their religious
counterparts, because presently there are many places where the matter of entertainment areas
open on the Sabbath is still subject to municipal coalition battles and, to our understanding, such a
consensus must also include willingness on the part of the religious to allocate budgets to cultural
institutions that are open on the Sabbath. The matter of public transportation is also significant, but
we mainly hope that secular people will also understand that the different nature of the Sabbath must
be of importance to them as well."
Nevertheless, even Sharansky himself believes that a necessary, even if insufficient, condition for
promoting the initiative is to declare Friday as a full day of rest in the economy, thereby enabling both
shoppers and storekeepers to conduct their commercial activities. The recommendation made by the
Dovrat Committee to transition to a five-day school week certainly promotes this scenario.
- 47 -
- 48 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Saturday, 2 Tevet, December 19, 2009
- 49 -
Focus of The Day
Experiencing Shabbat in Tel Aviv
- 50 -
Shabbat services at different synagogues
Walking Tours in Tel Aviv Led By Tel Aviv Coordinators
Shabbat Culture - Haviva Tesszvan, Yael Gur
We'll begin walking north along the promenade, in the direction of the port, passing by the various activities
which Tel Aviv residents typically engage in on Shabbat, close to home:
Large groups doing folk dancing, paddle ball, street performances, and a fitness club (open to the public freeof-charge).
We'll eventually reach the port, and there we'll find:
Stands manned by artists and craftsmen selling their wares, antiques, and, of course, restaurants and cafes.
In the Footsteps of the Language of the Artists, Poets and Authors Yotam Yizraeli, Einat Lev Haim
This Tel Aviv route passes through places which have been immortalized in Israeli and Tel Aviv poetry and
We'll meet authors, poets and artists who lived in, wrote about and painted Tel Aviv and Israel.
The route begins at the Orchid Hotel, heads north, and reaches the first Israeli port, which looks quite different
today compared to its initial blueprint, but not from its primary purpose which was to serve as bustling locale
bringing different worlds together.
A Small City with a Single Boulevard - Koby Vilner and Udi Nevo
A tour along Tel Aviv's first boulevard, Rothschild Boulevard.
We'll visit the area of Tel Aviv's first homes, the corner where Rothschild Boulevard meets Herzl Street, the first
kiosk, Dizengoff's home, the Founders Monument, and Golomb's home. We'll continue along the Boulevard
and see a cultural gathering of Chasidim on Bilu Street, the partygoers of Sheinkin Street and the bohemians
of Habima.
A Bialik Style Shabbat in Tel Aviv
About "Ohel Shem" and "Oneg Shabbat"
H.N. Bialik
(When Laying the Cornerstone at "Ohel Shem", Iyar 5688/1928)
Today, on Lag B'Omer, we are celebrating the laying of the cornerstone for a building named "Ohel
Shem." At these kinds of events, when founding an institution, it is customary to talk about the
history of the institution and how the idea was conceived and subsequently materialized. In the
present case, there's hardly anything to relate. The history is very short and simple.
There were a few people who had the idea of declaring an institution called "Oneg Shabbat," but
nothing was done to publicize it. They only announced that such an institution had been founded.
I don't know which element of the name "Oneg Shabbat" was so appealing that people were drawn
to it. Initially, they gathered on the Sabbath in a temporary facility. The first gathering was held at
"Shulamit," after which some people felt it was their privilege to host the gathering in their home.
We thought that there wouldn't be a permanent location and that we would hold the gathering at a
- 51 -
different place each Shabbat. We thought that this was fitting for such an institution, that it roam from
place to place and spread from city to city; but we soon learned that there were no homes big enough
for us. We decided that the place should be "Shulamit", but it was too small. The Gymnasium finally
volunteered to give us their auditorium, and we were hosted there on the Sabbaths until finding a
savior for this "Sabbath gathering", the philanthropist who owns this building. And we hope that
from now on, we'll have a permanent place. The building will continue to expand, and perhaps we'll
even take over all the adjacent lots and build various cultural institutions on them.
I would like to explore the essence of the "Oneg Shabbat" idea. We have come to the Land of Israel
to revitalize our lives; we wish to create independent lives for ourselves here, which have their own
features and special character. And the founders of "Oneg Shabbat" believed that in order to create
original and genuine forms of life that bear a national face and facets, they must take the material
for their creative work from the roots of primordial forms of life - and if they must dig down to the
deepest of our foundations, then they must take the "watering stone," the stronger element. And they
found no form loftier or more profound from which to start weaving the original forms of life than
the creation of the Sabbath, which, as you know, preceded the giving of the Torah and was observed
by the Israelites while still in Egypt. And indeed, the Sabbath is the watering stone of all of Judaism,
and for good reason it is called the "sign of the covenant" between G-d and the Israelites; the Sabbath
embodies a number of national and social ideas, and if the Ten Commandments embody all of the
Torah, then perhaps the Sabbath embodies all of the Ten Commandments. A genuine purpose - which
can be found in the center, and everything surrounding it is equally nourished by it. What did the
Israelites do? They took the Sabbath and placed it in the center. The People of Israel have control
over time. The Jews determine the dates of their holidays and consent is given from up above - "the
Sabbath is delivered unto you and you are not delivered to the Sabbath." The Sabbath began to be
counted on Wednesday, the fourth day, when G-d created light, and thus the Sabbath was placed in
the center. The Jews copied nature's clock in order to position the Sabbath in the middle as the focal
point in the circle - like a candelabra in the center, whose branches all lean towards the Sabbath,
and one can even conduct Havdalah three days after the Sabbath. Seven days is a circle. And time
started moving in a circle: seven shmita years (when the fields lay fallow). After seven shmitot - a
sabbatical, a jubilee year. And these were always filled with substance and holiness, and the Sabbath
is the symbol of perpetual return within the circle. If we return to the Land of Israel - we must return
with the Sabbath. It is our symbol which is full of beauty and charm, from which we can draw beauty
for all our forms of life.
We know what superior style and the aspiration for refinement are. Shammai the Elder - anything
beautiful that came his way he put aside for the Sabbath. The Sabbath sanctifies the sense of beauty
of the entire nation. If we complain about the absence of our own style of life, we can start creating
a style on the Sabbath. This day is fitting for members of our nation to meet one another: on the
Sabbath which was given before the Torah and which is above the Torah, and it is a symbol of peace
and solidarity. There are many political parties among us, each with its own philosophy and "code of
laws" - so let the Sabbath be a symbol of unity. This is the intention underlying the "Oneg Shabbat"
gatherings, to begin our revitalization here. On this day, all of our six branches must merge opposite
the front of the candelabra into a Sabbath of peace, which unifies the hearts and reminds everyone
that we have deep roots and lofty aspirations.
Based on inner instinct and out of simplicity, the audience sensed the value of this institution and was
drawn to it without asking too many questions. And we therefore have witnessed this phenomenon how young people and old people, from the left and the right, gather together, all alike. We instituted
Bible lessons - and the audience can't wait to come in and hear the "words of G-d." We hope that
when "G-d expands our borders" and we'll have a home big enough to hold a thousand people, that
- 52 -
‫‪even then it will be too small for us. In the days of The Ari, Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Sabbath received‬‬
‫‪new validity and splendor, and now that we can hear the "sounds of redemption," the essence of the‬‬
‫‪Sabbath must be holiness, and perhaps from here a new spirit will arrive for the entire course of our‬‬
‫‪I envy Mr. Bloom and his wife who judiciously chose to add their name to the supreme symbol of‬‬
‫‪Judaism, and I hope that they will live to see the home spread and expand. And I hope that we will‬‬
‫‪live to delight in the Sabbath days and that we will have many "Ohel Shems" where Yefet's beauty‬‬
‫‪will also dwell.‬‬
‫‪Havdalah and Melave Malka - Israeli House of Prayer‬‬
‫המבדיל בין קודש לחול‬
‫'‪'Distinguishing the Sacred from the Profane‬‬
‫נ ַחְנּו ְבי ְָדָך כַּחֹו ֶמ ר‬
‫יֹום לְיֹום י ַ ִבּי ַע אֹו ֶמר‬
‫ְסלַח נ ָא עַל ַקל ו ָחֹומֶר‬
‫וְלַיְלָה לְלָיְלָה‬
‫יֹום ָּפנ ָה ּכְצֵל ּתֹ ֶמר‬
‫יֹום ֲאשֶר ָאמַר ׁשֹו ֵמר‬
‫אְֶקָרא לָאֵל ָעלַי ּגֹומֵר‬
‫ָאתָא בֶֹקר וְג ַם לָיְלָה‬
‫אֵל ּפֹוֶדה ִמכָּל ָצר‬
‫י ְָדָך ֹלא תְִק ָצר‬
‫ְקָראנּוָך מִן ַה ֵּמצָר‬
‫ֹלא יֹום ו ְֹלא לָיְלָה‬
‫צְִדָקתְָך ּכְהַר ָתּבֹור‬
‫כְּיֹום ֶאתְמֹול כִּי יַעֲבֹור‬
‫שעַי ָעבֹר ַּתעֲבֹור‬
‫ֲעלֵי ְפ ָ‬
‫ו ְ ַאשְמּוָרה ַּב ּלָיְלָה‬
‫מִיכ ָאֵל שַר יִשְָר ֵא ל‬
‫בֹּאּו נ ָא עִם הַּגֹו ֵאל‬
‫ֵאלִי ָּהּו וְג ַבְִריאֵל‬
‫קּומּו ַּב ֲחצִי ַה ּלָיְלָה‬
‫ָחלְפָה עֹונ ַת ִמנ ְ ָח ִתי‬
‫יָג ַ ְע ִתּי ְּב ַאנ ְ ָח ִתי‬
‫מִי י ִ ֵתּן מְנּו ָחתִי‬
‫שחֶה ְּבכָל לָיְלָה‬
‫ַא ְ‬
‫מִימִינ ֵנּו מִיכ ָ ֵאל‬
‫שכ ִינ ַת ֵאל‬
‫וְעַל ֹראשֵנּו ְ‬
‫שמֹאלֵנּו גַּבְִריאֵל‬
‫ּו ִמ ְּ‬
‫ְּבכ ָל יֹום ּו ְבכָל לָיְלָה‬
‫ש ְמעָה ַבּל יֻנ ְ ָ‬
‫קֹולִי ִ‬
‫שֶֹראׁשי נ ִ ְמלָא ָ‬
‫שעַר ַה ְמּנּוטָל‬
‫ְּפתַח לִי ַ‬
‫ְקוֻּצֹותַי ְרסִיסֵי לָיְלָה‬
‫ְּתנ ָה לָּנּו שָבּו ַע טֹוב‬
‫ּומֵה‘ י ָבֹוא הַּטֹוב‬
‫ַר ֲענ ָן ּכ ְג ַן ָרטֹוב‬
‫כָּל הַּיֹום וְכָל ַה ּלָיְלָה‬
‫ֵה ָעתֵר נֹוָרא וְאָיֹום‬
‫ְּבנ ֶׁשף ְּבעֶֶרב יֹום‬
‫שו ֵּ ַע ְּתנ ָה פְִדיֹום‬
‫ֲא ַ‬
‫ְּבאִיׁשֹון לָיְלָה‬
‫י ְבֹוַרְך ַה ַּבי ִת ַהז ֶּה‬
‫כִּי כ ֵן י ְ ַצו ֶּה אֱֹלהֵינּו ז ֶה‬
‫ִמ ִפּי נ ָבִיא וְג ַם חֹוז ֶה‬
‫שמְרֹו יֹומָם וָלָיְלָה‬
‫לְ ָ‬
‫ְקָראתִיָך י ָּה הֹושִי ֵענ ִי‬
‫ִמַדּּלּות ְּת ַב ְּצ ֵענ ִי‬
‫אַֹרח ַחי ִּים ּתֹוִדי ֵענ ִי‬
‫מִּיֹום וְעַד לָיְלָה‬
‫ַה ַּמ ְבִדּיל ֵבּין ַמי ִם לְ ַמיִם‬
‫י ְַראֵנּו בְטּוב י ְרּו ָ‬
‫י ְ ַחי ֵּינּו מִּיֹו ַמי ִם‬
‫לִמְׁשֹול ְ ַבּּיֹום ּו ַב ּלָיְלָה‬
‫טהֵר טִּנּוף ַמ ֲע ַ‬
‫ַאי ֵּה אֱלֹו ַּה עֹו ָ‬
‫ֶפּן יֹאמְרּו ַמכְעִיסַי‬
‫נֹותֵן ז ְמִירֹות ַּב ּלָיְלָה‬
‫ַחטֹּאתֵינּו יִמְחֹול‬
‫ַה ַּמ ְבִדּיל ֵבּין ֹקֶדׁש לְחֹול‬
‫ז ְַרעֵנּו וְכַ ְס ֵפּנּו י ְַר ֶבּה כַּחֹול כ ְַּכֹוכָבִים ַּב ּלָיְלָה‬
‫‪- 53 -‬‬
About Beit T’Fillah Yisraeli
Beit Tefilah Israeli is a young and fast-growing, liberal and independent community in Tel Aviv,
which offers a meaningful context and venue for Shabbat and holiday services, lifecycle events, and
Jewish-Israeli Identity exploration for a broad range of Israelis who seek a place for spiritual quest in
prayer and activism in a communal and friendly environment. In its first two years of operation Beit
Tefilah Israeli has gradually become a prominent feature in the world of Jewish culture in Tel Aviv,
and in the everyday lives of its members.
Filling the void
Beit Tefilah Israeli was created to address the lack of a relevant, vibrant Jewish spiritual community
among the secular population in Israel, and to infuse it with a unique approach of developing a
Jewish community life that combines Jewish and Israeli identities.
Beit Tefilah Israeli targets secular Israelis who have not been successfully courted by other groups.
Its unaffiliated nature - a novelty in itself - plays a valuable role in the success of the community, and
makes it a welcoming place for people with secular and traditional backgrounds, who are looking for
ways to explore the world of Jewish communal and spiritual life.
Creating a new Jewish-Israeli model
Beit Tefilah Israeli has successfully created a community built around a new model of a synagogue. Services in Beit Tefilah Israeli combine live music, modern poetry, literature and personal prayers
with the traditional prayer book. This shows a marked effort: to renew and revitalize the notion of
prayer and to form a new Israeli liturgical language, offering an extensive foundation for spiritual
Jewish expression in an experimental way. “As the name “Beit Tefilah Israeli" implies, one of our
goals is not only to bring ourselves closer to prayer, but also to bring prayer closer to us - to the place
where our Jewish and Israeli identities meet." Now, after more than two years of experience, it is
even clearer to us that its success is connected to the premise that the community's spirit is imbedded
in Israeli culture along with traditional Jewish sources.
Redefining "secular"
Since the beginning of the state, and even beforehand, the definitions of "religious" and "secular" in
Israel were polarized and clear, and it was difficult to find appropriate context and venue for those
who identify themselves somewhere between, in the vast range between the two ends. For historical
and political reasons, the liberal movements in Israel have not succeeded in replicating the success
they had in the Diaspora and the dichotomy between the two identities is deepening. In recent years
there is a growing movement among secular Israelis of exploring Jewish literary sources and engaging
in a modern reading of classical Jewish texts. These successful ventures appeal to one's intellect.
Meanwhile there is a noticeable and gradual tendency in some modern orthodox groups to adapt
their practices to the contemporary world. Beit Tefilah Israeli emerged under these circumstances
and offers an alternative Jewish Israeli experience combining Jewish spirituality with contemporary
culture and lifestyle and engages participants both intellectually and emotionally. Being unaffiliated
enables us to be open to a large spectrum of Israelis who feel that the past definitions do not apply to
them, and also allows us to be free of any preconceptions or restraints.
A fast growing urban community
Beit Tefilah Israeli (BTI) was launched in June 2004 and is run by two of its founder’s: Rani Jaeger
(Chairman of the Board) and Esteban Gottfried (General Director), along with a lay leadership, an Advisory
Board of prominent activists from the Jewish Renewal “scene" in Israel, a professional staff including
community coordinator (Heftzi Zion Mozes), a group of musicians, and children and youth instructors.
- 54 -
BTI was founded as a "Gvanim II" program, with the financial support of the Jewish
Federation of the San Francisco and Bay Area. The SF Federation and the Stulman Foundation
are the primary financial patrons of Beit Tefilah and have been so since its inception.
Services take place at Alma College; larger events take place in a variety of venues throughout Tel
We started with 20 enthusiasts, who gathered for a monthly Kabalat Shabbat. Today, Beit Tefilah Israeli
has 90 families who are members, and average of 100-150 people attending Shabbat Services. More
than 800 people are connected to its activities at different levels of involvement. BTI held more than
110 events and activities in 2007: Kabalot Shabbat, Shacharitei Shabbat , family-oriented services,
Study groups, social action groups, holiday services and special activities, Bar/bat Mitzvot, Siddur
publishing, CD production, hosting Israeli guests and communities from abroad, and more. BTI is
rapidly becoming a center of Jewish life, offering creative tools for Jewish Israeli exploration, and
a forum for contributing to Israeli society through social action in a community context, in a unique
atmosphere and offering a deep sense of community in urban Tel Aviv - the biggest Jewish city in
the world.
It's becoming contagious
Recently, a variety of groups and community initiators throughout the country who have been
exposed to Beit Tefilah Israeli's activities have turned to Beit Tefilah, requesting tools and guidance
to replicate the model of Beit Tefilah in their own milieu,. This is a new and exciting challenge for a
relatively new organization that we will need to address thoroughly in the near future.
- 55 -
- 56 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Sunday, 3 Tevet, December 20, 2009
- 57 -
Focus of The Day
The Intersection of Jewish Languages
Essential questions for the day
How has Hebrew changed over time
and place?
What are the language challenges
facing Israeli & Diaspora communities,
and what can we learn from each other?
How can encounters with diverse
Jewish languages deepen and enrich
our understanding of Jewish identity,
history and culture?
- 58 -
Opening a Window: The 'Miketz' Weekly Torah Portion Yoav Ben-Horin, Lior Siboni
:‫ בראשית מא‬,"‫מתוך פרשת “מקץ‬
;‫ ו ִיפֹת ּתֹאַר‬,‫ ְבִּריאֹות ָּבשָר‬,‫שבַע ָפּרֹות‬
ֶ ‫ עֹֹלת‬,‫ ַהיְאֹר‬-‫ ו ְ ִהנ ֵּה מִן‬ .‫שפַת ַהיְאֹר‬
ְ -‫ ִהנ ְנ ִי עֹמֵד עַל‬,‫ ַּבחֲֹלמִי‬ :‫יֹוסֵף‬-‫ אֶל‬,‫וַי ְַד ֵבּר ַפְּרעֹה‬
‫אֶֶרץ‬-‫ָראִיתִי כ ָ ֵהנ ָּה ְּבכָל‬-‫ ֹלא‬ :‫ ו ְַרּקֹות ָּבשָר‬,‫ ַדּּלֹות ו ְָרעֹות ּתֹאַר ְמאֹד‬,‫ עֹלֹות ַאחֲֵריהֶן‬,‫ ָפּרֹות ֲאחֵרֹות‬-‫שבַע‬
ֶ ‫ ו ְ ִהנ ֵּה‬ .‫ ָּבאָחּו‬,‫ו ַ ִתְּרעֶינ ָה‬
‫ ו ְֹלא נֹוַדע‬,‫ִקְר ֶּבנ ָה‬-‫ ו ַ ָּתבֹאנ ָה אֶל‬ .‫ ַה ְבִּריאֹת‬,‫ׁשבַע ַה ָפּרֹות הִָראשֹנֹות‬
ֶ ‫אֵת‬--‫ וְהָָרעֹות‬,‫ הַָרּקֹות‬,‫ ַה ָפּרֹות‬,‫ וַתֹּאכַלְנ ָה‬ .ַ‫ לָֹרע‬,‫ִמצְַרי ִם‬
.‫ ְמלֵאֹת וְטֹבֹות‬--‫ עֹֹלת ְבָּקנ ֶה ֶאחָד‬,‫ש ֳּבלִים‬
ִ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ‫ ַּבחֲֹלמִי; ו ְ ִהנ ֵּה‬,‫ וָאֵֶרא‬.‫ ּכַ ֲאשֶר ַּב ְּת ִחלָּה; וָאִיָקץ‬,‫ ּומְַראֵיהֶן ַרע‬,‫ִקְר ֶּבנ ָה‬-‫בָאּו אֶל‬-‫כִּי‬
;‫ש ֳּבלִים ַהטֹּבֹות‬
ִּ ‫שבַע ַה‬
ֶ ‫ אֵת‬,‫ש ֳּבלִים ַה ַּדֹקּת‬
ִּ ‫ ו ַ ִּת ְבלַ ְען ָ ַה‬ .‫ ַאחֲֵריהֶם‬,‫צֹמְחֹות‬--‫ ְצנ ֻמֹות ַדּּקֹות שְֻדפֹות ָקִדים‬,‫ש ֳּבלִים‬
ִ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ‫ו ְ ִהנ ֵּה‬
.‫ ִהגִּיד לְפְַרעֹה‬,‫ אֵת ֲאשֶר ָהאֱֹלהִים עֹשֶה‬ :‫ חֲלֹום ַפְּרעֹה ֶאחָד הּוא‬,‫ ַפְּרעֹה‬-‫ יֹ ּאמֶר יֹוסֵף אֶל‬ .‫ לִי‬,‫ וְאֵין ַמגִּיד‬,‫ט ִמּים‬
ֻ ‫ ַהחְַר‬-‫ אֶל‬,‫וָאֹמַר‬
‫שבַע ַה ָפּרֹות הַָרּקֹות וְהָָרעֹת‬
ֶ ְ ‫ ו‬ .‫ ֶאחָד הּוא‬,‫ חֲלֹום‬ :‫שנ ִים ֵהנ ָּה‬
ָ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ,‫ש ֳּבלִים ַה ּטֹבֹת‬
ִּ ‫שבַע ַה‬
ֶ ְ ‫ ו‬,‫שנ ִים ֵהנ ָּה‬
ָ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ,‫שבַע ָפֹּרת ַה ּטֹבֹת‬
‫ ֲאשֶר ִּד ַבְּר ִתּי‬,‫ הּוא ה ָ ַּדבָר‬ .‫שנ ֵי ָרעָב‬
ְ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ,‫יִהְיּו‬--‫ שְֻדפֹות ַהָקִּדים‬,‫ש ֳּבלִים הֵָרקֹות‬
ִּ ‫שבַע ַה‬
ֶ ְ ‫ ו‬,‫שנ ִים ֵהנ ָּה‬
ָ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ,‫ָהעֹֹלת ַאחֲֵריהֶן‬
‫שנ ֵי‬
ְ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ‫ ו ְָקמּו‬ .‫אֶֶרץ ִמצְָרי ִם‬-‫ ְּבכ ָל‬,‫שבָע גָּדֹול‬
ָ --‫ ָבּאֹות‬,‫שנ ִים‬
ָ ‫שבַע‬
ֶ ‫ ִהנ ֵּה‬ .‫ ַפְּרעֹה‬-‫ הְֶראָה אֶת‬,‫ ֲאשֶר ָהאֱֹלהִים עֹשֶה‬ :‫ ַפְּרעֹה‬-‫אֶל‬
-‫ ִמ ְּפנ ֵי הָָרעָב הַהּוא ַאחֲֵרי‬,‫שבָע ָּבאֶָרץ‬
ָּ ‫יִו ַָּדע ַה‬-‫ ו ְֹלא‬ .‫ ָהאֶָרץ‬-‫ אֶת‬,‫ ְּבאֶֶרץ ִמצְָרי ִם; וְכִלָּה הָָרעָב‬,‫שבָע‬
ָּ ‫ ַה‬-‫שכַּח כָּל‬
ְ ִ ‫ וְנ‬,‫ ַאחֲֵריהֶן‬,‫ָרעָב‬
.‫ ּו ְמ ַמהֵר ָהאֱֹלהִים לַ ֲעשֹתֹו‬,‫נ ָכֹון ה ָ ַּדבָר ֵמעִם ָהאֱֹלהִים‬-‫כִּי‬--‫ ַּפ ֲע ָמי ִם‬,‫ ַפְּרעֹה‬-‫שּנֹות ַהחֲלֹום אֶל‬
ָ ‫ וְעַל ִה‬ .‫ ְמאֹד‬,‫כָבֵד הּוא‬-‫ כִּי‬ :‫כ ֵן‬
.‫אֶֶרץ ִמצְָרי ִם‬-‫ עַל‬,‫ אִיׁש נ ָבֹון ו ְ ָחכָם; ו ִישִיתֵהּו‬,‫ו ְ ַע ָתּה י ֵֶרא פְַרעֹה‬
I Believe
Shaul Tchernikovsky
Laugh, laugh at the dreams
About which I the dreamer speak.
Laugh that I believe in man,
For I still believe in you.
I'll believe in the future as well,
Although the day may still be distant,
But it shall come - and nations will bear
Greetings of peace and bless one another.
For my soul still aspires to freedom,
I haven't sold it to a golden calf,
For I'll still believe in man,
And in his spirit, a mighty spirit.
Then my nation, too, will flourish once more,
And a generation will arise in the land,
Whose iron chains will be removed,
And they'll immediately see the light.
His spirit will cast off the shackles of folly,
It will raise him to the loftiest heights;
The working man will not die of hunger,
Freedom - for the soul, bread for the poor.
They will live, love, act and do,
A generation indeed lives in the land,
Not in the future, in the heavens A spiritual life will no longer suffice.
Laugh that I also believe in friendship,
I believe that I'll still find a heart,
A heart - that my hopes are his as well,
Feeling happiness, understanding pain.
Then the poet will sing a new song,
To the beauty and exalted of which his heart is aware;
For him, that young man, above my grave
Flowers will be gathered for a bouquet.
- 59 -
‫אני מאמין‬
‫שאול טשרניחובסקי‬
,‫אאמינה גם בעתיד‬
,‫אף אם ירחק זה היום‬
,‫ ישאו שלום‬- ‫אך בוא יבוא‬
.‫אז וברכה לאום מלאום‬
,‫שחקי שחקי על החלומות‬
.‫זו אני החולם שח‬
,‫שחקי כי באדם אאמין‬
.‫כי עודני מאמין בך‬
,‫ישוב יפרח אז גם עמי‬
,‫ובארץ יקום דור‬
,‫ כבליו יוסר מנו‬-‫ברזל‬
.‫בעין יראה אור‬-‫עין‬
,‫כי עוד נפשי דרור שואפת‬
,‫לא מכרתיה לעגל פז‬
,‫כי עוד אאמין באדם‬
.‫ רוח עז‬,‫גם ברוחו‬
,‫ יעש‬,‫ יפעל‬,‫ יאהב‬,‫יחיה‬
,‫דור בארץ אמנם חי‬
- ‫ בשמים‬,‫לא בעתיד‬
.‫חיי רוח לו אין די‬
,‫הבל‬-‫רוחו ישליך כבלי‬
:‫על‬-‫ירוממנו במתי‬
,‫לא ברעב ימות עובד‬
.‫לדל‬-‫ פת‬,‫דרור לנפש‬
,‫אז שיר חדש ישיר משורר‬
‫ליפי ונשגב לבו ער‬
‫ מעל קברי‬,‫ לצעיר‬,‫לו‬
.‫פרחים ילקטו לזר‬
,‫שחקי כי גם ברעות אאמין‬
,‫ כי עוד אמצא לב‬,‫אאמין‬
,‫לב תקוותי גם תקוותיו‬
.‫ יבין כאב‬,‫יחוש אושר‬
Tour of the Rishon Le-Zion Museum
A Moment of History
Rishon Le-Zion, the Oldest of the First Aliyah settlements, and its Contribution to the Formulation
of National Identity in the Renewed Settlement in the Land of Israel
The founding of Rishon Le-Zion, the oldest of the First Aliyah settlements, marked the start of several waves
of immigration and widespread settlement in pre-State Israel, who members established three colonies and a
number of agricultural farms between the years 1882 and 1904. In two instances, the members of the First
Aliyah joined forces with other settlement attempts made by the veteran community living in Palestine, but
these were unsuccessful: in Petach Tikva and in Gai Oni.
The First Aliyah was influenced by events taking place in Europe in the 19th century. They included the success
of the nationalist movements in Europe, the disappointment stemming from the failure of emancipation and
the winds of modern anti-Semitism, coupled with the economic hardship faced by Jews in Eastern Europe
and the "Desert Storm" pogroms that broke out in the Ukraine and in southern Russia in 1881. All these, and
encouraged by the constant longing for Zion, led a minority of the Jews to become organized in Palestine
Settlement Associations and to the convening of conferences such as the Focşani Convention (1881) and the
Katowitz Convention (1884).
Rishon Le-Zion was founded out of a vision that articulated the most fundamental existentialist and nationalistic
needs. The essence of the vision embraced by the colony's founders, as cited in one of power of attorney letters
- 60 -
given to Zalman David Levontin, the head of the founders group who had not yet immigrated to Palestine
(February 1882), was: "to go to Palestine to build and establish, and from the money in our possession, found
a colony of people there who will work the land."
A Power of Attorney Letter of the Palestine Settlement Association in Kremenchug, Ukraine. In: D. Yudilovich,
editor, "Rishon Le-Zion 1882-1941, Rishon Le-Zion, 1941, p. 24.
The same month that Zalman David Levontin immigrated to Palestine, on March 19, 1882, he founded in Yafo
the "Yesod Hama'ala" Pioneers Committee, together with Yosef Fineberg. Its purpose was to help recently
arrived immigrants to purchase land and settle in Palestine. The Committee also sought to serve as a body that
would play a key role in all settlement matters in Palestine. Rishon Le-Zion's Book of Bylaws, which was
written in Yafo even before the colony was founded, stated:
"The goal of the colony's founders is to improve the material and moral condition of the community members
and to serve as an example for our brothers, the Children of Israel, who have come to settle in the Holy Land, to
awaken the hearts of our nation to settle the Land the Israel and build on its national ruins, and to assist in any
way possible the founders of other colonies, either through advice or action." The Book of Bylaws also stated:
"The members of the colony undertake, with all their hearts and all their souls, to work to promote the idea of
settling Palestine, and conduct themselves according to the spirit of our Torah and the Jewish nation."
The Rishon Le-Zion Book of Bylaws, Yafo, 1882, in: A.M. Freiman, Jubilee Book of the History of the Rishon
Le-Zion Colony, 1907.
On June 30, 1882, the Pioneers Committee purchased the lands of the Arab village Ayun Kara, some 750 acres
of rocky land lacking a live source of water, on which they established the colony on July 31, 1882. The name
Rishon Le-Zion, which means First to Zion, was taken from the Biblical passage: "The first to tell Zion are
they, and I shall give herald to Jerusalem."
Isaiah, 41:27.
Upon founding the colony, the "Yesod Hama'ala" Pioneers Committee ceased its operations. Its chairman,
Zalman David Levontin, became the chairman of the colony's council, and the efforts of the Pioneer Committee
members, who also settled in Rishon Le-Zion, were subsequently channeled to developing the colony.
Rishon Le-Zion's 17 founding families broke ground on top of a high and desolate hill in the center of the land
that had been purchased, after which the first tents and cabins began to emerge in the colony (today called
Founders Square). Rishon Le-Zion's rocky land was plowed and sowed, and vineyards were also planted on it.
The colony's founders were compelled to deal with the hostile ruling Ottoman government and failed economic
conditions. To these one had to add the lack of knowledge and experience in agriculture and the uncertainty
surrounding the matter of the water. About two months after its founding, the Baron Edmond de Rothschild
- "the famous benefactor - undertook to assist the colony. The initial sum of money that he sent to Rishon
Le-Zion was designated for locating a water source and helping destitute families who lived in the colony.
Further to the Baron de Rothschild's initiative, a group of Bilu (a Hebrew acronym for "House of Jacob, let us
go up") pioneers also arrived in the colony and were engaged in work for the public benefit. Seven months of
anticipation and thirst passed before a cry was heard from the colony's underground well: "We've found water!"
(February 23, 1883). To preserve it for generations to come, this cry was inscribed on the symbol of the city of
Rishon Le-Zion. The colony did not rest on its laurels, and the makeshift buildings were quickly replaced by
gravel homes with red shingled roofs, enveloped by green yards with many farm animals.
Despite the numerous difficulties, and with the help of Baron de Rothschild, the colony managed to survive
and thrive, both materially and spiritually. The Baron supported the Rishon Le-Zion colony for 18 years,
helping to develop agriculture, erecting public buildings and founding the big winery (1888-1889) - a paragon
of sophistication and technology, and an undertaking which served as an economic anchor for the colony and
its nearby surroundings.
- 61 -
Following in the footsteps of the colony's founders, who had immigrated to Palestine from Eastern Europe,
other groups of immigrants were subsequently formed in Western and Eastern European countries and came to
Rishon Le-Zion as well.
The cornerstones of the renewed Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel were laid by the founders of Rishon
Le-Zion, who were people of action and spirit and who were aware of the fact that they were pioneers paving
the way for others to follow. Their activities were not confined to the colony itself. They knew that purchasing
and working on the land were not sufficient for liberating the Jewish People from its Diaspora nature. They
also made an invaluable contribution to revitalizing the Hebrew language, to developing a unique Hebrew
culture and to creating important national values and symbols.
The first iron plough in Palestine was invented in Rishon Le-Zion by the colony's blacksmith, Yitzhak Leib
Toporovski (1883). And it was in Rishon Le-Zion that the blue and white flag with a Star of David in its center,
designed by Yisrael Belkind and Fanny Meirovich (1885), was first waved worldwide, later to become the Flag
of Israel. The first school (1887-1888) and kindergarten (1889) in the world where Hebrew was the language
of instruction were established in Rishon Le-Zion, and the melody for the words of "Hatikva" was composed
in the colony (1888). The first Jewish National Fund for Palestine was founded in Rishon Le-Zion (1889), the
first Hebrew orchestra played in the colony (1895), and the first Hebrew community center was established
there as well (1898). Rishon Le-Zion was the first place in Palestine where women received the right to vote
(1919) and it was the first city in the State of Israel to elect a woman as mayor (1956).
About the Haviv School
It was the first Hebrew school to be established in Israel and in the world. The building was erected
in 1886. When first built, it had only one story and served as a school for girls. Mordechai Lubman,
the school's first principal, taught some of the subjects in Hebrew.
In 1888, David Yudilovich was hired to teach at the school. Inspired by Eliezer Ben Yehuda,
Yudilovich and Lubman together began to institute the instruction of all subjects in Hebrew, using the
"Hebrew in Hebrew" method. In 1951 the school was given its name 'Haviv', named for Dov Lubman
Haviv, who was the chairman of the colony's city council, a public figure, a winegrower and author.
Map of the
'Pioneers Tour'
in Rishon Le-Zion
- 62 -
Lecture: "Hebrew from Ben Yehuda to Modern Times and
its Role in Jewish-Israeli Culture"
Prof. Gilad Zuckerman
Prof. Gilad Zuckerman - biographical information
Dr Ghil'ad Zuckermann is currently a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Queensland,
Previously Ghil’ad was the Gulbenkian Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge and
affiliated with the Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Studies, University
of Cambridge.
Ghil’ad has taught various undergraduate and graduate courses, including at the University of
Cambridge (Faculty of Oriental Studies), National University of Singapore, University of Miami and
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He has published in English, Israeli ('Ivrit'), Italian, Yiddish,
Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese. His book Israelit Safa Yafa (Israeli - A Beautiful Language.
Hebrew as Myth), published in 2008, became a bestseller.
Prof. Zuckermann's work is revolutionizing the way people analyse hybrid languages in general
and Semito-European Israeli (according to Zuckermann, somewhat misleadingly a.k.a. ‘Modern
Hebrew’) in particular. He is also involved in changing the way linguists and lexicographers analyse
words deriving from several sources simultaneously.
'Israeli, A Beautiful Language'
Prof. Gilad Zuckerman
Journal of Modern Jewish Studies Vol 5, No. 1 March 2006, pp. 57-71
ISSN 1472-5886 print/ISSN 1472-5894 online © 2006 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/14725880500511175
a new vision for israeli hebrew
Theoretical and practical implications of analyzing Israel’s main language as a semi-engineered
Semito-European hybrid language
A language is an abstract ensemble of idiolects - as well as sociolects, dialects and so on - rather
than an entity per se. It is more like a species than an organism. Still, the genetic classification of
Israeli Hebrew as a consistent entity has preoccupied linguists since the language emerged about
120 years ago. As a consequence, Israeli Hebrew affords insights into the politics and evolution not
only of language, but also of linguistics. The author of this article maintains that the language spoken
in Israel today is a semi-engineered Semito-European hybrid language. Whatever one chooses to call
it, one should acknowledge, and celebrate, its complexity.
One of the greatest Reasons why so few People understand themselves is that most Writers are
always teaching Men what they should be, and hardly ever trouble their heads with telling them what
they really are. (Mandeville 25)
1. Background
Hebrew was spoken by the Jewish people after the so-called “conquest of Canaan" (c. thirteenth
century BCE). Following a gradual decline (e.g., Jesus was a native speaker of Aramaic rather than
Hebrew), it ceased to be spoken by the second century CE. The failed Bar-Kokhba Revolt against
- 63 -
the Romans in Judaea in CE 132-135 marks the symbolic end of the period of spoken Hebrew. For
more than 1,700 years thereafter, Hebrew was comatose - either a “sleeping beauty" or “walking
dead." It served as a liturgical and literary language and occasionally also as a lingua franca for Jews
of the diaspora, but not as a mother tongue. The formation of so-called “Israeli Hebrew" (cf. Israeli
in Zuckermann, “Review," Ha ivrít kemítos, “‘Abba’"; I shall not discuss glottonyms here) was
facilitated at the end of the nineteenth century by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922) (the most famous
“revivalist"), school teachers and others to further the Zionist cause. Earlier, during the Haskalah
(Enlightenment) period of the 1770s and 1880s, writers such as Mendele Mokher Sfarim (Shalom
Abramowitsch) produced works and neologisms that eventually contributed to Israeli Hebrew.
However, it was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that the language was first spoken.
During the past century, Israeli Hebrew has become the official language of Israel, acting as the
primary mode of communication throughout all state and local institutions and in all domains of public
and private life. Yet, with the growing diversification of Israeli society, it has come also to highlight
the very absence of a unitary civic culture among citizens, who, unfortunately, seem increasingly to
share only their language. As a result of distinctive characteristics, such as the lack of a continuous
chain of native speakers from Old Hebrew to Israeli Hebrew, Israeli Hebrew presents the linguist with
a unique laboratory in which to examine a wider set of theoretical problems concerning language
genesis and evolution, social issues such as language and politics, and also practical matters such as
whether or not it is possible to revive a no-longer-spoken language.
A language is an abstract ensemble of idiolects - as well as sociolects, dialects and so on - rather
than an entity per se. It is more like a species than an organism. “Linguistic change is inadvertent, a
consequence of ‘imperfect replication’ in the interactions of individual speakers as they adapt their
communicative strategies to one another or to new needs" (Mufwene 11). Still, linguists attempt to
generalize about communal languages and, in fact, the genetic classification of Israeli Hebrew has
preoccupied scholars since the beginning of the twentieth century. The still regnant (also pregnant,
in my view) traditional view suggests that it is Semitic: (Biblical/Mishnaic) Hebrew revived (e.g.,
Rabin). Educators, scholars and politicians have propagated this view.
There are four existing studies that my research seeks to complement: Harshav, Horvath and Wexler,
Kuzar, and Wexler. Whereas Harshav’s and Kuzar’s books are invaluable for cultural studies, they do
not provide a linguistic theory about the genesis of Israel’s main language. The study proposed here
could be considered a response to Kuzar’s as yet unanswered plea that: “In order to understand how
Israeli Hebrew emerged, a fresh perspective is needed, free of revivalist preconceptions" (Kuzar 120).
Horvath and Wexler do propose a linguistic program that reacts against revivalism. Considering Israeli
Hebrew as Indo-European, they argue that it is Yiddish “relexified" - that is, Yiddish with Hebrew
vocabulary. However, my own hypothesis, which is neither anti-revivalist nor mono-parental, rejects
relexification and suggests a new theory of Israeli Hebrew genesis: hybridization. My multi-parental
perspective allows a novel approach to analyzing the grammar of Israeli Hebrew. It challenges the
four existing “Modern Hebrew" grammars published in English: Berman and Bolozky, L. Glinert,
Schwarzwald, and Coffin and Bolozky.
2. A new approach to the genesis of Israeli Hebrew
My research attempts to develop an innovative approach to the study of language genesis and contact
linguistics. It starts from the hypothesis that Israeli Hebrew is a hybrid language, both Semitic and
Indo-European. I argue that both Hebrew and Yiddish act as its primary contributors, accompanied
by an array of secondary contributors: Arabic, Russian, Polish, German, Judaeo-Spanish (“Ladino"),
English and so on. Figure 1 summarizes my theory.
The ultimate question, ignored by almost all Israeli linguists (who insist on “revival only"), is
whether or not it is possible to bring a no longer spoken language back to life without the occurrence
of cross-fertilization with the revivalists’ mother tongue(s). The advantage of my balanced, multiple
causation approach is that it recognizes within Israeli Hebrew the continuity not only of liturgical
- 64 -
Hebrew, but also of the mother tongue(s) of the founder generation (mostly Yiddish). Such a shift
in perspective facilitates a new era in Israeli linguistics; existing publications will have to be reexamined and revised as they have assumed that Israeli Hebrew is the same as Hebrew (see the
“Hebrew Continued" approach below).
The binary nature of Israeli Hebrew has important theoretical implications for historical linguistics,
sociolinguistics, language contact, language planning and engineering, revival/survival, linguistic
genetics and typology, creolistics and mixed languages.
Thus, my research supplements influential works such as Clyne (Dynamics), Heine and Kuteva,
Winford, MühlhaÅNusler, Myers-Scotton (Duelling Languages, Contact Linguistics), Aikhenvald,
Aikhenvald and Dixon, Weinreich, Appel and Muysken, and Muysken. I argue that genetic affiliation
- at least in the case of (semi-) engineered (semi- because the impact of the revivalists’ mother
tongues was often subconscious), “non-genetic" languages (cf. Thomason and Kaufman) - is not
discrete, but rather a continuous line. Thus, a language can be, for example, 40 per cent Hebrew, 40
per cent Yiddish, 10 per cent Polish, 10 per cent Russian, 10 per cent English, 7 per cent Arabic, 5 per
cent German, 5 per cent Judaeo-Spanish and so forth. Consequently, neither the comparative method
of reconstruction (cf. Hock; Anttila; McMahon) nor mutatis mutandis - the notorious comparative
lexico-statistics (cf. Swadesh) - though useful in many cases, can explain the “genetics" (the study of
how languages came to be) of all languages. At this point, the Congruence Principle becomes useful.1
By acknowledging the possibility of overlapping, multiple contributors, it weakens the Stammbaum
(family tree) Model,2 casts light on the complex genesis of Israeli Hebrew and explains why the sum
of the figures above can - and usually does - amount to more than 100 per cent. Such a conclusion
adds new aspects to the important assertion that: “It may not be possible to show conclusively for
any particular innovation that it results from genetic inheritance rather than [that] it is motivated by
contact with another language" (Dench 113-114).
My project may contribute to the “mixed language debate" (Matras and Bakker). What is a “mixed
language"? One might argue that every language is mixed to some extent (cf. Schuchardt; Hjelmslev).
For example, English was influenced by non- Germanic languages such as French. However, the term
“mixed (intertwined, split) language" in linguistics specifically means a “non-genetic language,"
such as Michif, Ma’a and Mednij Aleut, which is not a creole or a pidgin and which often arises in
bilingual settings as markers of ethnic separateness. In other words, as a result of a conscious effort
by a community, it is a natural language (a mother tongue) that - as opposed to “normal languages" does not descend from a single ancestor, but has instead been assembled by combining large chunks
of material from two or more existing languages.
In a mixed language par excellence, large and monolithic blocks of material are imported wholesale
from each of the ancestral languages. Thus, while the verbal system of Michif is entirely Cree, its
nominal system is entirely French (see Bakker). Sui generis Israeli Hebrew is markedly different:
the impact of Yiddish and Standard Average European3 is apparent in all the components of the
language, but usually in patterns rather than in forms (see Zuckermann, “‘Abba’"). Moreover, Israeli
Hebrew demonstrates a unique and spectacular split between morphology and phonology. Whereas
most Israeli Hebrew morphological forms (e.g., discontinuously conjugated verbs) are Hebrew, the
phonetics and phonology of Israeli Hebrew - and of these very forms in particular - are European.
One of the reasons for overlooking this split is the axiom that morphology, rather than phonology,
is the most important component in genetic classification. In fact, such a morpho-phonological split
is not apparent in most languages of the world and is definitely rare in “genetic" languages. Israeli
Hebrew’s “non-geneticness" makes it a hybrid language.
While “classic mixed languages," such as Michif and Mednij Aleut, involve living mother tongues,
Hebrew, a primary contributor to Israeli Hebrew, was clinically dead when Israeli Hebrew emerged.
That said, Lachoudisch - the term actually being traceable to Hebrew låshon + qodεsh, “language +
holiness" (denoting the “holy language," referring to “Hebrew") - might be an exception. It was used
as a secret argot until the twentieth century in Schopfloch (a village in Bavaria, Germany, district of
- 65 -
Central Franconia (Mittelfranken), close to Rothenburg). Its grammar was Germanic, but its lexicon
was based on German Ashkenazic Hebrew (sometimes via Yiddish) (cf. Klepsch). Ashkenazic Hebrew
was not a mother tongue for the Jewish traders who spoke Lachoudisch. However, whereas in the
case of Lachoudisch only the lexicon came from a dormant language, “sleeping beauty" Hebrew
provided Israeli Hebrew with morphological forms as well as lexical items.
Israeli Hebrew makes available for scrutiny the politics not only of language, but also of linguistics.
It is not just Israeli Hebrew that is regarded as låshon + qodεsh. The process of its emergence is
also endowed with a sanctity that has so far forbidden any historicization. While existing grammars
describe Israeli Hebrew as Hebrew, I hope to produce a new grammar of the language of Israelis.
Although revivalists have engaged in a campaign for linguistic purity and shlilat hagola (negation of
Diaspora), the language they created often mirrors the very hybridity and cultural differences they
sought to erase. The study of Israeli Hebrew as such, rather than as “Modern Hebrew," offers unique
insights into the dynamics between language and culture in general and into the role of language as
a source of collective self-perception in particular.
Some of the conclusions of my research, which inter alia compares revival attempts in Welsh,
Breton, Cornish and Maori, are useful to linguists (e.g., Amery, “Heritage," “Ours to Keep,"
Warrabarna Kaurna; Clyne, “Shift from Immigrant Languages"; Fishman, Reversing Language Shift,
Threatened Languages; Thieberger) and community leaders seeking to apply the lessons of Israeli
Hebrew to the revival of no-longer-spoken languages. “Revitalized Maori" (rather than “revived",
as it has never been dead, cf. Reedy; Benton and Benton), for example, is losing typical Polynesian
cross-referencing, which makes ooaaA older people complain that they cannot understand the young.
My basic argument is that when one revives a language, even at best one should expect to end up
with a hybrid. My research involves an intensive collection and systematic analysis of data about
Israeli Hebrew today, as well as in its critical phase of emergence (i.e., at the fin de siècle) and
throughout the twentieth century. I examine the radical impact of Yiddish, other European languages
and - importantly - Standard Average European, on the one hand, and Hebrew, Arabic and other
Semitic languages, on the other, across a spectrum of linguistic domains: phonetics and phonology,
morphology, syntax, semantics and lexis.
I have already laid the foundations for the lexical and semantic aspects of this program, especially
with regard to prevalent mechanisms of camouflaged - rather than overt - “borrowing" such as calquing
and “phono-semantic matching" (see Zuckermann, Language Contact, “Cultural Hybridity"). On the
other hand, I have examined the European impact on Israeli Hebrew phonetics and phonology, inter
alia, allowing for the suffering of Israeli dyslexics coping with a language with European sounds
that uses Hebrew orthography (Zuckermann, “‘Abba’"). To name but few germane European traits:
the consonant inventory of most Israeli Hebrew idiolects and sociolects shows neutralization of the
pharyngeals ‫ק‬,‫ ט‬and ‫צ‬, as well as neutralization of ‫ח‬, ‫ע‬, ‫ה‬, ,and ‫א‬. Israeli Hebrew syllable structure, (C)
(C)(C)V(C)(C)(C), is very different from that of Hebrew: CV(X)(C). Most Israelis do not spirantize
the [b], [k], [p] after be-, ke- and le- (see below). Israeli Hebrew intonation is very Yiddish.
My methodology of typological analysis encompasses all linguistic components including syntax
and morphology. It follows the accepted principles of empirical, inductive typological comparison,
which involves establishing grammatical categories and construction types for a language on language
internal criteria, and then recognizing correspondences with other languages on the basis of semantic
and functional properties. The analysis is cast within the well-established functionalist framework
that is the foundation for major typological studies (cf. Dixon; Aikhenvald).4 Some people believe
that language consists only of “nouns and sound" (see Wertheim for an account of such perceptions
in the Tatar language). Forms - rather than patterns - are more visible and thus more accessible to the
unsophisticated language analyst. My research demonstrates, for example, that the (often invisible)
productivity, semantics and mindset of the allegedly completely Hebrew verb-pattern system of
Israeli Hebrew actually reflect European languages.
However, my work is not restricted to typology; it also aims to re-write comprehensively the
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history of the genesis of Israel’s main language. For various reasons, there has never been any serious
comprehensive research analyzing unedited diaries, personal letters and session protocols of first
kibbutzim and moshavim (different types of communities). Such research could give us a crucial,
albeit indirect (recordings would have been much better) testimony about the “revivalists’" language,
the input from the non-native parents on which the first native Israeli Hebrew speakers based their
new language.
3. The “Hebrew mythology"
Through an objective, empirical study of the grammar of Israeli Hebrew, one can establish whether
it is a hybrid language - both Semitic and Indo-European. My grammatical conclusions challenge the
main linguistic assumptions that traditionalists (and in some cases revisionists) take for granted. A
brief outline of five of these assumptions follows.
3.1 The Stammbaum Model versus my Congruence Principle Approach
The Stammbaum (family tree) Model insists that every language has only one parent. The reality of
linguistic genesis, however, is far more complex than a simple family tree system allows. It might well
be the case that “each language has a single parent … in the normal course of linguistic evolution"
(Dixon 11-13), but not in the case of a new hybrid language resulting from “semi-engineering." Thus,
the comparative historical methodology cannot explain the intricate genesis of Israeli Hebrew.
An important principle that casts light on this complex genesis is the “Congruence Principle" (cf.
Zuckermann, Language Contact, Ha ivrít kemítos): If a feature exists in more than one contributing
language, it is more likely to persist in the target language. Mufwene’s concepts of “feature pool" and
“feature competition" are most germane here. Thus, the AVO(E)/SV(E) constituent order of Israeli
Hebrew might be based simultaneously on that of Standard Average European and on the marked
order (for emphasis/contrast) of Mishnaic Hebrew (rather than (early) Biblical Hebrew).5
What makes the genetics of Israeli Hebrew grammar so complex is the fact that the combination of
Semitic and Indo-European influences is a phenomenon occurring already within the primary (and
secondary) contributors to Israeli Hebrew. Yiddish, a Germanic language with Romance, Hebrew
and Aramaic substrata (and with most dialects having undergone Slavonicization), was shaped by
Hebrew and Aramaic. On the other hand, Indo-European languages such as Greek played a role
in pre-medieval Hebrew. Moreover, before the emergence of Israeli Hebrew, Yiddish and other
European languages influenced medieval and maskilic variants of Hebrew (see E. Glinert), which, in
turn, influenced Israeli Hebrew (in tandem with the European contribution).
3.2 The “Hebrew Continued" Approach versus my Founder Principle Approach
Most Israelis (including linguists) believe that their language differs from Biblical Hebrew in the
same way as the English of the American novelist John Grisham (b. 1955) is different from that of
William Shakespeare, let alone Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343- 1400). Others might refer you to the
Greek spoken in today’s Athens in contrast to that of Aristophanes (c. 448-380 BC) or Thucydides
(c. 460-400 BC) or the language of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. From time to time it is alleged that
Hebrew never died (e.g., Haramati, Ivrít khayá, Ivrít safá; Chomsky 218). It is true that, throughout
its literary history, Hebrew was used as an occasional lingua franca. However, between the second
and nineteenth centuries it was no one’s mother tongue, and I believe that the development of a
literary language is very different from that of a fully-fledged native language. Still, there are many
linguists who, though rejecting the “eternal spoken Hebrew mythology," still explain every linguistic
feature in Israeli Hebrew as if Hebrew did not die. Goldenberg (151-158), for example, suggests that
Israeli Hebrew pronunciation originates from internal convergence and divergence within Hebrew.
I wonder, however, how a literary language can be subject to the same phonetic and phonological
processes (rather than analyses) as a mother tongue. I argue, rather, that the Israeli Hebrew sound
system continues the (strikingly similar) phonetics and phonology of Yiddish, the native language
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of almost all the revivalists. These revivalists very much wished to speak Hebrew, with Semitic
grammar and pronunciation, like Arabs. However, they could not avoid the Ashkenazic mindset - and
consonants - arising from their European background.
The formation of Israeli Hebrew was not the result of language contact between Hebrew and a
prestigious, powerful superstratum such as English in the case of Arabic, or Kurdish in the case of
Neo-Aramaic. Rather, ab initio, Israeli Hebrew had two primary contributors: Yiddish and Hebrew.
While Kurdish is a superstratum of Neo-Aramaic, Yiddish is a primary contributor to Israeli Hebrew.
The two cases are, therefore, not parallel. The emergence of Israeli Hebrew has to do with genesis
rather than with evolution. Had the revivalists been Arabic-speaking Jews (e.g., from Morocco),
Israeli Hebrew would have been a totally different language - both genetically and typologically,
much more Semitic. The impact of the founder population on Israeli Hebrew is incomparable to
that of later immigrants. This is the way in which Zelinsky (13-14) describes the influence of first
settlements, from the point of view of cultural geography:
Whenever an empty territory undergoes settlement, or an earlier population is dislodged by invaders,
the specific characteristics of the first group able to effect a viable self-perpetuating society are of
crucial significance to the later social and cultural geography of the area, no matter how tiny the
initial band of settlers may have been … in terms of lasting impact, the activities of a few hundred,
or even a few score, initial colonizers can mean much more for the cultural geography of a place than
the contributions of tens of thousands of new immigrants generations later.
Harrison et al. discuss the “Founder Effect" in biology and human evolution, and Mufwene applies
it as a creolistic tool to explain why the structural features of so-called “creoles" (which he regards
as “normal languages" just like English) are largely predetermined by the characteristics of the
languages spoken by the founder population - that is, by the first colonists. I propose the following
“Founder Principle" in the context of Israeli Hebrew: Yiddish is a primary contributor to Israeli
Hebrew because it was the mother tongue of the vast majority of revivalists and first pioneers in
Eretz Yisrael at the crucial period of the beginning of Israeli Hebrew. The Founder Principle works
because by the time later immigrations came to Israel, Israeli Hebrew had already consolidated the
fundamental parts of its grammar. Thus, Moroccan Jews arriving in Israel in the 1950s had to learn
a fully-fledged language (even though it often did not appear so to the Hebrew-obsessed language
planners). Initially, they developed their own variety of Israeli Hebrew, but ultimately the influence
of their mother tongue was relatively negligible. Wimsatt’s (“Genes," “Generativity") notion of
“generative entrenchment" is of relevance here. As Mufwene (29) puts it: “[T]he oldest features have
a greater chance of prevailing over some newer alternatives simply because they have acquired more
and more carriers, hence more transmitters, with each additional generation of speakers."
At the same time - and unlike anti-revivalist revisionists - I suggest that lethargic liturgical Hebrew,
too, fulfills the criteria of a primary contributor for the following reasons. First, despite its 1,700 years
without native speakers, it persisted as a most important cultural, literary and liturgical language
throughout the generations. And second, revivalists made a great effort to revive it and were, in fact,
partly successful. For example, while Israeli Hebrew phonetics, phonology and syntax are primarily
European, its morphology and basic vocabulary are mainly - albeit not exclusively - Semitic.
3.3 The Second Language as Mother Tongue Idea versus my Native Language
Uniqueness Approach
Largely due to the “Chomskian revolution," it is hard to find a linguist who would deny that there
is a difference between the acquisition of a mother tongue and of a second language. The brain is
congenitally equipped with a linguistic module responsible for the acquisition of our first language(s).
No matter how intelligent we are, we acquire our mother tongue perfectly, given oral stimuli. This
nativist principle supports the idea that native speakers do not make mistakes (see 3.5).
And yet, laymen and even some linguists continue to ignore the differences between first and
second, as well as between spoken and literary languages. Blau makes a comparison between Israeli
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Hebrew and Modern Standard Arabic, claiming that the Western European influence on Israeli
Hebrew is similar to the Western European influence on Modern Standard Arabic. He admits that
Israeli Hebrew is more distant from Classical Hebrew than Modern Standard Arabic from Classical
Arabic, but insists that the difference is quantitative rather than qualitative (Blau, Renaissance, 112).
However, as he acknowledges, while Israeli Hebrew is a spoken mother tongue, Modern Standard
Arabic - as opposed to the various vernacular Arabics and though an important means of (both spoken
and written) communication - is not, a distinction that does not prevent some American universities
from advertizing for professors with “native or near-native fluency in Modern Standard Arabic"
(see Linguist List, 1 July 2004). On the other hand, many linguists classify Israeli Hebrew within
the category of modernized Semitic vernaculars, just like Palestinian Arabic. However, comparing
Israeli Hebrew to Semitic languages characterized by both Indo-European traits (like Israeli Hebrew)
and a continuous chain of native speakers (unlike Israeli Hebrew) is problematic.
Any credible answer to the enigma of Israeli Hebrew requires an exhaustive study of the manifold
influence of Yiddish on this “Altneulangue" (cf. Herzl’s Altneuland). At the beginning of the twentieth
century, Yiddish and Hebrew were rivals to become the language of the future Jewish state. At first
sight, it appears that Hebrew has won and that Yiddish after the Holocaust was destined to be spoken
almost exclusively by Orthodox Jews and some eccentric academics. Yet, closer scrutiny challenges
this perception. The victorious Hebrew may, after all, be partly Yiddish at heart. In other words,
Yiddish survives beneath Israeli Hebrew phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, lexis and even
morphology, although traditional and institutional linguists have been most reluctant to admit it.
3.4 The Mutual Intelligibility Assumption versus my “Translate the Bible to
Israeli Hebrew" Approach
Frequently, new research emerges allegedly demonstrating how “bad" Israelis are at reading
comprehension vis-à-vis pupils in other countries. I would like to explore whether these examinations
test reading comprehension in (Old) Hebrew rather than A NEW VISION FOR ISRAELI HEBREW
65 in Israeli Hebrew. The Mutual Intelligibility Assumption posits that Israel’s main language is
Hebrew because Israelis can understand Hebrew. Edward Ullendorff (personal communication) has
claimed that the biblical Isaiah could have understood Israeli Hebrew. I am not convinced that this
would have been the case. The reason Israelis can be expected to understand the Book of Isaiah albeit still with difficulty - is surely because they study the Old Testament at school for eleven years,
rather than because it is familiar to them from their daily conversation. Furthermore, Israelis read the
Bible as if it were Israeli Hebrew and often therefore misunderstand it. When an Israeli reads “yéled
sha‘ashu‘ím" in Jeremiah 31: 19 (King James 20), she or he does not understand it as “pleasant
child" but rather as “playboy." “Bá’u baním ‘ad mashbér" in Isaiah 37: 3 is interpreted by Israelis as
“children arrived at a crisis" rather than as “children arrived at the mouth of the womb, to be born."
“Kol ha’anash m hayyod‘ m ki meqattrot neshehém le’elohím ’aakn]pcl[ erím" in Jeremiah 44: 15
is understood by many Israelis as “all the men who know that their wives are complaining to other
gods" rather than “all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods."6
Most importantly, the available examples are far from being only lexical (as in the above faux amis):
Israelis are often incapable of recognizing moods, aspects and tenses in the Bible. Ask an Israeli what
“avaním sha aqú máyim " (Job 14: 19) means and s/he or he will most likely tell you that the stones
eroded the water. On second thought, she or he would guess that semantically this is impossible and
that it must be the water which eroded the stones. Yet such an OVA constituent order7 is impossible
in Israeli Hebrew. “Nappíla goralót wened’á" (Jonah 1: 7) is thought to be rhetorical future rather
than cohortative. By and large, Israelis are the worst students in advanced studies of the Bible,
although almost all Israelis would disagree with this statement of mine: try telling Israel’s Ministry
of Education that the Hebrew Bible should be translated into Israeli Hebrew …
Yet, Israeli children are told that the Hebrew Bible was written in their mother tongue. In other
words, in Israeli primary schools, Hebrew and the mother tongue are, axiomatically, the very
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same. One cannot therefore expect Israelis easily to accept the idea that the two languages might
be genetically different. In English terms, it is as if someone were to try to tell a native Englishspeaker that his or her mother tongue is not the same as Shakespeare’s. The difference is that between
Shakespeare and the current native speaker of English there has been a continuous chain of native
speakers. Between the biblical Isaiah and contemporary Israelis there has been no such chain, while
the Jews have had many mother tongues other than Hebrew. On the other hand, even if Israelis
understand some Hebrew, that does not mean that Israeli Hebrew is a direct continuation of Hebrew
only. Mutual intelligibility is not crucial in determining the genetic affiliation of a language. After
all, few speakers of Modern English understand Chaucer, but no one would claim that his language
is genetically unrelated to contemporary English. By contrast, a Spanish-speaker might understand
some Media Lengua (a mixed language spoken in Ecuador), which consists of Quechua grammar,
but whose vocabulary is 93 per cent Spanish. Who would argue that Media Lengua is genetically
(only) Spanish? In Thailand, I could understand a Thai person speaking to me in a sort of “pidgin
English." Does this make his speech genetically English?
It seems as if Ben-Yehuda would have liked to have cancelled the heritage of the diaspora and would
have been most content if Israelis spoke Biblical Hebrew. Had the Hebrew revival been successful,
they would indeed have spoken a language closer to ancient Hebrew than Modern English is to
Chaucer because they would have bypassed more than 2,000 years of natural development. On the
other hand, let us assume for a moment that Hebrew had not died as a spoken language by the second
century CE and it continued to be the mother tongue of generations of Jews. They eventually returned
to the Land of Israel, continuing to speak Hebrew. It might well be the case that that Hebrew would
have differed more from Biblical Hebrew than does Israeli Hebrew, but this fact says nothing about
the genetics of actual Israeli Hebrew.
3.5 The Lazy, Mistaken Language Thesis versus my “Native Speakers Do Not
Make Mistakes" Approach
Israeli educators and politicians, as well as laymen, often argue that Israelis “slaughter" or “rape" their
language by “lazily" speaking slovenly, “bad Hebrew," full of “mistakes" (see, e.g., www.lashon.exe. Most Israelis say “bekitá bet" rather than the puristic “bekhitá bet" (“in the second grade") (note
the spirantization of the /k/ in the latter); “éser shékel" rather than “asar-á shkal-ím" (“ten shekels")
(the latter having a polarity-ofgender agreement - with a feminine numeral and a masculine plural
noun); “aní yaví" rather than “aní aví" (“I will bring") and so forth. Issues of language are so sensitive
in Israel that politicians are often involved. In a session at the Israeli Parliament on 4 January 2005,
then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rebuked Israelis for using the etymologically Arabo-English hybrid
expression “yàla báy" (lit. “let’s bye" - that is, “goodbye"), instead of “the most beautiful word"
- “shalóm" (“peace," “hello," “goodbye"). In an article in the daily newspaper Ha’aretz (21 June
2004), the former prominent leftwing politician Yossi Sarid attacked common language like “éser
shékel" as inarticulate and monstrous, and urged civilians to fight it and protect “Hebrew."
Yet what such public figures are doing is trying to impose Hebrew grammar on Israelis’ speech,
ignoring the fact that Israeli Hebrew has its own grammar, which is very different from that of
Hebrew. For example, whereas the Hebrew phrase for “my grandfather" was “sav-í" (“grandfather +
1st person singular possessive"), in Israeli Hebrew it is “sába shel-ì" (“grandfather of me"). Similarly,
while Hebrew often used smikhút (construct state), in Israeli Hebrew it is much less common. In a
construct state, two nouns are combined, the first being modified by the second. Compare the Hebrew
construct-state “’em ha-yéled" (“mother the-child") with the Israeli Hebrew phrase “ha-íma shel hayéled" (“the mother of the child"), both meaning “the child’s mother." Similarly, note the position of
the definite article “ha" in the Israeli Hebrew construct-state “ha-òrekh dín" (“the lawyer," lit. “the
arranger of law") as opposed to the Hebrew construct-state “‘orékh ha-dín." Most Israeli pupils say
“l-a-bet séfer" (“to the school," lit. “to the house book") rather than the puristic “le-vét ha-séfer."
Thus, Israeli Hebrew is far more analytic than Hebrew.
- 70 -
I remember a beloved primary-school teacher often lionizing the “right" pronunciation of the
Sephardi Yitzhak Navon (former Israeli President) and mizrahi Eliahu Nawi (former Mayor of Be’er
Sheva). In his famous song Aní vesímon vemóiz hakatán, Yossi Banay writes “benaaléy shabát
veková shel barét, vebeivrít yafá im áin veim khet" (“With Sabbath shoes and a beret hat, and in
beautiful Hebrew with Ayin and with Het"), referring to the Semitic pharyngeals ‫ ע‬and ‫ח‬, which
most Israelis do not pronounce but are used, for example, by old Yemenite Jews. However, as the
present study seeks to establish, the Yemenite pronunciation of “áin" and “khet" should be viewed as
non-mainstream (cf. the charged term “non-standard"), exactly the opposite of what Israeli children
(pronouncing [none] and [x]) are told.
The linguist Menahem Zevi Kaddari has criticized the young Israeli author Etgar Keret for using
a “thin language" as opposed to Shmuel Yosef Agnon. When Agnon (13) wrote “ishtó méta aláv"
(lit. “his wife died on him"), he meant “he became a widower." When Keret says so, he means “his
wife loves him very much." Kaddari compares Keret to Agnon as if they wrote in two different
registers of the same language. My hypothesis is that Keret is, in fact, writing in a different language.
While Agnon attempts to write in (Mishnaic) Hebrew, which is obviously not his mother tongue
(Yiddish), Keret writes authentically in his native Israeli Hebrew. Israelis are not less intelligent than
their ancestors. Their language is not thin and their vocabulary not poor, only different. Educators
imposing Hebrew grammar on Israelis’ speech ignore the fact that Israeli Hebrew has its own internal
One could see in these rebukes the common nostalgia of a conservative older generation unhappy
with “reckless" changes to the language (cf., for example, Aitchison; Hill). However, prescriptivism
in Israeli Hebrew contradicts the usual model where there is an attempt to enforce the grammar and
pronunciation of an elite social group. The late linguist Haim Blanc once took his young daughter
to see an Israeli production of My Fair Lady. In this version, Professor Henry Higgins teaches Eliza
Doolittle how to pronounce /r/ “properly" - that is, as the Hebrew alveolar trill [r] (characteristic
of Sephardic Jews, who happen to have been socially disadvantaged) rather than as the Israeli lax
uvular approximant [ ] (characteristic of Ashkenazic Jews, who have usually controlled key positions
in society). “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" is translated as “barád yarád bidróm sfarád
haérev" (“Hail fell in southern Spain this evening"). At the end of the performance, Blanc’s daughter
tellingly asked: “Daddy, why was Professor Higgins trying to teach Eliza to speak like our cleaning
The language spoken in Israel today is a beautiful hybrid language, marvellously demonstrating
multiple causation throughout its genetics and typology. Whatever wechoose to call it - Israeli,
Hebrew, Israeli Hebrew, Spoken Israeli Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, Contemporary Hebrew, Jewish we should acknowledge, and celebrate, its complexity.
- 71 -
Workshop: Contemporary Issues in Hebrew, in Education
and in Jewish Culture: Experiences and Personal
Challenges - Shari Davis, Anna Kislanski
"Speak the Language of the Hebrew Man"
a proposed activity at the schools
Get hold of a great loud music system. Get hold of a computer projector. Make copies of the translation
- enough for everyone.
Play the music loud. At the same time, run the powerpoint translation on the screen. It is timed in to
change slide in time with the music. But if there is a Hebrew speaker in your team, you may want
to change the slides manually - sometimes the technology can’t be trusted… This simultaneous
translation is really important. It means that everyone is understanding the song at the same time as
they are experiencing it.
After the song, then hand out the printed translations. Don’t hand them out beforehand, because then
people will not be following the translation on the screen.
Start off the discussion by simply asking people for their responses to the song - let them respond
spontaneously first. This may already set off an interesting conversation. When this has run its course,
(or if they have nothing to say,) move into the structured part of the discussion.
The structure of the discussion is based around an ancient form of Jewish spiritual literary criticism
used throughout the Jewish world, summed up by the acronym, PaRDeSS. Feel free to mention this
to your participants, if you feel it is appropriate.
Pardes means orchard, and it’s a symbol of the Garden of Eden and spiritual enlightenment. Broken
down, it points to a four point method of text appreciation.
P stands for Pshat. This means the simple straightforward understanding of a text. At the Pshat stage,
we just make sure everyone has understood the basic meaning of the song.
R stands for Remez. Remez means ‘clue’, and it refers to cultural and sociological references in the
song. At the Remez stage we look for references to events, people, situations that exist outside of the
song’s immediate scope.
D stands for Drash. This means the message. What is the message that the writer is trying to
communicate? What is s/he trying to tell us, or teach us, or convince us? What’s the point being
S stands for Sod - secret. This is a far more complicated concept in its religious
context, but for our purposes, we can say that the Sod stage is where we explore
how the song touches us - our thoughts, our feelings, our world.
Work through the song, clarifying language and understanding. Is there anything
that we don’t understand?
- 72 -
*The Dylan refers to Bob Dylan. The Cohen refers to Leonard Cohen, poet and singer-songwriter.
*If you were to walk around Israel, many street shops have English names. Billboards and
commercials often feature English words. English is sometimes seen as ‘more hip’ than Hebrew.
*The teaching of the Hebrew language in the Jewish communities of Nort America is widely regarded
as an abject failure.
*Many Biblical scholars and Jewish educators see little value in learning about Judaism and the
Bible without at least some elementary knowledge of Hebrew.
*Is Ehud Banai speaking to you?
*Is Banai speaking to North American Jews, or to Israelis?
*Does it feel like he is poking fun, or despairing, or inspiring?
*Do you believe in your heart that it is possible to connect to your Judaism without Hebrew?
*Do you believe in your heart that it is possible to connect to Israelis without Hebrew?
*Is language a significant barrier between Israel and the Diaspora/Israelis and Diasporans, or do you
believe the true barriers are elsewhere? And if so, where?
*Is Hebrew the language of the Jewish people? In what way?
Ehud Banai
Speak up the language of the Hebrew man
Loud and clear! The language of the Hebrew man
It is the language of the prophets
Of the sign up on the wall
It is old and sacred
It will open up your soul
Speak up the language of the Hebrew man
Loud and clear! The language of the Hebrew man.
From the deepest mess of downtown Babylon
It will take you to the next train to Mount Zion
It will get you up, it will make you play
The language of the Hebrew man will take you high
You know Abraham spoke the language of the Hebrew man
And also Jesus from Nazareth and Mary Magdelane
Einstein Jeremiah, the Dylan and the Cohen
They knew something about the language of the Hebrew man
And when the Lord said: “Let there be light"
It was in the language of the Hebrew man
And when Moses said: “Let my people go"
- 73 -
It was in the language of the Hebrew man
Speak the language of the Hebrew man!
‫והיה ביום ההוא אור חדש גדול יאיר‬
‫לאט נפתח הסדק לאט נופל הקיר‬
‫וכשתגיע השעה יבוא אחד בשם אחד‬
‫יכירו וידעו כל העולם שפה אחת‬
Vehaya bayom hahu or chadash gadol ya’ir
Le’at niftach hasedek le’at nofell hakir
Uk’shetagiya hasha’ah yavo echad b’shem echad
Yakiru yeyid’u kol ha’olam saffa achat
This material was produced for JEXNET by Robbie Gringras in conjunction with
UJA Federation of NY and NACIE.
And on that day a great new light will shine
The crack will open slowly, slowly will fall the wall
And when the time comes One will come in the name of the one
And all the world will know one tongue
Speak the language of the Hebrew man
‫והיה ביום ההוא יבוא אחד בשם אחד‬
‫יכירו וידעו כל העולם שפה אחת‬
‫לאט נבנה הבית קו לקו ואות לאות‬
‫ אמור רק להתראות‬,‫אל נא תאמר לי ביי ביי‬.
Vehaya bayom hahu yavo echad b’shem echad
Yakiru veyid’u kol ha’olam saffa achat
Le’at nivneh habayit kav lekav ve’ot le’ot
Al na tomru li bye bye, emor rak lehitra’ot
And on that day one will come in the name of the one
And all the world will know one tongue
The temple will be built line by line, and letter by letter
Don’t say to me ‘bye bye’, only say ‘lehitra’ot’
Speak the language of the Hebrew man
And let us all say “Praise the Lord!" (halleluya)
Let us all say “So be it" (Amen)
A day will come, and everybody
Will speak the language of the Hebrew man
- 74 -
Panel of Artists on the Subject of Jewish Languages Sarit Seri
Excerpts from "Keep in Touch"
Sarit Seri
The idea for this dictionary was conceived on the day I discovered that there's a hidden meaning even
behind the innocent regards we send one another. From that day on, the inner speech lifted its head,
the inner speech which hides within all sorts of statements that we make by the way and has since
then refused to disappear. As if x-ray glasses had grown on my ears, all the meaningless statements
were completely undressed, and I suddenly saw their subtext. The hidden intentions, buried deep
inside the collective subconscious - and released from us in the form of expressions, clichés, empty
statements, idioms and slang - as if in daily speech.
And it's not like I've discovered America: deep inside, everyone is capable of identifying what's
hidden behind the words and the intonation (in the best case scenario) or the deception (in a worse case
scenario) - but we're not always available to listen to the inner voice which will translate the hidden
meaning of the words for us. So that's it, my own ear began one day to pay attention, and since then
it has found it difficult to stop. I won't purport here to encompass all the words and expressions that
conceal totally different intentions behind them. Such a mission is an endless lifetime undertaking
and, as you know, a book must be bound at some point. However, as soon as one understands the
matter of the subtext, it becomes contagious, and for that reason I've left you some empty lines, here
and there, so you can add some new entries of your own and translate them for your pleasure and the
pleasure of those surrounding you.
Below "between you and me": what actually happens behind the veil of our brain - when we chat
with friends, ask how they are, try to set up a meeting or simply relate experiences? To begin with,
take a bunch of random examples which we all are familiar with from our daily lives.
Send regards to = you'll be talking about me!
So we've tentatively decided to meet at seven = we haven't made any plans.
We've definitely decided to meet at seven = I'll get there at about 7:45.
Human beings know this.
Between us = in between are seven other people who already know.
It's a secret and shouldn't leave this room = when you leave this room, it will be circulated
By the way = I too have experiences!
The crowd = two or more people.
Hey guys, are we calling it a night? = just I want to leave.
I wasn't born yesterday = for years I've filled the capacity of sucker in the crowd.
I'm only thinking out loud = I'm practicing on your ears.
Enough, let's get serious now = I'm a party pooper.
However you look at it = regardless of what you say, I'm always right in the end.
It's your good I'm concerned about = I interfere in your life incessantly and until now you've
allowed me to do so.
In general = the time has come to go into detail.
Correct if I'm mistaken = it's rare that I'm wrong but I'm open to criticism.
Let's put all the cards on the table = let's say unpleasant things about one another.
Just for the sake of clarity = pay attention just how excellent my Hebrew is.
- 75 -
Michal Heled - Poet: Hebrew and Ladino
I am a poetesse and researcher of Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) literature and language, as well as general
aspects of identity and culture, focusing on the personal narrative. This genre is approached from a
multidisciplinary point of view in my research that offers new methods for the anlysis of it as both a
collcetive and an individual phenomenon.
Both my poetry and reseach are multi-layered and multi-faceted in nature, based upon an insight
according to which any cultural and creative process conves a multitide of voices, even when
representing an individual.
From Over the Face of the Waters, 2009
Tree / Arvoles
A Ladino song torno i digo ke va ser de mi
Wandeing i ask what shall become of me
In the song trees cry for rain and mountains for air
arvoles yoran por luvias i montanyas por aires
In the song an angel stands upon me beholding me with his eyes
and i beg to cry
but cannot
And you in the song are draped in
white flowers are dropping from you
from your beauty
When i sing this song once chanted by Sephardic women
draped in white and shedding white flowers
in Izmir and Salonika in Jerusalem and Tangiers
When i sing this song
trees cry tears of rain and mountains tears of air
cry for you singing women who have vanished from the world leaving your song
inside me
deserting me to wander and sing ke va ser de mi
what shall become of me and to seek
the angel
- 76 -
Shimon Shloush - Poet: Hebrew, Palestinian Arabic and Jewish Arabic
Shimon Shloush was born in Jerusalem in 1959 (he is a poet and artist, a psychiatric nurse by
profession, and a member of the Hebrew Writers Association and ACUM [Association of Authors,
Composers and Publishers]).
Shloush is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since 1980 his poems have appeared
in several literary magazines (Shdemot, Hadarim, Shvu, Keshet Hadasha et al.), in newspapers (Al
Hamishmar, Maariv, Dvar, Yedioth Ahronoth, et al.) and in anthologies (“I’ll Play You Forever,"
“The Poetry Workshop," “105 Poets in their Own Handwriting," “The University of Darkness" et
He has taken part in poetry festivals (Metula, “The Spirit Restorer," “Edge," “Meter by Meter" et
Shloush has won various literary awards: the Hebrew University Harry Harshon Award (1983), the
Yehoshua Rabinowitz Tel Aviv Foundation Award (1986, 1998, 2000), the Jerusalem Municipality
and Jerusalem Foundation Literature Award (1992), and the Levi Eshkol Prime Minister’s Award
‫רד אלי‬
‫שמעון שלוש‬
‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו לָ ָמּה ֲעז ַ ְב ָּתנ ִי כִּי הֲַרג ְ ָּתנ ִי‬
‫לִ ְצעֹק‬
‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ‫שּּיֹותֵר‬
ֶ ‫ֹלא לְו ַ ֵתּר לִ ְצעֹק מַה‬
‫אֵין אֱֹלהִים‬
‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ‫ֲאנ ִי ֹלא י ָכֹול יֹותֵר ֹלא י ָכֹול ַאחֵר‬
‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ‫ֶעז ְָרה‬
‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ‫ֹלא אֹוהֵב אֹותְָך‬
‫אֵׁש ִבּידָ ְּך‬
‫מַה ְּבי ְָדָך‬
‫ָאנ ָא מָא ַּב ִח ָּב ְּך‬
‫אֵינ ֶנ ִּי ְּב ִח ָבּה לְָך‬
‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ‫ֲאבָל‬
,‫אַל ֵּתלְֵך ִמ ֶּמנ ִּי‬
,‫ט ֵפנ ִי‬
ְ ּ ַ‫ ל‬,‫ָּתבִין אֹותִי‬
,‫ ַהשְֵקנ ִי‬,‫טנ ִי נ ָא‬
ֵ ‫ַהלְעִי‬
,‫ נ ַשְֵקנ ִי‬,‫ ֵרד ֵאלַי‬,‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו ֵאלִי‬
‫לָ ָמּה ֲעז ַ ְב ָּתנ ִי‬
‫ אלי אלי למה‬:‫"למנצח על אילת השחר מזמור לדוד‬
":‫עזבתני רחוק מישועתי דברי שאגתי‬
)‫ב‬-‫ א‬:‫(תהילים כב‬
‫"וכעת השעה התשיעית ויזעק ישוע בקול גדול אלי‬
"‫ והוא אלי אלי למה עזבתני‬,‫אלי למה שבקתני‬
)46 :‫(מתי כז‬
‫"ויאחז ביד בנערה ויאמר אליה טליתא קומי פירושו‬
"‫ילדה אני אומר לך קומי נא‬
)41 :‫(מרקוס ה‬
,‫ ֵאלִי‬.‫ לָ ָמּה ֲעז ַ ְב ָּתנ ִי‬/‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ,‫שבְַק ָּתנ ִי‬
ְ ‫ לָ ָמּה‬,‫" ֵאלִי‬
‫ מַּדּו ַע ֹלא‬/.ַ‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו מַּדּוע‬
ֶ ,‫ ָעשִי ָת לִי ּכָזֹאת‬/‫לָ ָמּה‬
".ַ‫ש ֵפּרּושָם רּוח‬
ֶ ‫ ַמי ִם‬/‫ש ֵפּרּוׁשֹו‬
ֶ ,‫ָמנ ַ ְע ָּת ַּבעֲִדי‬
)‫ שירים שונים‬:‫ "טליתא קומי" בתוך‬,‫(נתן זך‬
‫שאֹל ּופֵרּוׁשֹו לִבְּכֹות‬
ְ ִ‫ ל‬/‫שאֹל ּופֵרּוׁשֹו‬
ְ ִ‫"ּופֵרּוׁשֹו ל‬
‫ לָ ָמּה ֲעז ַ ְב ָּתנ ִי ּופֵרּוׁשֹו ֲעז ַ ְב ָּתנ ִי ּופֵרּוׁשֹו‬/‫ּופֵרּוׁשֹו ֵאלִי‬
ְ ִ‫ ּופֵרּוׁשֹו ל‬/‫ֵאלִי‬
)‫ זה עץ התות‬:‫ "ופרושו לשאול" בתוך‬,‫חיה שנהב‬
- 77 -
Assaf Talmudi and Noam Inbar (Oy Division) - The Shtetl is in a Trance
The members of the Oy Division ensemble make authentic and exuberant klezmer music just like
in the shtetl of the past. And their powers manage to arouse even those who have buried the image
of the wandering Jew deep in the attic. Amit Goldenberg met the spirited klezmer musicians and
broke out in an Ashkenazi dance.
The name Oy Division is taken from Joy Division - the name of a post-punk British band.
The ensemble includes some of the most interesting Israeli musicians who got together for a jam
session, which surprisingly resulted in Yiddish and Polish songs, accompanied, but of course, by
klezmer music.
The term klezmer music is no longer exclusively associated with the shtetl musicians who got
everyone on their feet. Musicians such as Daniel Zamir make use of the solid Jewish foundation in
order to create something new out of it. Zamir, a jazz musician who became religious, utilizes the
special structure of Jewish music as raw material. He combines it with the jazz groove, creating new
klezmer music. Even the members of the Israeli band "Oy Ve Vey," which is based in London, don't
forget the shtetl where they’ve come from and manage to connect klezmer music with electronic
music, jazz and black music. This connection somewhat tones down the klezmer's mirthfulness and
gives it a darker hue, replete with endearing magical charm.
The members of the Oy Division ensemble chose not to interpret the traditional music using modern
instruments, but rather decided to stick with the klezmer tradition and preserve the music as it was
originally played. Oy Division is not trying to be a Jewish attraction that is pulled out at ceremonies.
And they also don't want to reinvent the wheel. On the contrary - they're attempting to turn it back.
Klezmer music was authentic Jewish music, a means by which to boost the community's morale and
make people happy.
"We try to play the music like it was once played, without the intervention of light Broadway style
or jazz music," says Assaf Talmudi, the ensemble's musical producer and a lecturer in the Music
Department at Haifa University. "We are engaged in preserving and reviving music that has no
address. We're used to songs that people have written, but this is music whose composers are
Oy Division's choice of traditional music does not detract from its quality. After just a few seconds
of listening to their new disc, the notes make me want to don the Cossack hat that my grandfather
left me, jump on top of the kitchen table and emit Yiddish cries into space. There's something in
the Jewish notes that manage to touch the soul and shake the strings of tradition which I didn't even
know existed. It's because the music is music of the past, devoid of modifications, that it manages
to touch you so deeply.
The ensemble is made up of Noam Inbar (the Biluim band's soloist), Eyal Talmudi (Balkan Bit Box),
Gershon Lezerson (a classical musician) and Avihai Tuchman (a musician and producer).
What brings a group of serious and talented musicians to the cradle of traditional music?
Assaf Talmudi: "This music comes from a different time, and we liked the friction that the encounter
with the present reality generated. Right before it may have been too late, people began to grasp
that whatever is not preserved now - will disappear forever. Sometimes western-international music
becomes tiresome, whose style can be blind to tiers of significance.
- 78 -
Isn't it strange to play music that has no known musician or familiar words behind it?
"It's a totally different kind of enjoyment compared to music that you yourself create. Our music
comes before self-expression. It is unadulterated pleasure and a net act of music. It is not intended
for people to listen to on their own. Rather, it's dance music designed for an entire community. It's
music that millions of Jews created for many years.
Oy Division recently returned from a global tour where they spread the new Jewish music message.
"When performing abroad, we have the opportunity to meet people from different places in the
world whose motivation is similar to ours," says Talmudi. "They all understand the beauty and the
complexity inherent in pure folk music. We can play with musicians from Burma who are doing
similar things in the context of their own culture, and it's an interesting and exciting encounter."
Oy Division's music is far from being commonplace. Their ability to burst forth with genuine music
which vibrates your body parts - manages to reach deep into the past, removes the old world Jew
from the attic, and enables you take a walk around the block with him without being ashamed.
In Yiddish It Sounds Better
A new research study concludes: Yiddish is the language which has had the greatest
effect on Israeli slang and is responsible for 630 slang expressions in Hebrew. A partial
list appears below.
Ronen Tal, Gaya Koren
Yiddish is still here. With all due respect to the influence of Arabic and English on Hebrew, a new
research study concludes that Yiddish is the language which has had the greatest effect on Israeli
slang, responsible for 630 slang expressions which are found in Hebrew. The study, conducted by
Dr. Nissan Netzer from the Hebrew Language Department at Bar Ilan University, was disclosed at
a conference of the Association of Language Research Professors held yesterday and today at Ben
Gurion University. The study examined all the slang expressions found in Hebrew, totaling about
2,600 altogether. Dr. Netzer’s first discovery was that half of the slang expressions in Hebrew are
taken from foreign languages. The remaining 50 percent originate from linguistic values in Hebrew,
such as ‘Yoram’ (a nerd) or ‘lo dofek cheshbon’ (is not accountable). 48% of the Hebrew slang
expressions taken from foreign languages - originate in the Yiddish language. After Yiddish, the
next language which has had the most influence on Hebrew is Arabic, with 26% of slang expressions.
English is only in third place, with 14%.
The research study cites two types of Yiddish Hebrew slang: one is called “borrowed translations"
(images) which are expressions in Yiddish that were translated into Hebrew despite syntax errors, such
as “smart he’s not," “never you mind," “highly thought of him," and “dances on all the weddings."
The other type is called “direct translation" - which makes use of words in Yiddish such as nebech,
nudnik, macher, samatucha, fraiyer, and kitsch. Hebrew did not make due with direct translation, but
also transformed some Yiddish nouns into forms of Hebrew verbs.
“It is a very rich language with colorful expressions and an abundance of synonyms. In the past, people were
ashamed to speakYiddish. But I spokeYiddish with my parents, and today I’m glad that I did. Even Hollywood
movies make use of many expressions, such as ‘schmuck’ and ‘golem.’ The uniqueness of Yiddish is its selfhumor. It’s a type of therapy. Wherever there are Jews, there is Yiddish. It’s a language that won’t disappear."
- 79 -
“It’s a juicy and funny language," says the actress Anat Atzmon who, together with her father, Shmulik
Atzmon, appeared in a TV program called “Ab Be’ which made use of both Yiddish and Hebrew. “In
Yiddish, even curses are funny."
The Nudnik, the Fraiyer and the Kuter (The Pest, the Sucker and the Complainer)
Below is a partial list of Yiddish expressions which have been incorporated in Hebrew slang:
He’s missing a screw, he’s totally unaware, to break a word, it doesn’t smell good, we won’t go to
the rabbi over it, to eat someone without salt, to discover America, to finish the month, to walk on
blisters, he’s in my hands, shouldn’t be underestimated, I wasn’t born yesterday, it fell into my hands,
to spit in his face, to spit blood, to lick your fingers, to suck your blood, to stretch your bones, it
became dark in his eyes, a Tisha B’Av face.
Nouns and adjectives: bok (thick-headed), butka (booth), broch (misfortune), greps (burp), chrop
(sleep), fertatch (sloppy), flick (slap), frisura (hairdo), happer (snatcher), juke (cockroach), kishkes
(guts), kuter (complainer), kvetch (complainer), mishmash, pitzifkes (trifles), plonter (tangle),
pulkes (thighs), pupik (bellybutton) samatucha (mess), schmaltz (literally goose fat - laying it on
thick), schmates (rags), schmontzes (knick knacks), schnorrer (beggar), schoss (punch), schlumpper
(someone disheveled), schvizter (bragger), stinker (tattle tale), ), shtick (ploy), ta-ra-ram (fuss),
teranta (a piece of junk), tzingele (small tongue), tzutzik (child), tusik (buttocks), zbang (a blow).
The Language Arena: The Year 56887 (Terapapu) Has Arrived
Ruvik Rosenthal
Palabra, palabras, everything is a palabra, says Ecclesiastes. But it didn’t know that it was speaking
Ladino. So, actually what is a “postema?" And where have the pinyones disappeared to? About
an unforgettable language.
“The year 568877" is one of the oldest and most popular expressions in Hebrew slang. It is prominent
among a group of expressions that refer to the distant (but not very distant) past, an age that has aged.
The latter include vague expressions like “the year of the coconut", or the expression “from the days
of Methuselah." The “year 56887" has always been identified with the Hebrew year 5687 (1926), but
as previously written in this column, there is no connection between the year 5687 and the expression
“the year 56887." This can be witnessed by the fact that the expression “the year 56887" contains
an extra “8" (the letter “peh" in Hebrew, which stands for 80). So add 80 years to 1926 and we’ve
reached 2006. In other words, the year 56887 will be here in another three days.
The original expression of the “year 56887" comes from Ladino: “dil tiempo de me terapapu" meaning from the time of my great-great-great grandfather. In other words, my father’s grandfather.
The approaching “year 56887" is a fitting time to shed light on the insufficiently appreciated influence
of Ladino on the Hebrew language - also called: Jewish Spanish and Spanyolit. Credit for their
research studies on the subject (or rather “recognition" as academia proposes) should be given to
Ora Schwarzwald from Bar Ilan University, who grew up in a Ladino speaking home, and to Dr.
Avner Peretz, who founded a Ladino research institute and is presently busy preparing an exhaustive
Ladino-Hebrew dictionary containing roughly 50,000 entries - which is sorely missing on the shelf
of Israeli dictionaries.
Basta with the Combina
The presence of Ladino in Hebrew appears in a number of places.
- 80 -
Basta! - meaning enough. A word found in additional languages such as Italian. Documented by the
“Gashashim," its source is Ladino. There is no connection to the Arabic word basta (meaning stall)
we find in open air markets, not even at the Machane Yehuda Market.
Bar Minan - its literal meaning in Aramaic is someone who has passed away. But when expressing
surprise such as “G-d forbid", its source is Ladino. For example, in the skit performed by “Gashashim"
called Cracker vs. Cracker: “Barbara Bar Minan Barbara, you look more like a blessing." The
“Gashashim" tried hard to preserve the Ladino heritage in the Hebrew language.
Gehenom - the use of the Gehenna (Hell) image to denote an ongoing nightmare originates from
Haida - an encouraging call and blessing that is less in use: “Haida Shabbat Shalom Mr. Levi". Its
comparable source both from Ladino and from Yiddish: “kapara." The word has different uses, one
of them being: “Don’t regret what has been lost." This use exists in Ladino: megilah, meaning a long
and boring text.
Nada - nothing, zero, taken from Spanish.
Stifa - in Ladino it means a pile, and is also used to convey a large stack of bills.
Al Hafata - I don’t care, and in its literal translation: on my penis.
Palabra - nonsense, mostly used in the plural form: palabras. In Spanish, palabra means word, and
in Ladino it received the local meaning of nonsense, empty statements.
Combina - The queen of words taken from Ladino and the most commonly used one among them.
It seems to be connected to the word combination in English, or “combinatzia" in Yiddish. But
only in Ladino does it appear in the accepted form in Hebrew, namely with an accent on the “b." In
the French, the “b" is also accentuated word (combine), but it doesn’t have a suffix like in the other
Moko Loko
Among other things, slang is a gallery of characters, most of whom have shortcomings. The crowd
that came from Ladino is for the most part now obsolete, but a few have been immortalized - and not
coincidently, by the “Gashashim." Here are a few examples:
Azno - a fool. In Ladino means a donkey, now obsolete. But it has had an impact on Hebrew in the
sense that the word for donkey also signifies a fool. The word beast (behema), used to denote a crass
person, also comes from Ladino: “behema en forma de ben adam" (meaning, a beast in the form of
a person).
Lulema - a stupid woman, an expression which has been forgotten.
Demikolo - a person of no importance or talent. The word is typically attached to a characteristic or
profession. In Ladino it’s a complete expression: “de mi kolo" (from my buttocks).
Vieja - a slang expression in the gay community for a middle aged homosexual. In Ladino it means
an old woman.
- 81 -
Troncho - stupid. The literal meaning is a stalk of cabbage. The “Gashashim," in their skit called
“The Devil" said: “Didn’t your father tell you, you troncho?"
Pacha - a bizarre word. It doesn’t appear in Ladino dictionaries and it’s heard in the context of a
head - “a pacha hat" - which is a synonym for the Israeli national hat (kova tembel). A “pacha head"
means a flat head, signifying stupidity. The linguist Haim Blank claims that pacha in Ladino means
Lonso - clumsy, schlemiel - another word which is now obsolete. Its literal meaning in Ladino: a
Loko - crazy. It origins are from Ladino and it is found in other languages.
Moko - a derogatory name used for different purposes. Prisoners use it to designate prison guards. In
Ladino it means nasal mucus, and a mokoso is someone who always has a runny nose. Nasal mucus
(snot) has served as the source of inspiration for derogatory expressions in other languages: chnun
(Hebrew for nerd) originates from chanuva which means snot in Moroccan Arabic, and smarktatch
(booger) from smark in Yiddish, which means a hoodlum or villain.
Malach (angel in Hebrew) - an especially good person. It’s reminiscent of its use in English - an
angel - but it has been imported from Ladino where it’s pronounced with an accentuated “lamed."
Mamzer - a cunning person. This use originates in Ladino.
Soliko - a person who works alone. “Iko" is a suffix denoting affection and diminution and appears
in many names, such as in the pair of satirists Leviko and Moshiko, or in a line from Nissim Aloni’s
“A Cantata to Shwarma": “Hurry up and bring a nice kurkevaniko (gizzard) in honor of Maccabi
Postema - is still very common, and is alive and kicking. It primarily refers to women - stupid or bad
women. But it can also be attributed to men. The literal meaning: an ulcer, an abscess.
Pizgadu - heavy, lacking charm. In the past, use was made of the word, and not only when translated
into Hebrew. It’s from here that the use of the word heavy in Hebrew slang also denotes someone
serious and humorless - “don’t be so heavy."
Chipachula - in Ladino, a derogatory expression for a disheveled woman. The word comes from
Calabasa - stupid, and its literal meaning in Ladino: pumpkin. It has also been immortalized by the
“Gashashim." An age-old expression: “gingy calabasa" - a jeer aimed at redheads.
Ladino: Sponga with Papitas
Ladino is still found in the home and in the kitchen, and people cook, do the laundry and other sundry
things in Ladino.
Bourekas - the singular form in Ladino is leverka. The Israelis created a double plural form:
bourekasim - meaning several pieces of bourekas.
- 82 -
Haminados - the immortal cholent eggs. An abbreviation of their full name in Ladino: ovavos
Sponga - meaning washing the floor, which developed out of the expression “azir sponga" - to wash
the floor. Spongador is a rag used to wash the floor, or simply a sponge.
Fasulia - appears in the same form in Arabic, Yiddish and Ladino. The Ladino form is the closest to
the accepted Israeli form.
Pila - a wash tub. Not everyone agrees that the source is Ladino.
Finjan - the word appears in Arabic and means a cup. Its Hebrew use since the days of the Palmach,
namely a pot for brewing coffee, comes from the Ladino.
Pinyones - a word somewhat reminiscent of pine nuts.
Pantofla - slippers. Appears both in Yiddish and in Ladino.
Papitas - sunflower seeds, pronounced in Ladino “pipitas." Ashkenazi Jews in Jerusalem pronounced
it “popitas."
- 83 -
Play: 'The Dybbuk' - Adapted from S. Ansky
About the Itim Theatre Ensemble and Rina Yerushalmi
Founded in 1989 by theatre director and choreographer Rina Yerushalmi and stage designer Moshe
Sternfeld (d. 1994), the Itim Ensemble is Israel’s leading experimental theatre group. The Ensemble
was founded in affiliation with the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv and is located on Nahmani Street in the
heart of Tel Aviv. In this theatre laboratory, we devote long periods of time to researching, exploring,
and experimenting with the performance language that best reflects the symphonic, simultaneous,
and complex experience of our time.
The Ensemble’s most important projects to date include Hamlet (1989), Woyzeck ’91 (1991), Romeo
and Juliet (1993), The Bible Project (1995), Mythos (2002), Three Sisters (2004), and A Midsummer
Night’s Dream (2006). In each of our projects we aim to touch life in the present by examining
social, political, and philosophical questions that dominate our cultural discourse and mirror changes
in perception about one’s place in the world. This we do through a laboratory process of researching
theatre as a medium, seeking in each production the performance idiom that best translates the human
condition into art. We study the flux, interplay, and changing dynamics between actors, audiences,
and texts.
How do we work?
All of the Ensemble’s productions are based on Rina Yerushalmi’s adaptations of canonical plays
or non-dramatic texts. In each of the projects the dramatic material directs our construction of the
relations between time, space, actors, and audiences. These relations lead to original compositions that
de-emphasize the traditional centrality of the text. Rina Yerushalmi’s postmodern and deconstructive
theatre language includes the use of doubling and tripling of characters, re-editing scenes of the
original texts, juxtaposing famous scenes with unexpected visual images, and giving one character’s
lines to another. Her unique theatrical language is based on visual images that present the classical
texts in a new light, making them acute and relevant by means of expressive movement, music, and
Each of the Ensemble’s theatrical projects is a dynamic "work in progress," evolving through stages.
We always begin with special emphasis on the actor’s creative bonding with the material. The actors
are asked to explore their own responses to the chosen themes, texts, and questions we are interested
in. The potential theatricality of the performance starts to emerge as the text, acting, space, visual
design, and rhythm gradually generate images and moments that best enhance and reflect the theme
we are interested in. The intensive work gives the actors the necessary time to tap into their true
interest in the material, allowing their individual uniqueness to surface. Thus, their creative input
is interwoven into the production. Accordingly, a central artistic dynamic that underlies all of the
Ensemble’s productions is the communal and collaborative involvement of all participants (actors and
designers) in the creative process, and a true commitment to theatre as a way of life. Therefore, our
projects continually remain in a process of experimentation and fine-tuning, based on our experience
and especially on the audiences’ responses.
The Dybbuk
By Leon Katz (based on S. Ansky)
This version of The Dybbuk, opens with an old Jewish couple, speaking in Yiddish, retelling the
story of a young bride and groom murdered in a pogrom on their wedding night. They are buried
in the village. This old couple continues in Yiddish to comment on the events throughout the play.
(Their text is translated to Hebrew).
- 84 -
Channan, a poor, devout student of Kabala, learns that his beloved Leah, spiritually sworn to him,
has been betrothed to the son of a rich man. She too silently feel deep love for him but is expected
to obey her father’s wish. In his despair, in violent rebellion, he turns to the most forbidden ways,
in a sacrilegious journey to the “other side" (to Satan). Channan, gives birth to demons who carry
him to the underworld. He is dead to the living but his tortured soul caught between two worlds. He
must find refuge in a living body till his destined time. Leah, on her wedding day, calls upon the
dead young couple to join her with Channan. They appear and in a strange ceremony help to unite
the lovers. When being left alone, dead Channan enters her body as a dybbuk. The wedding guests
arrive and when the groom approaches, the possessed Leah, rises up and screams out. All the guests
run away. Rabbi Azriel, the leader of the congregation, goes on a mystical journey to gain “higher
wisdom and holiness" to save the possessed Leah and get the dybbuk Channan out of her body. He
enters a trance by which his body is separated from his soul. He continues his journey on a horse in
order to cross over the seven spheres to reach God’s holly seat. He is separated from the horse by
demons, and his limbs are burnt to ashes. Alone and in agony he prays to God to give him the power
to heal the bride Leah. On his return to earth, the Rabbi is calling Channan’s dead father (Nissan)
to join him back to the living and help out to get Channan leave the body of Leah. Other Dead souls
gather around to pray. The possessed Leah and the Rabbi face each other. She resists all his magical
powers and will not part from Channan. Finally we learn from the dead Nissan that he and Leah’s
father, (Sender) vowed to each other in their youth, to marry their children to each other. But Sender
broke his vow and chose a rich man’ son for his daughter. Nissan curses Sender and blesses his lost
son to have Leah for his eternal bride. The Dead souls are asked to leave. The Rabbi is forced to
exorcise the Dybbuk and finally to excommunicate him from the tribe of Israel forever. Leah dies in
her sufferings. Channan, exorcised out of her body clings on to the Rabbi. In their struggle the Rabbi
forces the dybbuk Channan down, kills him and leave. However the souls of Leah and Channan meet
each other, embrace and unite for eternity. The old Yiddish woman as they are about to leave asks
her husband to stay a bit longer. He answers that there is nothing more to look at - “dead is dead,
old woman"
Descent for the Purpose of Ascent
Maayan Wayn
The Tale in Kabbalistic Terms
The personal love story of Hannan and Leah in the play constitutes the essence of the Principle of
Unity in the Kabbalah. Although the unity of lovers is first and foremost the erotic unity between
a man and a woman, here it is employed by different ideologies and worldviews as a metaphor for
additional unities.
Also present in every moment of love between the two is eroticism as a “mystical coupling" between
Man and the Shechinah (Divine Presence). The Shechinah is the lowest facet of Divine Revelation
through which God communicates with human beings. According to the Kabbalah and Chassidism
the Shechinah is an immensely powerful cosmic energy that dwells in the “bowels" of the universe
and is its soul and life spirit. During the Exile of the People of Israel the Shechinah - which is also
a feminine and maternal facet - descended to the material world and became detached from the
Supernal Divinity. The role of human beings is to reconnect the Shechinah with God, its beloved,
through good deeds and virtuous living, which in the Kabbalah is called Yichudim (unifications).
By means of this unification the desire for inner unification, the unification of consciousness, is also
articulated - when the “self" becomes one: inner and outer are one, the mental and physical self are
united with all that one has experienced. This unification is also the unification between the material
- 85 -
and spiritual worlds, and even the unification of the Jewish people with Israel and Zion.
Therefore, when Hannan acts towards his unification with Leah, he is acting to hasten redemption.
In this sense Hannan sees himself as the Messiah, believing in his ability to bring national, and even
cosmic, redemption and he acts towards attaining it by means of unification with his promised love.
Since Kabbalists strive for the unification of opposites - the sun and the moon, man and woman,
good and evil - and since in Kabbalistic terms God is present in everything, then evil, too, will be
unified with good. Accordingly, God contains Satan as well - and both are one. This is the Kabbalistic
attempt to contend with evil in its existential meaning, to study it, allow it to be and allocate it room
in divinity.
According to Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Kabbalistic view, in order for the act of Creation to be possible, the
Infinite God had to constrict itself into vessels. When Divine Grace was constricted, the “shattering
of the vessels" occurred, in which the Divine Sparks became detached, descended into the abyss
and were encased and imprisoned in the klipot (husks) that were created from the fragments of the
vessels. Against the concept of shattering, stands the foundation of tikun (rectification), or in other
words, restoring the Divine Sparks from the klipot to their rightful place. The responsibility for tikun
lies with every person by means of good deeds and prayer. Tikun ends in the redemption of both the
individual and the whole. When the labor of tikun is concluded, redemption will come of itself, for
redemption means rectification.
Hannan’s approach is that in all service through corporeality, in every material-earthly action such
as eating, drinking, joy, coupling and even sin itself, there are Divine Sparks, and it is one’s duty
to release the sparks by removing the klipot of evil. Accordingly, Hannan connects with the forces
of darkness, with evil, with the klipot, in order to restore the sparks, which the klipot contain to
their divine origin. He sees himself as the connecting thread between God and Satan, between evil
and good. Hannan wants to smash into Satan in order to unite with God. This is the descent for the
purpose of ascent.
When he becomes a dybbuk and enters Leah’s body, Hannan turns into a symbol of the non-rectified
state of the world: just as the existence, including God, is in exile, thus there is an inner exile for
souls. The exile of souls is the dybbuk. Hannan exists between two worlds: on the one hand, he has
no material-physical representation in the lower world, and on the other, his soul does not ascend to
the upper worlds. Therefore, like the sparks, he has to attach himself to an earthly klipah, namely a
particular body. He will only be able to release his sparks from the klipah after he has undergone tikun
with the rabbi’s help. The dybbuk is the most terrible of punishments that a sinner may suffer, it is the
fate of souls that are precluded from reincarnation and have not even “attained" entry to Hell. Leah
serves as a vessel for the sparks of Hannan’s rejected soul that seeks its tikun from exile. Redemption
and the redeemer symbolize the conclusion of the process of tikun - exorcising the dybbuk from its
“host" and removing the sparks from the klipot to reunite them with the Divine Light.
In contrast to Hannan, Rabbi Azriel wants to crash into Divinity. He represents the Chassidic approach
whereby an individual cannot hasten Divine Redemption, but only his own, and therefore it should
be left in God’s hands. The conflict between the rabbi and Hannan is the conflict between the forces
of righteousness, reason and rationality, and the forces of darkness, mysticism and magic. Each of
them appropriates the love story for himself to justify his methods and actions. The tragedy is that
although they both believe in the same God, they struggle with fierce determination, to death, and the
two young lovers are sacrificed on the altar of faith.
“When the Dead Begin Dancing…"
Or: Theatre Within Theatre in Rina Yerushalmi’s The Dybbuk
Through the eyes of an elderly, Yiddish-speaking couple, who have come from the past, we are
introduced to Hannan and Leah, whose mystical love story is only fulfilled in “The World to Come".
The elderly couple invites the past and its dead to rise from their graves, stretch their limbs, hang up
their death masks in the dressing rooms and walk among the living on the stage as an inseparable
- 86 -
part of them.
Here, the language of theatre, the theatrical incarnation is the subject of the play. The play extols the
power of theatre and its immense ability to diffuse thousands of years of hostility, fathomless hatred,
and abysmal jealousy.
We witness a character within a character, an entity that penetrates the vessel that portrays it, the
magic of theatre. When Hannan the dybbuk enters Leah’s body, he portrays the essence of the art of
acting and illusion: his soul dwells within the walls of Leah’s body, his entity comes from a different
existence and enters the living body of his beloved, who takes on the tone of his voice, embodies
his will and brings his existence in the present to the attention of the congregation of witnesses, the
audience or quorum. He cannot exist without her, and she cannot be fulfilled without him. Hannan
and Leah, the character and actor, are intertwined for life, or death.
Leah’s dybbuk is her mirror image. The light of the sun, namely Hannan, is reflected in the light of
the moon, namely Leah, and sustains it. They are reflected in each other, he in her light and she in
his, and contain one another. The play positions us between mirrors that reflect one another, again
and again, to the extent that the distinction between original and duplicate, between reality and
fantasy, dissolves and the spectator quakes in terror, on the precipice of reflections. From the depths
of the endless abyss of reflections, the town begs for redemption: The groom's father, Nachman,
recounts: “Then we strayed into a swamp which nearly swallowed us alive; we almost didn’t make
it out of there", in a kind of mirror reflection of them in a swamp, which recurs throughout history;
and Elhannan asks: “Send your servant Hannan to me, to this mirror […] in this mirror you shall
see all that you yearn for". In that mirror reflection, Hannan sees his death, for which he yearns
on his journey for redemption. This magical mirror opens a portal before us to the wonderland of
demons and liliths, palaces and gateways that lead to yet more gateways, the Chariot of Ascension
and revelations. Hannan and Leah are repeatedly imprisoned in the abysmal cycle of reflections that
does not, and may never allow release from the shackles of reflections and fulfillment of their heart’s
desire. In fact, what is this theatre of reflections if not yet another of our reflections? And what are
the shackles binding Hannan and Leah if not our own?
Backstage in the theatre of The Dybbuk Leah companions dress her in a wig and gown and prepare
her for the role of her life - the eternal bride. From there, she mounts the stage together with the
groom in the form of a sad clown, and the town rabbi in the form of the master of ceremonies of the
ball, accompanied by the wedding guests dressed in splendid, colorful costumes, as if detached from
the dark, sinister, threatening existence. The colorful and joyous wedding spectacle becomes a quasi
performance and the guests watching the wedding become, as it were, actors from a different play.
The conventional actor-spectator principle is challenged here, with the actors portraying spectators,
who are engaged in an enjoyable game of role playing. The entire performance takes place on a
stage positioned on a stage. On this stage of history Hannan and Azriel battle like gladiators for the
spotlight, to lead the performance, for the audience’s hearts and faith, and on this stage altar Leah’s
body and soul will be sacrificed, the victim of their war.
And above them all, as if in a puppet theatre, rag dolls of the bride and groom hang from the water
pipes of the auditorium, as a further reflection of yet another existence, another unfulfilled love. They
watch the entire performance of The Dybbuk through the generations. The dolls would no doubt like
to stop the cycle of bloodshed, the black betrothal ceremonies that resonate throughout history, but
being made of rags and two buttons, all they can do is observe us in terror as we watch the elderly
Yiddish-speaking couple watching the performance of The Dybbuk and the tragedy of us all in the
theatrical reflections of death.
The dense presence of ceremonies in the play makes the experience even more theatrical. The
ceremonies, which are held within the congregation, necessitate the presence of the person performing
the ceremony, the performer, his congregation, strict rules that are known to everyone in advance,
and so forth. In effect, by means of the ceremonies, a kind of theatre is created within the play itself,
and we, the audience, simultaneously watch its performers and spectators. Thus, for example, we
- 87 -
witness the exorcism ceremony of the dybbuk, a ceremony that requires a quorum to witness it and
for prayer; a Jewish law ceremony, in which the spirit of Nissan is summoned to give evidence; and
the numerous wedding ceremonies: the first wedding ceremony is interrupted by the brutal murder of
the bride and groom and all their guests, the second goes awry for a dybbuk has entered the bride, the
third, which Rabbi Azriel decrees should be held immediately after the dybbuk has been exorcised,
doesn't take place due to the bride’s death, and the final wedding ceremony, in which the lovers are
united forever in death. The wedding ceremonies are reflected within one another like an infinite
game of mirrors, alluding to the preceding ceremonies, hoping to fulfill them, but succeed in doing
so only as a reflection, in fantasy.
In the world that Yerushalmi mounts on the stage life does not attain fulfillment as it should. Death
frustrates the hopes of the young, of dreamers, of the innocent. The theatre is the only place that allows
the dead to live. Only the stage can declare victory over death. Yerushalmi’s dead are resurrected
every evening, remove their death masks and are given another opportunity to love.
- 88 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Monday, 4 Tevet, December 21, 2009
- 89 -
Focus of The Day
Collaborative Planning in the Schools
Essential questions for the day
How can we best use our time in
the schools to effectively plan our
delegations and joint curriculum?
What areas of joint planning do we
need to focus on for the coming year?
What does our "Action Plan" for the
coming year look like?
- 90 -
Work at the Schools
How can we best use our time in the schools to effectively plan our delegations and joint
What areas of joint planning do we need to focus on for the coming year?
What does our “Action Plan" for the coming year look like?
- 91 -
- 92 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Tuesday, 5 Tevet, December 22, 2009
- 93 -
Focus of The Day
Collaborative Planning in the Schools &
Sharing Ideas to Improve our Programs
Essential questions for the day
As we conclude our work together in
the school, do we have a written Action
Plan we agree on?
What are the issues and challenges we
face as coordinators, and how can we
share ideas and creatively problem solve
- 94 -
Continued work at the schools
Workshop: "Partners Café" - Raising Ideas for Improving
the Curricula and Resolving the Challenges Facing Us
(Educational Staff)
Format: "Partners Café"
The Partnership Café
The Partnership Café is an approach to having meaningful discussions about questions that matter. It
is based on a process known as The World Café.
Within the atmosphere of a relaxed café (tables with candles, jazz or classical music, snacks on each
table), participants have an opportunity to explore questions on issues that are important to the group,
and collect and share their discoveries.
To create a successful Partnership Café you need to:
*Determine the topic you want to explore together
*Create a hospitable, café-like environment
*Explore questions that matter—a powerful question:
* Is simple and clear
* Is thought provoking
* Generates energy
* Focuses inquiry
* Opens new possibilities
* Invites deeper reflection
* Seeks what is useful
*Encourage Everyone’s Contribution
*Connect Diverse Perspectives
*Ensure Participants listen together and notice patterns in the conversation
*Share collective discoveries
*Create a menu for each guest which lists the 5-6 questions they can select to discuss; each person
will have time to discuss 3 questions.
*Cover each table with a colorful tablecloth and large sheets of paper to document the discussion.
*Have a container of colored markers on each table, as well as a candle and/or flowers and
*Assign someone at each table to make sure the conversation is productive.
*Each ‘round" of questions should last about 20-30 minutes. The facilitator rings a bell and the
group rotates to new tables, selecting the conversation they want to participate it.
*Three “rounds" (60-90 minutes total) is reasonable.
*At the conclusion, gather the group together to debrief and discuss the process as a whole as well
as insights gained.
*Collect the papers with the writing, and if time permits, hang them up so the group can review them all.
The notes can be typed up and distributed later.
- 95 -
Ideas for adapting the Partnership Café for the School Twinning Program
*Programmatic ideas and challenges can be discussed, shared and documented
*Preparation programs for delegations can use this model; students rotate around tables discussing
specific issues in small groups at each table
*A parent/student orientation was developed by Kadima Middle School in L.A. using the Café. Each
table had a different activity and discussion addressing different issues families needed to be
aware of.
*Debriefing delegations: the café can be used as a opportunity for focused reflection when delegations
return so they can process what they learned.
Joint Seminar Final Party
About the performance "Dialog"
Dialogue in The Language of Dance
A dance performance and martial arts,
Two different languages, influencing each other,
Blurring the borders of identity,
Creating a Dialogue worth fighting for.
Limor Goldberg, Lylo.
Music editor: Amit Goldberg
- 96 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
Wednesday, 6 Tevet, December 23, 2009
- 97 -
Focus of The Day
Developing An Expressive Language
Between Twin Schools
Essential questions for the day
How can we use "metaphoric
languages," ie. The arts, literature,
Jewish symbols, prayer to create
a bridge between diverse Jewish
What is the language of Partnership How can we express and expand our
understanding of Jewish language and
create a shared vocabulary?
- 98 -
Opening a Window: Deborah Kolin, Yoram Amir
Opening a Window - Yoram Amir and Deborah Kollin
About the language sung in sadness and in joy, and about the tunes that create a Jewish atmosphere.
The song that they will present at the Opening a Window session talks about a Jew who was sent
by the landowner he works for to buy the most expensive and most amazing and beautiful horse in
existence (that's what interests the Gentile). But the Jew hears a tune!
Wherever we Jews may be, whether in Israel or in the Diaspora, the songs and the chants are what
lead us home and preserve us as a thriving nation.
"The last line in the song, which describes how everyone is ridiculing the tune,
And it's only the rabbi who understands that this is the tune
'That we'll sing when the Messiah Ben David comes',
Always manages to give me goose bumps even though I'm not a religious person."
A Ballad About A Horse With A Spot on Its Forehead
Lyrics: Yoram Teharlev
Music: Matti Caspi
"Have you seen this wonderful horse?
Run quickly to the fair and buy me a horse like that
With a spot on its forehead
And a spot on its back
And a shiny silver hair in its tail"
That's what the landowner told Moshka the stableman
And gave him a hundred rubles so he would leave right away.
Moshka goes to the fair and, oh, what luck
Next to an inn stood a Gentile with a similar white horse
With a spot on its forehead
And a spot on its back
And a shiny silver hair in its tail
And the Gentile, a young man, stood there daydreaming
And under his breath sang a tune like this:
Ay - ay - ay…
"Please teach me the song, do me a favor"
Moshka says to him, and the Gentile replies:
"First pay me
What is customary
- 99 -
The price of the tune is fifty rubles"
Moshka pulls out his bundle and pays right away
And a moment later they're both singing in perfect harmony.
Ay - ay - ay…
The singing has ended and Moshka then remembers:
"Hey, how much will this wonderful horse cost me?
With a spot on its forehead
And a spot on its back
And a shiny silver hair in its tail"
"A hundred rubles, the Gentile says, and Moshka replies:
"I've already paid fifty, I'll give you another fifty"
"No, no and no, the Gentile laughs, there's fair trade here
For fifty you've already received the tune
They don't go together
And a song is not for free."
Moshka hid his bundle and took off
He walked around the market stalls, not stopping for a moment
And hummed to himself the tune he had learned:
Ay - ay - ay…
Just across from the fair, oh, what luck!
Stood another Gentile with a similar white horse
With a spot on its forehead
And a spot on its back
And a shiny silver hair in its tail.
And the Gentile was singing a song, listen and hear
A tune which kind of follows the other tune:
Ay - ay - ay…
"Please teach me the song, do me a favor"
Says Moshka to him - and the Gentile replies:
"First pay me
What is customary
The price of the tune is fifty rubles"
Moshka removes his bundle and pays him right away
And a moment later they're both singing in perfect harmony.
Ay - ay - ay…
And when they finished singing, he remembered once again:
"Hey, how much will this wonderful horse cost me"
With a spot on its forehead
And a spot on its back
And a shiny silver hair in its tail?"
- 100 -
"A hundred rubles" says the Gentile and Moshka "ay ay ay
I've paid fifty and I'll throw in my boots."
"No, no and no, the horse alone costs a hundred rubles
You paid me fifty for this tune"
Ay - ay - ay…
Moshka returns without the horse and the landowner ah-ha
Beats him and kicks him off the estate
With a spot on his forehead and a spot on his back
And his wife and children are evicted after him
And on the roads between village and village, between forest and city
Even in hunger and even in a frost, they didn't stop singing:
Ay - ay - ay…
One day after many years on the road they reached
The district capital where the famous rabbi lived
The rabbi sat comfortably, staring at them
Then three Saturday night stars appeared
And he asked "where have you come from and where will you spend the night?"
And they tried to tell him, but instead just the tune came out:
Ay - ay - ay…
All the yeshiva students laughed, the Chasidim laughed
But the veins in the rabbi's forehead were about to pop
The rabbi struck his desk
And shouted at them:
"Are you truly deaf, can't you hear?
We've always been waiting for this tune
We'll sing it when the Messiah ben David arrives"
Ay - ay - ay…
- 101 -
‫בלדה על סוס עם כתם על המצח‬
‫מילים‪ :‬יורם טהרלב‬
‫לחן‪ :‬מתי כספי‬
‫"האם ראית את הסוס הנהדר הזה?‬
‫רוץ אל היריד מהר וקנה לי סוס כזה‬
‫עם כתם על המצח‬
‫וכתם על הגב‬
‫ושערה של כסף זוהרת בזנב"‬
‫כך אמר לו הפריץ‪ ,‬למושקה הסייס‬
‫ונתן לו מאה רובל שייצא מיד‪.‬‬
‫עומד לו גוי אחר בכלל עם סוס לבן כנ"ל‬
‫עם כתם על המצח‬
‫וכתם על הגב‬
‫ושערה של כסף זוהרת בזנב?‬
‫והגוי משמיע שיר הקשיבו ושמעו‬
‫מן ניגון שהוא המשך של הניגון ההוא‪:‬‬
‫הולך לו מושקה ליריד ואוי איזה מזל‬
‫ליד פונדק עומד לו גוי עם סוס לבן כנ"ל‬
‫עם כתם על המצח‬
‫וכתם על הגב‬
‫ושערה של כסף זוהרת בזנב‬
‫והגוי‪ ,‬בחור צעיר‪ ,‬ניצב לו והוזה‬
‫ומתחת לשפמו הוא שר ניגון כזה‪:‬‬
‫"נא למדני את השיר‪ ,‬עשה נא לי טובה"‬
‫כך אומר לו מושקה‪ ,‬והגוי‪ -‬בפיו תשובה‪:‬‬
‫"תשלם לי קודם‬
‫כמו שמקובל‬
‫מחירו של הניגון הוא חמישים רובל"‬
‫מושקה את צרורו מוציא ומשלם מיד‬
‫ואחרי דקה שרים שניהם כאיש אחד‬
‫"נא למדני את השיר‪ ,‬עשה נא לי טובה"‬
‫כך אומר לו מושקה‪ ,‬והגוי‪ -‬בפיו תשובה‪:‬‬
‫"תשלם לי קודם‬
‫כמו שמקובל‬
‫מחירו של הניגון הוא חמישים רובל"‬
‫מושקה את צרורו מוציא ומשלם מיד‬
‫ואחרי דקה שרים שניהם כאיש אחד‪.‬‬
‫השירה חלפה עברה ומושקה אז נזכר‪:‬‬
‫"הי‪ ,‬בכמה יעלה לי זה הסוס הנהדר?‬
‫עם כתם על המצח‬
‫וכתם על הגב‬
‫ושערה של כסף זוהרת בזנב"‬
‫"מאה רובל" סח הגוי ומושקה אז משיב‪:‬‬
‫"חמישים שילמתי כבר‪ ,‬אתן עוד חמישים"‬
‫"לא לא ולא צוחק הגוי פה יש מסחר הגון‬
‫תמורת החמישים קיבלת כבר את הניגון‬
‫זה לא הולך ביחד‬
‫ושיר אינו חינם"‪.‬‬
‫הצניע מושקה את צרורו והסתלק משם‬
‫טייל בין דוכני השוק לרגע לא עמד‬
‫ולעצמו זימר הוא את השיר אשר למד‪:‬‬
‫ממש מעבר ליריד א‪-‬הו איזה מזל!‬
‫‪- 102 -‬‬
Lecture: "The Role of Language and the Word in Jewish
Culture: Becoming Familiar With Women's Prayer" - Dr.
Aliza Lavie
Dr. Aliza Lavie - biographical information
Dr. Aliza Lavie is a lecturer in the Department of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University, and a
counselor and academic advisor for M.A. students. Her areas of research include communications,
multi-culturalism in Israel, and women in Judaism. She has Weekly TV show - "Ve-ha-Reshut
Netuna", channel 10.
Her book A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book Tefilat Nashim is winner of 2008 National Jewish Book
Award and a best-seller, and she is a sought-after speaker in Israel and overseas, on subjects relating
to women’s prayers, Jewish culture and identity, Israeli society, and Israel-Diaspora relations.
She will be spending the first semester of the 2008-2009 academic year as a Research Associate at
the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, at Brandeis University.
Aliza Lavie is the daughter of Menashe and Miriam Mashiah, a former high-school principal and
director of Netanya’s Department of Education, and a retired mathematics teacher, respectively.
She is the granddaughter of Hana and Avraham Mashiah, o.b.m., who moved to Palestine from
Afghanistan in the 1920’s as enthusiastic Zionists, settling in the Bukharian quarter in Jerusalem. Her
maternal grandparents were Rosa and Shelomo Yosefson, o.b.m., who immigrated from Romania
after the establishment of the State of Israel. Aliza is married to Tzuriel, a lawyer, and they have four
Her doctoral dissertation was completed at Bar Ilan University, on the subject of “Radio and Gender
in Israel: Men and Women on News and Current Events Programs at the “Voice of Israel" and Army
Radio". This was one of the first attempts at an integrated analysis - both qualitative and quantitative
- of the issue of gender, the products of the Israeli media, and their organizational aspect.
The connection between gender and the media continues to occupy Aliza Lavie, and she is active
in a number of academic, social and public initiatives to promote the status of women in Israel in
general, and in the media in particular. She is a former deputy editor of “Patuah", a journal published
by the Department of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University, and is a Content Advisor to the Second
Broadcasting Authority.
Aliza’s book A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book Tefilat Nashim a collection of women’s prayers, was
published by Yedioth Aharonoth in 2005 and has sold more than 95,000 copies, earning "Gold Book"
& “Platinum Book" award. An English edition - A Jewish Woman’s Prayer Book, was published by"Random House, New York.
- 103 -
From ‘Women’s Prayer’ - Dr. Aliza Lavie
Spiegel & Grau, Random House, NY
Winner of the 2008 National Jewish Book Award
PRAYER NO. 1 For Beautifying the Synagogue
Prayer book of the Jewish community of Rome
He Who blessed Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah - may He bless every daughter of Israel who fashions a
coat or covering with which to adorn the Torah, or who prepares a candle in honor of the Torah. May the Holy
One, blessed be He, pay her reward and grant her the good that she deserves, and let us say Amen.
‫ט ַּפחַת לִכ ְבֹוד הַּתֹוָרה ו ְ ַה ְמ ַת ֶּקנ ֶת נ ֵר לִכְבֹוד‬
ְ ‫ש ֵבַּרְך שָָרה ִרבְָקה ָרחֵל וְלֵאָה הּוא יְבֵָרְך אֶת כָּל ַבּת יִשְָראֵל שֶעֹושָה ְמעִיל אֹו ִמ‬
ֶ ‫מִי‬
.‫שכָָרּה וְי ִ ֵתּן לָּה גְּמּולָּה הַּטֹוב וְנֹאמַר ָאמֵן‬
ְ ‫שלֵּם‬
ַ ְ ‫ הַקב"ה י‬.‫הַּתֹוָרה‬
PRAYER NO. 2 Prayer of a Mother-in-Law
Shulamit Eisenbach
Hashem, Creator of the world: nothing is hidden from You;
Search my innermost parts and imbue me with a good spirit.
Grant me favor in the eyes of my sons-in-law and my daughters,
and grace with my sons and daughters-in-law.
Let me see no flaws in them, nor hear any faults;
Let me feel no resentment towards them, nor act in a miserly way;
Let no hint of jealousy be aroused in me, nor any vice lurk within.
Let me always find them at a good time, and nourish them with warmth and love.
Let them be worthy of raising their children with joy
and earning a comfortable living;
Let them be blessed from the Source of blessing from Your generous and blessed hand.
Let me be worthy of the greatest kindness,
that I may give thanks and perform goodness.
I place my faith in You, my God, and spread my prayer before You;
Let my lips utter prayer to You in awe and praise.
‫ ו ְ ֶחסֶד לִ ְפנ ֵי ָּבנ ַי‬,‫ ֵתּן חִינ ִי ְּבעֵינ ֵי ֲח ָתנ ִי ּובְנֹותַי‬.‫ שִים רּו ַח טֹובָה ְבִּקְר ִבּי‬,‫ ְּבחַן ּכִלְיֹותַי וְלִ ִבּי‬.‫ ִמ ּלְ ָפנ ֶיָך אֵין נ ֶ ֱעלָם‬,‫ה’ ּבֹוֵרא הָעֹולָם‬
‫ שֶֹּלא יִתְעֹוֵרר‬.‫ שֶֹּלא ְּתהֵא י ִָדי ְקצָָרה‬,‫ שֶֹּלא ְּתהֵא עֵינ ִי ָבּם צָָרה‬.‫שמַע ְּדבִָרים ָרעִים‬
ְ ‫ שֶֹּלא ֶא‬,‫ שֶֹּלא אְֶראֶה ָבּם כָּל נ ְג ָעִים‬.‫וְכַּלֹותַי‬
‫שי ִּז ְּכּו לְג ֵַדּל יַלְֵדיהֶם‬
ֶ .‫ש ִפּי ַע ֲעלֵיהֶם חֹם ו ְ ַא ֲהבָה‬
ְ ‫ש ַא‬
ֶ ,‫שעָה טֹובָה‬
ָ ‫ש ֶא ְמ ְצאֵם ָּתמִיד ְּב‬
ֶ .‫שעָה‬
ְ ‫ שֶֹּלא ִּת ָּמצֵא ִבּי כָּל ִר‬,‫שמֶץ ִקנ ְאָה‬
ֶ ‫ִבּי‬
‫ש ֶא ְהי ֶה ְראּוי ָה לַ ֶחסֶד‬
ֶ .‫ ַּתחַת י ְָדָך הְָר ָחבָה ו ְ ַה ְבּרּוכ ָה‬,‫שי ִּז ְּכּו לְ ִה ְת ָבֵּרְך ִמ ְמּקֹור ַה ְבָּרכָה‬
ֶ .‫ש ְּתהֵא ַפְּרנ ָ ָסתָם מְצּוי ָה ִבְּרוָחָה‬
ֶ ,‫ש ְמחָה‬
ִ ‫ְּב‬
.‫ לְָך נֹוָרא ְּת ִהלָּה‬,‫ש ָפתַי ַּת ַּב ְענ ָה ְּת ִפלָּה‬
ְ .‫שטַח‬
ְ ‫שתִי לְ ָפנ ֶיָך ֶא‬
ָ ‫ ַּב ָּק‬,‫ ְבָּך אֱֹלַקי ֶא ְבטַח‬.‫ שֶאּוכַל לְהֹודֹות ו ְטֹובָה לִג ְמֹל‬,‫ַהגָּדֹול‬
PRAYER NO. 3 Pesach, 5705, Auschwitz.
Toby Trackeltaub
We wish to celebrate but we are unable to, we desire
to believe and that is the only thing that we have that they are unable to take
from us; in it is memory, that alone can give us hope for a better and more beautiful future that we wish
to think about and not to lower our heads.
- 104 -
And if God redeemed our forefathers from Egypt, He will also save
us from our bitter enslavement, and restore us to the land of our forefathers.
‫ אֲנּו ַח ְפצִים‬,‫ֲאנ ַחְנּו רֹוצִים לְ ַחג ֵג ֲאבַל אֵינ ֵנּו י ְכֹולִים‬
,‫שאֵינ ָיו י ְחֹולִים‬
ֵ ‫לְ ַה ַאמִין ו ְ ּכְבַר ַהיְחִיִדי מָה שֵיש לָנּו ּומָה‬
‫לַַקחַת ֵמ ִאתָנּו בּו ַהז ִכָּרֹון ָרק ז ֶה י ָכֹול לָתֵת לָנּו ִתְּקו ָה לְ ַעתִיד טֹוב וְיָפֶה יֹותֵר‬
.‫ָעלַיו אֲנּו רֹוצִים לַחְשֹוב ו ְֹלא לְהֹוִריד אֶת ראֹושֵנּו‬
‫וְאִם ה’ ג ַאַל אֶת אַבֹותֵינּו ִמ ִמצְָרים יָצִיל ג ַם‬
.‫ וְיָשִיבֵנּו לְאֵֶרץ אֲבֹותֵינּו‬.‫אֹותָנּו ֵמ ַעבְדּותֵנּו ַהמַָרה‬
PRAYER NO. 4 Hanna
Samuel I 1:13
“Hanna spoke in her heart; only her lips moved,
but her voice was not audible, and Eli thought she was drunk“
.)13 ‫ א‬,‫שכָֹּרה" (שמואל א‬
ִ ְ‫ש ֶב ָה ֵעלִי ל‬
ְ ‫ש ֵמ ַע וַי ַּ ְח‬
ָּ ִ ‫ש ָפתֶי ָה נ ָּעֹות ו ְקֹולָּה ֹלא י‬
ְ ‫לִ ָבּּה ַרק‬-‫“ו ְ ַחנ ָּה הִיא מְַד ֶבֶּרת עַל‬
“‘Hanna spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard, and Eli thought she was
drunk‘: We learn that prayer requires the intention of the heart. And from the words, ‘only her lips
moved‘ we learn that one must move his lips - in other words, he must form the words of the prayer
with his lips, not only in his heart. And from [the words], ‘but her voice could not be heard‘ - [we learn]
that one should not raise his voice in prayer, but rather that prayer should be recited in a whisper. And
from the continuation of the verse, ‘Eli thought that she was drunk‘ we learn that one who is drunk may
not pray, and for this reason Eli reproached her.“
(Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 31a).
Based on the teachings of Rabbi Nahman of Breslov
Loving God
So numerous are
Those deprived of true love;
So many
Cannot find their match.
Have mercy upon them.
Source of love Allow
Every solitary, lonely soul
To experience the completion
That comes
with finding one‘s match.
‫ ֵתּן‬,‫ מְקֹור ָה ַא ֲהבָה‬.‫ ַרחֵם ֲעלֵיהֶם‬.‫ כֹּה ַר ִבּים הֵם ַחסְֵרי ַא ֲהבַת ָה ֱאמֶת; כֹּה ַר ִבּים אֵינ ָם מֹו ְצאִים אֶת ז ִּוּוג ָם‬,‫אֵל אֹוהֵב‬
.‫שלֵמּות הַּנֹו ַבעַת ִמ ְּמצִיאַת ז ִּוּוג‬
ְּ ‫ לַחֲוֹות אֶת ַה‬,‫שמָה ּבֹוֵדדָה וְג ַלְמּודָה‬
ָ ְ ‫לְכ ָל נ‬
- 105 -
Young Girl‘s Prayer
Fanny Neuda
Our God Who is in heaven and on earth, God Who is good: You attend to all of Your creatures; faithful
Father, all of Your creations take refuge under Your wings.
You have called me, too, Your daughter; to me, too, You extend Your love—an eternal love. My childhood
has passed in green pastures; I thank you for my happy youth; I thank You for what I am. You have given
me all kinds of goodness: a dear mother and father at my side, guiding me with gentleness and love, with
advice and help, caring for me and sustaining me, enhancing my life with sweet and heartwarming joys.
With humility, my Lord, I approach You, revealing the hidden secrets of my heart, and offering thanks to You.
You see into my soul; my innermost being is before You as an open book. No emotion that moves my
heart, no breath, no utterance of my voice, no thought that animates my soul—none is hidden from
Your eyes. If only all my emotions, my thoughts, and my actions might find favor and grace before You.
Deliver me from the evil inclination and imbue my heart with submission and humility.
Our Father Who is in heaven: guide my heart to choose the way that is good and not to deviate from the
straight path. Wherever I—lacking experience—am unable to distinguish between good and evil, grace
me with Your wisdom, teach me to recognize the truth, that I may maintain modesty and good traits, that
I may punctiliously observe Your words and Your commandments with faith and with love, and walk
before You wholeheartedly and with devotion.
Let my heart not follow vanity and emptiness, and let the pleasures of the world not cloud my vision,
that I not waste my precious life—the life given to me to fulfill my obligations. May it be Your will that
I not turn, in a moment of frivolity, from the words of Your mouth; that virginal honor and a pure heart
be a precious adornment for me.
Bless me, my Lord, with understanding and insight, with a healthy body and soul, with a heart that is
joyful and content. May I never deviate from the commandment of honoring one‘s father and mother,
and not offend or anger my dear parents, so that I may succeed in bringing them happiness through my
actions. Bestow Your blessing, my God, upon my loved ones; that illness, trouble, and anxiety never
be their lot; that they may enjoy success in their endeavors and fulfillment of their hearts‘ wishes; and
may their occupations and work bear abundant fruit. Bless them, my God, with long life, that they may
rejoice in their lifetimes with strength and good health of body and soul. Amen.
From the Introduction:
“Unfortunately, however, today people attend to that which is external and sparkling, but that heart with
its flowers and its seeds is increasingly neglected, and left to the whims of time… Religious instruction
is given marginal attention; it is regarded as an insignificant matter of no value. Nevertheless, nobility
of emotions and profound religiosity are a woman‘s most precious adornments… Only with these do
they become a blessing to the home and to the world, for the present and for the future. Therefore, noble
Jewish women, we must ensure that our daughters do not lose this valuable adornment. We must make
it their teachers‘ first obligation to instruct them in God‘s commandments and His wonders; they must
tell them about the history of our forefathers and their fate… Let us accompany our daughters to the
synagogue, where the sermon, the singing and the prayers will enhance and refine the woman‘s soul,
sanctify lofty emotions, and lead to a love for God. But in order for the participation in the prayer to be
productive, for the tunes and melodies that are heard at the synagogue to reverberate in the woman‘s
soul, it is necessary to overcome a further obstacle: knowledge and understanding of the Holy Tongue,
in which the prayer service is conducted. Without it, we heard only words, but no messages; the tunes
penetrate our ears but not our hearts; we pray with our lips but not with our souls. The holy songs for
Zion, the wonderful psalms by David, the uplifting and exalted prayers of Israel remain obscure and
closed to us. Our daughters, who devote much time and conscientiousness to studying the piano, and
opera, and to studying languages that are all the fashion - why should they not devote an hour each day
to studying the Holy Tongue, worthy of honor as the mother of all languages, since it is the key to those
treasures of the spirit and the heart which God inscribed in His book, known as the Book of books… In
every part of the world, in Cincinnati and in Bombay, in Tunis and in Warsaw, in Vienna and in London,
from the synagogue there still emerges the same language in which God spoke at Mount Sinai.“
- 106 -
Workshops Dealing With Art as Language:
Music as a Common Language - Yehuda Katz
Two staff members from Artists and Musicians for Israel, Yehudah Katz and Josh Lauffer take you on
a journey to explore new techniques to do hands on work to teach Jewish content through the use of
the arts. Their project “Neshima" makes use of composition, lyric writing and meditation to
Make a longer lasting impression on the students’ heart and soul.
Judaica, Objects and Symbols - Bill Gross
Video Art - Efrat Kedem
Plastic Art - Shari Davis
Concluding Activity: Implementing New Ideas from the
Joint Seminar
- 107 -
Wrap-Up, Feedback, and Verbal and Written Evaluation
of the Seminar
Before We Part
‫לפני שנפרדים‬
Nurit Bat-Shahar Tzafrir
‫שחר צפריר‬-‫נורית בת‬
Before we part we stop for another moment
Our hand is not empty, we throw another kiss
Which is not forgotten among friends.
.‫לפני שנפרדים עוצרים לעוד דקה‬
‫ שולחים עוד נשיקה‬,‫היד אינה ריקה‬
.‫שלא שוכחים בין ידידים‬
Before we part, when the lights are turned off,
Talking eyes are lit between the lines,
Which is not forgotten among friends.
,‫ בזמן כיבוי אורות‬,‫לפני שנפרדים‬
,‫דולקות בין השורות עיניים מדברות‬
.‫שלא שוכחים בין ידידים‬
So, when the curtain comes down,
We will part
Until the next time,
Only until the next time.
,‫ולכן כשהמסך ירד‬
‫אנחנו ניפרד‬
,‫עד הפעם הבאה‬
.‫רק עד הפעם הבאה‬
Before we part we hug bouquets of flowers,
The tear is wiped with some smiles,
Which is not forgotten among friends.
,‫לפני שנפרדים חובקים זרי פרחים‬
,‫את הדימעה מוחים בכמה חיוכים‬
.‫שלא שוכחים בין ידידים‬
Before we part the end quickly approaches ,
We feel the proximity at the end of a good hour,
Which is not forgotten among friends.
,‫לפני שנפרדים הסוף קרב ובא‬
,‫חשים את הקירבה בסוף שעה טובה‬
.‫שלא שוכחים בין ידידים‬
So, when the curtain comes down…
...‫ולכן כשהמסך ירד‬
"Tefilat Haderech" (The Traveler's Prayer)
May it be Your will, Eternal One, our God and the God of our ancestors,
that You lead us toward peace, emplace our footsteps towards peace,
guide us toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace.
May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush, bandits and wild animals along the way,
and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to Earth. May You send blessing in
our every handiwork, and grant us peace, kindness, and mercy in your eyes and in the eyes of all
who see us. May You hear the sound of our supplication, because You are the God who hears
prayer and supplications. Blessed are You, Eternal One, who hears prayer.
‫תפילת הדרך‬
,‫יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו‬
,‫שתוליכנו לשלום ותצעידנו לשלום ותדריכנו לשלום‬
.‫ותגיענו למחוז חפצנו לחיים ולשמחה ולשלום‬
,‫ותצילנו מכף כל אויב ואורב בדרך‬
,‫ומכל מיני פורענויות המתרגשות לבוא לעולם‬
,‫ותשלח ברכה במעשה ידינו‬
,‫ותתננו לחן ולחסד ולרחמים בעיניך ובעיני כל רואינו‬
,‫ כי אל שומע תפילה ותחנון אתה‬,‫ותשמע קול תחנונינו‬
.‫ברוך אתה ה' שומע תפילה‬
- 108 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
The "Invasion" of the Hebrew Language
by Foreign Words
Suggested Reading on the Topic of
Jewish Languages
Contact Information
- 109 -
- 110 -
‫‪The "Invasion" of the Hebrew Language‬‬
‫‪by Foreign Words‬‬
‫מילים עבריות שחדרו ליידיש‪ ,‬וחזרו אח"כ לעברית עם גוני משמעות חדשים‪:‬‬
‫א־מחייה ‪ -‬תענוג‪ ,‬משיב נפש‬
‫בלבוסטה ‪ -‬אישה שמנהלת את העניינים‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬באלאבאסטע ‪ -‬בעלת הבית‬
‫גזלן ‪ -‬מוכר אוכל‪ ,‬לרוב ליד בסיס צבאי‪ ,‬המפקיע מחירים בזכות הבלעדיות שלו במקום‪ .‬ביידיש‪ :‬שודד‪ ,‬פושע אלים‪.‬‬
‫ּדֹוס ‪ -‬כינוי לדתי‪-‬חרדי‪ .‬במקור‪" :‬דוסי" ‪ -‬דתי בהגייה יידית‬
‫דיבוק ‪ -‬רוח שנכנסה במישהו ומסרבת לצאת (מהמילה דבקות)‬
‫חוכעם ‪ -‬חכמולוג‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬חכם‬
‫חלֹושעס ‪ -‬חולשה‪ ,‬בחילה‪ ,‬חוסר הכרה‬
‫כלייזמר ‪ -‬נגן בשמחות יהודיות‬
‫לא יוצלח (בהגייה מלעילית) ‪ -‬לוזר‪ ,‬אדם שאין לצפות ממנו להצליח במשהו‬
‫ָמ ז ְלְטֹוב ‪ -‬בסלנג‪ :‬ברכה מזלזלת‪ .‬נאמרת לרוב לכבוד דבר שהיה צריך להעשות מזמן או בקלות‬
‫ּפּוׁשְ ט ‪ -‬זול‪ ,‬פחות־ערך‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬פשוט‬
‫ׁשָאּבֶעס ‪ -‬במקור‪ :‬שבת‬
‫שייגעץ ‪ -‬גוי צעיר חצוף; פוחח‪ ,‬פרחח (גם ככינוי של חיבה)‪ .‬במקור‪ׁ :‬שֶֶקץ (דבר מאוס‪ ,‬טמא)‬
‫ָּת ְכלֶ'ס או תכלס ‪ -‬בפועל‪ ,‬למעשה; עיקר העניין הוא‪( ..‬ביידיש היא נכתבת‪ַ :‬תכ ְלִית)‬
‫מילים שמקורן ביידיש‬
‫אידישקייט ‪ -‬מסורת יהודית‪" .‬תנו לילדים קצת אידישקייט" ‪ -‬העניקו להם מסורת יהודית‬
‫אלטע זאכן ‪ -‬חפצים משומשים שאין בהם צורך‪ .‬הצירוף משמש כקריאה של רוכלים הנוסעים מבית לבית וקונים רהיטים‬
‫וחפצים משומשים‪ .‬מילולית (בגרמנית)‪ - alte Sachen :‬דברים ישנים‬
‫בובקעס ‪ -‬איצטרובלי הברוש‪ .‬ביידיש‪ :‬דברים קטנים וחסרי ערך‪ ,‬שעועית קטנה‬
‫בוטקה ‪ -‬ביתן (למכירת כרטיסים‪ ,‬של שוער‪ ,‬איש מכס וכד')‪ .‬מצ'כית או מגרמנית (‪ - Bude‬ביתן) ‪' +‬קה‬
‫בלוף ‪ -‬שקר‪ ,‬בדיה‪" ,‬עבודה בעיניים"‬
‫בלופר ‪ -‬שקרן‪ ,‬לרוב במובן לא מזיק‬
‫בלינצ'ס ‪( -‬בלינצ'ה) חביתית‬
‫בראנז'ה (במקור זאת מילה פולנית‪ Branza :‬שמשמעה ענף‪ ,‬תחום עיסוק) ‪ -‬היום המילה משמשת לתאור תחום התקשורת‬
‫ברֹוך ‪ -‬הסתבכות‪ ,‬תקלה (אוי א‪-‬ברוך)‪ .‬מגרמנית‪ - Bruch :‬שבירה‪ ,‬הפרה‪.‬‬
‫גורנישט ‪ -‬כלום‪ ,‬שום דבר‪ .‬נאמר לרוב בנימה סרקסטית כשמצפים לקבל משהו בעל תוכן‪ .‬במקור מגרמנית‪gar nicht :‬‬
‫ כלום‪ ,‬בכלל לא‪.‬‬‫גטקס ‪ -‬לבנים ארוכים‬
‫ג'וק ‪ -‬תיקן‪ ,‬מקק‬
‫גזונטהייט ‪ -‬לבריאות‬
‫גליק ‪ -‬מזל‪ ,‬אושר ("זה לא כזה גליק")‬
‫געוואלד ‪ -‬זוועה‪ ,‬ביטוי של זעזוע (ביידיש‪ :‬גוואלד ‪ -‬חרום)‬
‫גרעפס ‪ -‬גיהוק‬
‫דוך ‪ -‬הליכה בקו ישר ללא סטיות (מגרמנית‪ - durch :‬מעבר או פריצת דרך)‬
‫דרעק ‪ -‬חרא (בגרמנית‪ - Dreck :‬לכלוך)‪ .‬בשימוש כמילת גנאי‬
‫הלך פייפן ‪ -‬התקלקל כך שאי אפשר עוד לתקנו (מגרמנית‪ - pfeifen :‬לשרוק)‬
‫זבנג ‪ -‬חבטה‪" .‬זבנג וגמרנו" ‪ -‬שיטה לא מוצלחת לפתרון בעיות מסובכות בפעולה אחת חזקה‬
‫חאפר ‪( -‬ביידיש‪ :‬אחד שחוטף‪ ,‬אוחז בחפץ ולוקח לעצמו) נהג מונית עצמאי‬
‫"חאפ לאפ" ‪ -‬הוא עושה את העבודה שלו חאפ לאפ (לוקח מפה ומשם)‪ ,‬בלי להשקיע‬
‫חְרֹוּפ ‪( -‬חַָרּפ ‪ -‬יַחְרֹוּפ) ‪ -‬ישן‬
‫טיש ‪ -‬ארוחת ליל שבת אצל הרב'ה החרדי‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬שולחן‬
‫טָָרָראם ‪ -‬רעש גדול‪" ,‬ביג דיל"‬
‫יאכנע ‪ -‬מישהי העסוקה בכפייתיות בחיטוט בעניניהם של אחרים ובהשמצתם‬
‫יארצייט ‪ -‬יום זכרון (בשימוש בקהילה החרדית)‬
‫‪- 111 -‬‬
‫מאכער ‪ -‬איש עם קשרים‪ ,‬שיש לו מהלכים אצל הרשויות; "מביא ומוציא"‪ .‬מילולית‪ :‬איש שעושה דברים (כמו ‪)maker‬‬
‫מישמָש ‪ -‬לעשות "סלט" מהדברים‪ ,‬להפוך את היוצרות‬
‫נודניק ‪ -‬נודיען פירושו לשעמם (מפולנית‪ - nuda :‬שעמום)‪ .‬הסיומת ‪-‬ניק היא סיומת המתארת אדם על פי תכונה‬
‫המאפיינת אותו‬
‫ניג'ס ‪( -‬במלעיל‪ :‬שם עצם‪ ,‬במלרע‪ :‬פועל בעבר)‪ .‬נידנד‪ ,‬נודניק‬
‫נעבעך ‪ -‬מסכן‬
‫פֿוילע (או פוילה) ‪ -‬דומה למילה האנגלית ‪( foul‬לא חוקי‪ ,‬מלוכלך)‬
‫פוילע‪-‬שטיק ‪ -‬התחכמויות‪ ,‬תעלולים‪ ,‬משחקים מלוכלכים (ע"ע שטיק)‪" :‬ברגע שאני אראה שאין כאן פוילה‪-‬שטיק והכל‬
‫נקי"‪ .‬שיר של התרנגולים‪" :‬לא עזרו הפוילע‪-‬שטיק"‬
‫פולקעס ‪ -‬רגלי עוף (ביידיש‪ :‬ירכיים‪ ,‬החלק העליון של הרגל)‬
‫פופיק ‪ -‬קורקבן‪ ,‬טבור‬
‫פייגלע ‪ -‬ציפור‪ .‬בהשאלה‪ :‬בחורה‪ ,‬הומו‬
‫פיצ'יפקס ‪ -‬פריטים קטנים וחסרי חשיבות‬
‫פירגן‪ ,‬לפרגן‪ ,‬פרגון ‪ -‬לתת קרדיט‪ ,‬לעודד‪ .‬במקור מגרמנית (‪)Vergoennen‬‬
‫ּפלונטר ‪ -‬קשר‪ ,‬הסתבכות‬
‫פליק‪ ,‬להפליק ‪ -‬מכה‬
‫פראייר ‪ -‬אדם תמים שנותן לאחרים להרוויח על חשבונו (מפולנית)‪ .‬מילולית‪ :‬חופשי‪ ,‬פנוי‪ ,‬פטור‬
‫פרטצ' ‪ -‬עבודה או סחורה באיכות ירודה‬
‫צוציק ‪ -‬קטן‬
‫צָ'צְ'ָקה ‪ -‬ביידיש‪ :‬פילגש‬
‫קארטופאלאך ‪ -‬תפוחי אדמה‬
‫קארטושקעס ‪ -‬תפוחי אדמה שרופים (של מדורה)‬
‫קווץ' (לקווצ'ץ') ‪ -‬מעּוך (למשל מעיכת נייר ביד לצורת כדור)‪ .‬בהשאלה‪ :‬הרגשה סמרטוטית‪ ,‬מצב רוח שפוף ועייף‪.‬‬
‫ביידיש‪ :‬קוועטשן ‪ -‬ללחוץ‬
‫קּוטֶר‪ ,‬לקטר ‪ -‬לרטון‪ ,‬להתלונן‪ .‬המקור הוא כנראה המילה 'קוטר' (מגרמנית‪ - Kater :‬חתול זכר)‪ .‬קול הגרגור שעושה‬
‫החתול מזכיר כנראה את התלונות של הקוטר‪ ,‬המתלונן התמידי‪.‬‬
‫קומזיץ ‪ -‬השם העתיק ל"מדורה"‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬בוא שב‪.‬‬
‫קונצים ‪ -‬תעלולים קטנים‪ .‬תרגילים‪ ,‬טריקים (מגרמנית‪ - Kunst :‬אומנות)‬
‫קישקעס ‪ -‬קרביים‬
‫קלוץ ‪ -‬אדם מגושם (מגרמנית‪ - Klotz :‬קרש‪ ,‬לבנה)‪ .‬קלוץ קאשע ‪ -‬שאלת קרש‬
‫קלפטע ‪ -‬מילה רבת משמעויות‪ :‬מרשעת‪ ,‬כלבה‪ ,‬רכלנית‪ ,‬זקנה‪ ,‬ואפילו "בעלת מרץ רב"‪ .‬מארמית‪ :‬כלבתא‬
‫קצ'קס‪ ,‬קצ'קיאדה (קצ'קייה) ‪ -‬קצ'קס הן אווזות פותות‪ ,‬ברברניות‪ ,‬קשקשניות בלתי נלאות‪.‬‬
‫בהשאלה‪ :‬קבוצת בנות המפטפטות ומקשקשות‪( .‬במקור‪ :‬קצ'קה ‪ -‬ברווז)‬
‫קרעכץ ‪ -‬אנחה ותלונה‬
‫להשוויץ‪ ,‬שוויצר ‪ -‬מילת גנאי לאדם שמתפאר ברכושו או בהישגיו‪( .‬במקור‪ :‬זיעה?)‬
‫שוונג ‪ -‬תנופה‪ ,‬תנע‬
‫שֹוי ְן ‪ -‬כבר‪ ,‬גמרנו‪( .‬נו‪ ,‬שוין ‪ -‬בסדר‪ ,‬שיהיה) שֹוס ‪ -‬מאורע מהמם (מגרמנית‪ - Schuss :‬יריה)‬
‫שטינקר ‪ -‬מלשן; משתף פעולה בתשלום עם המשטרה או עם שרותי הבטחון (מגרמנית‪ - Stinker :‬מסריח)‬
‫שטיק ‪ )1( -‬קצת‪ ,‬פיסה‪ ,‬חתיכה קטנה (‪ )2‬תרגיל למשיכת תשומת‪-‬לב (‪ )3‬קטע ליצנות (‪ )4‬רמאות‪ ,‬טריק ערמומי (ע"ע‬
‫שלומיאל ‪ -‬אדם מגושם וחסר קואורדינציה‪ .‬נהוג לומר בבדיחות כי השלומיאל שופך בארועים משפחתיים את המרק על‬
‫מכנסיו של השלימזל (חסר המזל)‬
‫שלּומְפר ‪( -‬ביידיש גם‪ :‬שלומפ) אדם הלבוש ברישול‬
‫שלייקס ‪ -‬כתפיות לאחיזת המכנסיים‬
‫שמאטעס ‪ -‬סחבות‪ ,‬דברים חסרי ערך‬
‫שמאלץ ‪ -‬שומן מן החי (גם בגרמנית)‪ .‬בהשאלה‪ :‬סנטימנטליות ומתיקות־יתר באמנות או במוסיקה‬
‫שמגג ‪ -‬עורבא פרח‪ ,‬אויר חם; שטות‪ .‬בהשאלה‪ :‬טיפש‪ ,‬אידיוט‪ ,‬מנוול‬
‫שמונצעס ‪ -‬זוטות‪ ,‬דברים שאין בהם צורך מידי לקיום‬
‫שמנדריק ‪ -‬ילד לא יוצלח שלא מבין מה קורה סביבו‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬דמות קומית מתוך קומדיה יידישאית ידועה‬
‫שנורר ‪ -‬קבצן נודניק המוציא כסף בתואנות מכובדות לכאורה‪ .‬בעברית של ימינו ‪ -‬גם מתרים מקצועי‬
‫‪- 112 -‬‬
‫ביטויים שמקורם ביידיש (רשימה חלקית)‬
‫אותה הגברת בשינוי אדרת‪ ,‬איך קוראים לך?‪ ,‬אכל אותו בלי מלח‪ ,‬אל תיקח ללב‪ ,‬בעל המאה הוא בעל הדעה‪ ,‬גילה את‬
‫אמריקה‪ ,‬דבר אל הקיר‪ ,‬די כבר‪ ,‬הלך לאיבוד‪ ,‬זה לא מריח טוב‪ ,‬חכם‪/‬טיפש הוא לא‪ ,‬חסר לו בורג‪ ,‬חסר לי כמו חור בראש‪,‬‬
‫ירק לו בפרצוף‪ ,‬יש לו קוצים בתחת‪ ,‬לכתוב "נח" בשבע שגיאות‪ ,‬לא אמרתי כלום‪ ,‬לא הולך ברגל‪ ,‬לא יודע מהחיים שלו‪,‬‬
‫לא נלך לרב‪ ,‬לא עשו אותי באצבע‪ ,‬לגמור את החודש‪ ,‬לדרוך על יבלות‪ ,‬להזיק זה לא יזיק‪ ,‬לוקח זמן (=נמשך)‪ ,‬ללקק את‬
‫האצבעות‪ ,‬לשבור (למישהו) את המילה‪ ,‬מה נשמע?‪ ,‬מחזיק ממנו‪ ,‬מספיק לקשקש בקומקום‪ ,‬מספר חזק‪ ,‬נהייה לי חושך‬
‫(שחור) בעיניים‪ ,‬נופל מהרגליים [מרוב עייפות]‪ ,‬נפל לו לידיים‪ ,‬עזוב אותך משטויות‪ ,‬נתן קפיצה‪ ,‬פרצוף של תשעה באב‪,‬‬
‫שק לי בתחת‪ ,‬שקדי מרק‪ ,‬תפסיק לבלבל את המוח (את השכל)‪ ,‬תקוע לי כמו עצם בגרון‪.‬‬
‫מילים שחדרו לעברית מלאדינו‬
‫יש פזמון בחרוזים שילדים אומרים כאשר הם רוצים לקבוע תורו של מי להתחיל‪" :‬אנ‪-‬דן‪-‬דינו‪-‬סוף‪-‬על‪-‬הָקטינֹו סוף‪-‬‬
‫על‪-‬הָקטי‪ָ-‬קטֹו‪-‬אֶליק‪ּ-‬בֶליק‪ּ-‬בֹום"‪ .‬הפזמון הוא וריאציה חביבה על שיר ילדים מסראייבו שביוגוסלביה‪Ententino :‬‬
‫‪ .savaracatino, savara caticataca elem belem bus tisi mali rus‬נראה שהפזמון הגיע ארצה עם דוברי הלאדינו‬
‫(למרות שהשיר עצמו איננו בלאדינו)‪.‬‬
‫ג'ינג'י קלבסה ‪ kalabasa -‬היא דלעת בספרדית (ומכאן גם בלאדינו‪.)kalavasa :‬‬
‫דמיקּולּו ‪ -‬חדל אישים‪ ,‬לא יוצלח; תחליף נחות שלא ממלא את תפקידו‪“ .‬איך יכול להיות שרק לפני שנה היינו המשטרה‬
‫הכי טובה בעולם ועכשיו הפכנו למשטרה דמיקולו?"; "לפחות היא עושה משהו‪ ,‬בניגוד ליתר הדמיקולויים כאן שרק‬
‫מדברים"‪ .‬במקור‪ - de mi culo :‬מהתחת שלי‪.‬‬
‫עיניים שלי ‪ -‬ביטוי של חיבה ודאגה‪ .‬במקור‪ ,mi ojos :‬או ‪ - ojos de mi cara‬עיניים של פניי‪.‬‬
‫פוסטמה ‪( -‬בלאדינו ‪ -‬צלקת‪ ,‬פצע מוגלתי)‪ .‬המילה שימשה בעבר לתאור אישה מציקה ומאוסה‪ ,‬אך עם השנים הפכה‬
‫כינוי גנאי לסתם אישה טיפשה או עצלנית‪ ,‬אולי עקב דמיון הצליל ל"סתומה"‪ .‬למשל‪ :‬זאת פוסטמה גדולה לא עושה‬
‫שום דבר!‬
‫פיתה ‪ -‬המילה הגיעה ללאדינו מהיוונית‪ .‬הכתיב בתי"ו הוא כנראה על שום הדמיון למילה העברית "פת"‪.‬‬
‫שנת תרפפ"ו ‪ -‬צרוף של שנת תרפ"ו (‪ ,)1926‬יחד עם הביטוי "דיל טיימפו די מי טאראפאפו"‪ ,‬שמשמעו מזמן סב סבי‪ ,‬לפני‬
‫עידן ועידנים‪ ,‬בלאדינו היוונית‪ :‬תריא ‪ -‬שלוש‪ ,‬פאפו ‪ -‬סבא (ע"פ אורה שורצולד‪" ,‬שקיעי ספרדית‪-‬יהודית בעברית")‪.‬‬
‫מילים מאנגלית שחדרו לעברית‬
‫האנגלית השפיעה על העברית בשתי תקופות‪ .‬ראשית‪ ,‬בשנות המנדט הבריטי (‪ .)1948- 1917‬בתקופה זאת ניכרה השפעה‬
‫של האנגלית על העברית בעיקר באימוץ של מושגים טכניים‪ :‬מונחים מאותה התקופה בתחומי הרכב‪ ,‬הספורט והימאות‬
‫נמצאים בשימוש עד היום‪.‬‬
‫התקופה השניה שבה ניכרת השפעה של האנגלית על העברית החלה בשנות הששים והיא נמשכת עד היום ובעוצמה‬
‫גוברת‪ .‬השפעה זאת נובעת מהדומיננטיות של ארה"ב בעולם ובחשיבותה הרבה למדינת ישראל‪ .‬מעמדה של האנגלית‬
‫התחזק בשנים אלה בכל העולם כשפת התרבות‪ ,‬הדיפלומטיה והמדע והיא משפיעה על רוב שפות העולם‪ ,‬ובוודאי גם‬
‫על העברית‪ .‬ההשפעה על העברית ניכרת לא רק בשאילת מילים וביטויים מאנגלית אלא גם בשינויים במבנה המשפט‬
‫ובמשמעות המילים‪.‬‬
‫הנה לדוגמה‪ ,‬מילון קצר למונחי רכב מתקופת המנדט הבריטי‪:‬‬
‫אגזוז (‪ - )exhaust‬צינור הפליטה‬
‫ברקס (ברקסים)‪ ,‬אמברקס‪ ,‬הנד ברקס (‪ - )brakes, hand brake‬בלמים‪ ,‬בלם יד‬
‫בקאקס‪ ,‬ולמהדרין בקאקס אחורי (‪ - )back-axle‬ציר סרן אחורי (ומכאן גם השיבוש בקאקס קדמי)‬
‫ג'ק (‪ַ - )jack‬מג ְ ֵּב ַּה‬
‫גז (‪ - )gas‬בנזין (תן גז‪ ,‬פול גז‪ ,‬דוושת הגז)‬
‫גיר (‪ - )gear‬תיבת הילוכים‬
‫דיפרנציאל (‪ - )differential‬כך גם בעברית על פי האקדמיה‬
‫דיסטריבוטור (‪ - )distributor‬מפלג‬
‫דרייב‪-‬שאפט (‪ - )drive-shaft‬גל הינע‬
‫דשבורד (‪ - )dashboard‬לוח שעונים (לוח מחוונים)‬
‫טאייר (‪ - )tire‬צמיג‪ .‬המונח כבר לא בשימוש כצמיג למכוניות אבל הוא מציין בטן צמיגית במיוחד (בצורת הרבים‪ :‬טאיירים)‬
‫טוטאל־לוס (‪ - )total loss‬אובדן מוחלט‬
‫‪- 113 -‬‬
‫פלאג (‪ַ - )plug‬מּצָת‬
‫סוויץ' (‪ - )switch‬מפסק‬
‫סטארטר (‪ַ - )starter‬מ ְתנ ֵ ַע‬
‫פדלים (‪ - )pedals‬דוושות האופניים‬
‫פיוז (‪ - )fuse‬נתיך‬
‫פאנצ'ר (‪ - )puncture‬נקר‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬נקב‪ ,‬חור‬
‫צ'וק (‪ - )choke‬משנק‬
‫קאמשאפ(ט) (‪ - )camshaft‬גל זיזים‬
‫קלאץ' (‪ - )clutch‬מצמד‬
‫קראנ(ק)‪-‬שאפט (‪ - )crankshaft‬גל ארכובה‬
‫קרבורטור (‪ - )carburetor‬מאייד‬
‫רדיאטור (‪ - )radiator‬גם‪ :‬מקרן‪ ,‬מקרר (ממונחי האקדמיה)‬
‫שסי (‪ - )chassis‬שלדה‪ .‬במקור ‪ -‬מצרפתית‬
‫תרמוסטט (‪ - )thermostat‬וסת‪-‬חום‬
‫ומילון ספורט קצר‪:‬‬
‫אנדרדוג (‪ - )underdog‬מתחרה שלא אמור לנצח‬
‫אופסייד (‪ - )offside‬נבדל‬
‫טיים־אאוט (‪ - )timeout‬פסק זמן‬
‫טרנינג (‪ - )training suit‬חליפת אימון? אימונית?‬
‫להפריק (‪ - )free kick‬בעיטה או זריקה חופשית (בעגה)‬
‫נוק אאוט (‪)knockout‬‬
‫פאוול (‪ - )foul play‬עבירה‬
‫פור (‪ - )fore‬יתרון התחלה‬
‫פייבוריט (‪ - )favorite‬מתחרה שאמור לנצח‬
‫פנדל (‪ - )penalty kick‬בעיטת עונשין מאחד־עשר מטר‬
‫השפעתה של הארמית על העברית‬
‫קיימים מאות מילים וביטויים שמקורם בארמית‪ .‬להלן מספר מילים וביטויים באות "א"‪:‬‬
‫אבא ‪ -‬אב‪ ,‬האב; אבי (ככינוי של ילד לאביו)‪.‬‬
‫אגרא ‪ -‬שכר‪ ,‬רווח‪.‬‬
‫אדווה (אדוותא דימא) ‪ -‬קצף הים‪ .‬בסורית‪ :‬דועתא דימא; דוע ‪ -‬להזיע (הקצף שעל פני הגלים)‪.‬‬
‫אדיש ‪ -‬אדם שלא מפריע לו מה שקורה סביבו; שאין לו העדפה בין אפשרויות שונות‪.‬‬
‫אדרבא (הא דרבא) ‪ -‬גדולה מזו (להפך‪ ,‬מסתבר לומר בדיוק הפך הדברים)‪.‬‬
‫אורחא ‪ -‬דרך‪.‬‬
‫אגב‪+‬אורחא ‪ -‬בדרך אגב‪.‬‬
‫אוריין ‪ -‬תורה‪ ,‬לימוד‪.‬‬
‫בר‪+‬אוריין ‪ -‬בן תורה‪ ,‬תלמיד תורה‪.‬‬
‫אורייתא ‪ -‬תורה‪ ,‬התורה‪.‬‬
‫אורייתא‪+‬קדישתא ‪ -‬התורה הקדושה‪.‬‬
‫דאורייתא ‪ -‬מן התורה (מצווה שמקורה בתורה‪ ,‬בניגוד למצווה דרבנן שנקבעה על ידי החכמים)‪.‬‬
‫אזל ‪ -‬הלך‪ ,‬עזב‪.‬‬
‫אזל‪/‬ואידך‪+-+‬זיל‪+‬גמור ‪ -‬מכאן ‪ -‬לך ולמד את הנושא בעצמך‪.‬‬
‫אי (קיצור של אין) ‪ -‬אם (מילת תנאי)‪.‬‬
‫אי ‪ -‬הרי (צורה משנית של "הֵי")‪.‬‬
‫אי‪+‬לכך (צורה משנית של‪ :‬הֵי לכך; ִהלְּכְָך) ‪ -‬הרי לכך [לפיכך‪ ,‬לכן]‪.‬‬
‫איגרא ‪ -‬גג‪.‬‬
‫מאיגרא רמא לבירא עמיקתא ‪ -‬משל לנפילה משיא ההצלחה אל שפל המדרגה‪.‬‬
‫אידך ‪ -‬אחר‪ ,‬ההוא‪.‬‬
‫ואידך ‪ -‬והאחר (מה אומר על זה האחר‪ ,‬בעל הדעה המנוגדת?)‪.‬‬
‫‪- 114 -‬‬
‫מאידך (קיצור של 'מאידך גיסא') ‪ -‬מצד שני‪.‬‬
‫אידך‪/‬ואידך‪+-+‬זיל‪+‬גמור ‪ -‬מכאן ‪ -‬לך ולמד את הנושא בעצמך‪.‬‬
‫איכא ‪ -‬יש‪.‬‬
‫אין ‪ -‬כן‪.‬‬
‫אינהו ‪ -‬הם‪.‬‬
‫אינש ‪ -‬איש‪ ,‬אדם‪.‬‬
‫אינש‪/‬דאמרי‪+‬אנשי ‪ -‬כפי שאומרים האנשים‪.‬‬
‫איפכא‪+‬מסתברא ‪ -‬ההפך מסתבר (תמיהה על דברים כאשר נראה שהיפוכם יותר הגיוני)‪.‬‬
‫אית ‪ -‬יש‪.‬‬
‫אליבא‪+‬ד‪ - ..‬לפי‪ ,‬לשיטת‪.‬‬
‫אלים"‪ - ²‬חזק פיזית‪ ,‬נחוש בדעתו‪.‬‬
‫אלים‪/‬כל‪+‬דאלים‪+‬גבר ‪ -‬כל מי שחזק גובר (על האחרים)‪.‬‬
‫אמא ‪ -‬אם‪ ,‬האם; אמי (ככינוי של ילד לאימו)‪.‬‬
‫אמתלה ‪ -‬תואנה‪ ,‬תרוץ שנוח להשתמש בו כדי להצדיק מעשה או התחמקות ממעשה‪.‬‬
‫אנא ‪ -‬אני‪.‬‬
‫אנן ‪ -‬אנחנו‪.‬‬
‫אנפין (רבים של ַאנ ְּפָא או ַאּפָא) ‪ -‬אף (פנים; מראה חיצוני‪ ,‬חזית)‪.‬‬
‫אסותא ‪ -‬רפואה‪ ,‬מרפא‪.‬‬
‫אסקופה ‪ -‬סף‪ ,‬מפתן; מדרגה שבפתח הבית‪.‬‬
‫אסקופה‪+‬נדרסת ‪ -‬משל לאדם מושפל וכנוע‪ .‬מילולית‪ :‬סף הבית שהכל דורכים עליו‪.‬‬
‫אסקופית ‪ -‬שטיח קטן בפתח הבית המשמש לניקוי סוליות הנעליים‪ .‬‬
‫אקדמות‪+‬מילין ‪ -‬הקדמת מילים [מבוא‪ ,‬דברי פתיחה]‪.‬‬
‫ארכובה (אְַרּכּובָה) ‪ -‬הברך וחלקי הרגל הצמודים אליה (זרוע או ידית הבנויה בזוית של ‪ 90°‬ומיועדת לסיבוב)‪.‬‬
‫ארעא ‪ -‬ארץ‪.‬‬
‫רעא‪/‬סדנא‪+‬דארעא‪+‬חד‪+‬הוא ‪ -‬לכל העולם יש בסיס משותף‪ ,‬התנהגות בני האדם דומה בכל מקום‪.‬‬
‫ארעא‪/‬עפרא‪+‬דארעא ‪ -‬כינוי לדבר חסר ערך‪.‬‬
‫אתא ‪ -‬בא (כמו אתא בוקר וגם לילה ‪ -‬ישעיה כא יב)‪.‬‬
‫אתר ‪ -‬מקום‪.‬‬
‫אתרא‪+‬קדישא ‪ -‬מקום קדוש (שמו של ארגון חרדי השומר על החופרים במקומות קבורה)‪.‬‬
‫לאלתר ‪ -‬שיבוש של "על אתר" (במקום‪ ,‬מייד)‪.‬‬
‫אתרא ‪ -‬מקום‪.‬‬
‫‪- 115 -‬‬
‫מילים שנכנסו לעברית מאכדית‬
‫אדריכל (‪ - erad-ekaly‬עבד ההיכל)‪ ,‬אולם‪ ,‬גשר (‪ - gašâru‬לחזק)‪ ,‬דלת‪ ,‬היכל‪ ,‬חלון‪ ,‬חריץ‪ ,‬טיט‪ ,‬יסוד‪ ,‬כותל‪ ,‬כיור‪ ,‬כף‪,‬‬
‫לבֵנה‪ ,‬מזוזה‪ ,‬מלבן‪ ,‬משכן‪ ,‬סוכה‪ ,‬סולם (‪ - simmiltu‬כבש מדרגות)‪ ,‬סף‪ ,‬תא‬
‫גיאוגרפיה ואסטרונומיה‬
‫אגם‪ ,‬עדן (‪ - edinu‬ערבה)‪ ,‬מזלות (‪ - manzaltu‬תחנה‪ ,‬משכן לאלים)‪ ,‬תהום‪ ,‬תל‬
‫אשף‪ ,‬כישוף‪ ,‬מבול‪ ,‬מזל (‪ - manzaltu, mazzaztum‬מקום של כוכב‪ ,‬מ‪ izuzzu-‬שפירושו לעמוד)‪ ,‬נדבה‬
‫חקלאות ומזון‬
‫איכר‪ ,‬את‪ ,‬גן‪ ,‬חמאה‪ ,‬לביבה (‪ - akal-libbu‬מין עוגה‪ - akal :‬אוכל; ‪ - libbu‬לב)‪ ,‬מכמורת‬
‫ארון‪ ,‬מדוכה‬
‫איגרת‪ ,‬נייר‪ ,‬ספר (‪ - šipru‬הודעה)‪ ,‬ללמד‬
‫אגרת‪ ,‬בירה (‪ - birtu‬מצודה‪ ,‬מבצר)‪ ,‬כפר‪ ,‬מחוז‪ ,‬סגן (‪ - šaknu‬מושל של עיר כבושה או של מחוז כבוש)‪ ,‬שפט‬
‫אמד‪ ,‬מחיר (‪,)mahîru‬מכירה (‪ ,)makkûru‬נכס‪ ,‬ערבון‪ ,‬שטר (‪ּ - šaţâru‬כָתַב)‬
‫מסלול‪ ,‬ספינה‪ ,‬מלח‬
‫מילים נוספות‬
‫חת‪ ,‬חתת ‪ -‬פחד‪ ,‬יראה‪.‬‬
‫טפַׁש ּכַ ֵחלֶב לִ ָבּם (תהילים קיט ע)‪.‬‬
‫טיפש ‪ -‬במקור‪ :‬מצוי בשפע; גדל‪ .‬גם בתנ"ך‪ָ :‬‬
‫מותן ‪ -‬גיד‪.‬‬
‫מלצר ‪ -‬שומר‪ .‬המילה מופיעה בספר דניאל במשמעות של משגיח‪.‬‬
‫סכל ‪ -‬שוטה‪.‬‬
‫עבור ‪ -‬תבואה‪.‬‬
‫עמית ‪ -‬משפחה‪ ,‬חברה‪.‬‬
‫שכל ‪ -‬חכם‪ .‬מכאן נגזרים גם “משכיל" וגם “שכל"‪.‬‬
‫‪- 116 -‬‬
‫מילים פרסיות שנכנסו לעברית‬
‫אישפז ‪ -‬בפרסית‪ ,‬פירושו אירוח או בית הארחה‪ .‬המילה הגיעה לעברית דרך הארמית ('אושפיזין' ‪ -‬אורחים)‪ ,‬והמילה‬
‫חדרה גם ליוונית וללטינית ומהן ללשונות המערב‬
‫אשכרה ‪ -‬בשפת הדיבור‪ :‬שקוף וברור‪ .‬מפרסית‪ :‬דבר ידוע‪ ,‬גלוי‪.‬‬
‫אשמדאי ‪ -‬מלך השדים‪ .‬בפרסית‪ :‬אזמידאן ‪ -‬שטן‪.‬‬
‫אתרוג ‪ -‬בפרסית‪ :‬ירקרק‪-‬צהבהב (במקור מטאמילית)‪.‬‬
‫בוסתן ‪ -‬גן‪ ,‬לרוב גן של עצי פרי‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬גן סגור הנמצא בחצר של בית ובו פרחים ועשבים נותני ריח‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬מקום‬
‫בזאר ‪ -‬שוק‪.‬‬
‫בלגן ‪ -‬מפרסית‪ :‬עליית גג (מילולית‪ :‬חדר גבוה)‪ .‬המילה הגיעה לעברית דרך הטורקית והרוסית‪.‬‬
‫גזבר ‪ -‬ממונה על ענייני הכספים והגבייה‬
‫גנזים ‪ -‬בפרסית‪ ,‬משרד האוצר (גנזך ‪ -‬בית אוצר)‪ .‬בלשון חז"ל‪ ,‬המילה קיבלה משמעות של הטמנה‪.‬‬
‫דוכן ‪ -‬מקום גבוה‪.‬‬
‫דת ‪ -‬חוק‪ ,‬משפט‪ ,‬פקודת המלך‪.‬‬
‫המן ‪ -‬במקור‪ ,‬משמעו אותה הדעת‪/‬הדעה‪ ,‬כלומר בעל אותה הדעה כשל המלך‪ .‬אביו של המן נקרא המדתא או‪ ,‬כלומר‬
‫אותו החוק (כמו של המלך)‪.‬‬
‫הנדסה ‪ -‬גיאומטריה‪ .‬המילה הגיעה לעברית דרך הערבית‪.‬‬
‫ורד ‪ -‬המוכר לנו (בפרסית‪ .)varda :‬המילה הגיעה לעברית כנראה דרך הארמית (ורדא)‪.‬‬
‫ושתי ‪ -‬הנחשקת‬
‫חאקי ‪ -‬צבע הסוואה צבאי‪ .‬מפרסית‪ - khāk :‬אבק‪. .‬‬
‫טאלק ‪ -‬מפרסית‪( talk :‬דרך הערבית)‪.‬‬
‫לילך ‪ -‬מפרסית‪ - nilak :‬צבע בגוון כחול‪.‬‬
‫לימון ‪ -‬בפרסית‪ ,‬שם גנרי לכל פרי הדר‪.‬‬
‫סוכר ‪ -‬בפרסית‪( shakar :‬במקור מסנסקריט)‪.‬‬
‫סרבל ‪ -‬מפרסית‪ - sharval :‬מכנסיים‪.‬‬
‫פוזמק ‪ -‬גרב‪.‬‬
‫פור ‪ -‬גורל (מפרסית‪ - puru :‬חרס או אבן קטנה שהיו מטילים כדי לקבוע ולקבל החלטות)‪.‬‬
‫פיג'אמה ‪ -‬פריט לבוש‪ ,‬לאו דווקא לשינה‪ .‬מילולית‪ :‬לבוש לרגל (‪-pae‬רגל; ‪-jamah‬בגד)‪.‬‬
‫פיסטוק ‪ -‬האגוז המוכר‪ .‬בפרסית‪.pistah :‬‬
‫פרדס ‪ -‬בפרסית‪ :‬מקום מוקף חומה שבו צדים בעלי חיים לשם הנאה (‪ - pairi‬להקיף; ‪ - daêza‬חומה)‪ .‬המילה מופיעה בתנ"ך‬
‫ׁשלָ ַחי ְִך ּפְַרּדֵס ִרּמֹונ ִים‪ ,‬ובעברית של ימינו המשמעות צומצמה‬
‫במשמעות של מטע עצי פרי ‪ -‬למשל בשיר השירים (ד יג)‪ְ :‬‬
‫למטע עצי הדר‪ .‬המילה פרדס הגיעה גם לאנגלית ולשפות אירופאיות אחרות במשמעות של גן עדן (‪.)paradise‬‬
‫פרוור (גם‪ּ :‬פְַרּבָר) ‪ -‬שכונה בקצה העיר‪ .‬במקור‪ּ :‬פְַרו ַאר ‪ -‬ביתן‪.‬‬
‫פתגם ‪ -‬פקודה‪ ,‬גזירה‪ ,‬פסק דין‪ .‬בפרסית‪.patigáma :‬‬
‫קיוסק ‪ -‬בפרסית‪ kushk ,‬הוא ארמון או אכסדרה (מרפסת עמודים או כניסה מקורה בחזית בנין חשוב)‪ .‬המילה חדרה‬
‫לשפות האירופיות דרך הטורקית‪.‬‬
‫שח‪-‬מט ‪ -‬בפרסית‪ ,‬שח (‪ )shah‬משמעו מלך (קיצור של ‪ - kshayathiya‬מלך בפרסית עתיקה)‪ .‬מט ‪ -‬מת‪ ,‬חסר אונים‪.‬‬
‫השפעת השפה הרוסית על העברית‬
‫העליה מרוסיה היתה אחת העליות הגדולות והדומיננטיות לארץ ישראל‪ .‬מאז העליה הראשונה‪ ,‬ובה אליעזר בן‪-‬יהודה‬
‫ואחרים‪ ,‬ועד לשנת ‪ ,1924‬היו העולים מרוסיה כ‪ 50%-‬מכלל העולים לארץ‪.‬‬
‫השפעת הרוסית על העברית ניכרה בעיקר בראשית המאה העשרים‪ ,‬בין השאר באופן ההגיה ובדרך האימוץ של מילים‬
‫וביטויים לועזיים‪ .‬מאחר שרבות מהמילים ומהתופעות הלשוניות של הרוסית קיימות גם ביידיש ובשפות סלאביות נוספות‬
‫(כמו הפולנית)‪ ,‬קשה לרוב לדעת למי היתה הבכורה בהשפעה על העברית‪.‬‬
‫הסיומת צ'יק‬
‫סיומת של הקטנה‪ .‬בעבר היתה נפוצה למדי‪ ,‬אבל היום נשארו רק שרידים מעטים‪ :‬בחורצ'יק‪ ,‬צ'ופצ'יק‪ ,‬קטנצ'יק‪( .‬הסיומת‬
‫קיימת גם ביידיש)‪.‬‬
‫הסיומת 'ָקה‬
‫סיומת של הקנטה מתוך חיבה (לדוגמה‪ :‬בבושקה)‪ .‬הסיומת התגלגלה ליידיש בהגייה סגולית ('ֶקה) ומשם הגיעה לעברית‬
‫כסיומת חיבה‪ :‬חיימ'ֶקה‪ ,‬אסתר'ֶקה‪.‬‬
‫‪- 117 -‬‬
‫מילים לועזיות‬
‫מילים שחדרו לעברית מלועזית קיבלו סיומות וצורות הגייה שאופיינית לרוסית (ולשפות הסלאביות)‪:‬‬
‫פעם היו אומרים אבטובוס‪ ,‬אבטומוביל‪ ,‬אבטומטי‪ ,‬פסבדו‪( -‬כמו במילה פסבדונים)‪ .‬היום הנטיה היא לנהוג על פי האנגלית‪,‬‬
‫ולומר‪ :‬אוטובוס‪ ,‬אוטומטי‪ ,‬פסאודו‪( -‬או פסידו‪.)-‬‬
‫הסיומת ‪-‬ציה (המקבילה לסיומת ‪ :)tion-‬אינטגרציה‪ ,‬פרובוקציה‪ ,‬רזולוציה‪ ,‬וכו'‪.‬‬
‫אלמנטים נוספים‬
‫קול הצחוק חה‪-‬חה‪-‬חה (חחח) הוא רוסי במקור‪ .‬כך גם חלק מהמחוות הבלתי‪-‬מילוליות‪ :‬גניחה (אח)‪ ,‬יריקה (טפו)‪ ,‬נפילה‬
‫(טראח)‪ ,‬זירוז (נו) ועוד‪.‬‬
‫חלק מקולות בעלי החיים מקורם ברוסית‪ .‬הדוב ּבּו‪ּ-‬בּו‪ ,‬הכלב הב‪-‬הב (היום מקובל‪ :‬האו‪-‬האו)‪ ,‬החזיר חרר‪-‬חרר (היום‬
‫מקובל‪ ,‬על פי האנגלית‪ :‬אוינק‪-‬אוינק)‪.‬‬
‫המילים פיפי‪ ,‬קקי הן כמו ברוסית‪.‬‬
‫בלגן (‪ - )балаган‬אי־סדר‪ ,‬כאוס‪ ,‬אנדרלמוסיה‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬ביתן של מופעי בידור ותיאטרון בובות ביריד‪ ,‬ובהשאלה ‪-‬‬
‫פארסה‪ ,‬קומדיה נמוכה‪ .‬מקור המלה בפרסית‪.‬‬
‫ברדק (‪ - )бардак‬בלגן‪ ,‬אנרכיה‪ ,‬התנהגות לא ממושמעת‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬בית זונות (כמו בורדל)‪ ,‬ובהשאלה ‪ -‬בלגן‪ ,‬כאוס‪.‬‬
‫ג'וק (‪( - )жук‬ז'וק) ‪ -‬המילה הגיעה כנראה דרך היידיש‪.‬‬
‫דמקה ‪ -‬משחק הלוח הידוע‪ .‬במקור זהו שם הכלי שהצליח לעבור את כל הלוח ולהפוך למלכה (צרוף של דאם ‪ +‬הסיומת‬
‫חוליגן ‪ -‬עבריין‪ ,‬פושע‪ .‬מקורה של המילה הוא דווקא באנגליה של סוף המאה התשע עשרה בדווחי פשיעה על משפחה‬
‫מפורסמת‪ ,‬ומשם היא נקלטה ברטוריקה הקומוניסטית של תחילת המאה העשרים‪.‬‬
‫חלטורה (‪ - )халтура‬עבודה מזדמנת‪ ,‬שלא במסגרת העבודה הקבועה; לרוב במשמעות של עבודה רשלנית‪ .‬במקור‪:‬‬
‫הופעה על במה מחוץ למסגרת התיאטרון וגם עבודה שנעשתה ברשלנות‪ .‬מכאן גם הפועל‪ :‬לחלטר‪.‬‬
‫לום (‪ - )лом‬מוט ברזל קצר‪.‬‬
‫סמטוחה (‪ - )суматоха‬שיבוש של המילה הרוסית ‪ ,Sumatocha‬שפרושה מהומה‪ ,‬תוהו ובוהו‪ .‬המילה הגיעה כנראה‬
‫דרך היידיש‪.‬‬
‫פארש ‪ -‬חסר ערך‪ ,‬הרוס‪ .‬הלך פארש‪ ,‬יצא פארש ‪ -‬נהרס‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬בשר טחון‪.‬‬
‫פוגרום (‪ - )погром‬ברוסית (וביידיש)‪ :‬פרעות‪ ,‬שוד‪ .‬מעשי אלימות ופרעות המכוונים נגד עדה או מעמד מסוים‪.‬‬
‫פיזדילוך ‪ -‬סלנג צבאי‪ :‬מקום נידח ומרוחק‪.‬‬
‫פלקט (‪ - )плакат‬לוח שטוח; פוסטר‪ ,‬כרזה‪ .‬בהשאלה‪ :‬יצירה או אדם חד‪-‬ממדי‪ .‬במקור מצרפתית‪.placard :‬‬
‫צ'ופצ'יק ‪ -‬קצה‪( .‬במקור‪ :‬צ'ובצ'יק ‪ -‬תלתל קטן בולט בקדמת הראש)‪.‬‬
‫צ'ימידן (‪ - )чемодан‬תיק חיילים‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬צ'מידן ‪ -‬מזוודה (וכך אכן על פי צילומים ישנים)‪.‬‬
‫קוזק (‪ - )казак‬חייל מימי הצארים (ברוסית‪ :‬קזאק)‪.‬‬
‫"קוזאק נגזל" ‪ -‬איש אלים שעושק אחרים אבל בוכה כשלוקחים ממנו את אשר גזל‪.‬‬
‫קיבינימאט ‪" -‬לך קיבינימט" ‪ -‬כמו "לך לעזאזל"‪ .‬במקור "ק יבני מאטרי"‬
‫רוגטקה (‪ - )рогатка‬קלע בסגנון התנ"כי‪.‬‬
‫ביטויים עבריים שמקורם ברוסית‬
‫אין רע בלי טוב (‪)Нет худа без добра‬‬
‫יצא המרצע מן השק (‪ - )Шило в мешке не утаишь‬במקור‪ :‬אי אפשר להסתיר מרצע בשק‬
‫כל החתולים שחורים (במקור‪ :‬אפורים) בלילה (‪)Ночью все кошки серы‬‬
‫לקפוץ מעל לפופיק (‪ - )Выше головы не прыгнешь‬לעשות משהו בלתי אפשרי‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬אי אפשר לקפוץ מעל‬
‫לתפוסשתיציפוריםבמכהאחת(יששניביטוייםדומים‪- Убитьдвухзайцеводнимвыстрелом:‬להרוגשני‬
‫ארנבים ביריה אחת; ‪ - Одним ударом двух мух убить‬להרוג שני זבובים במכה אחת)‬
‫לתפור תיק ‪ -‬להעליל על מישהו‪ ,‬לבנות נגד מישהו תיק פלילי המבוסס על ראיות מזוייפות במטרה להפלילו בבית‬
‫המשפט או בציבור‬
‫מי שקונה בזול משלם ביוקר (‪)Где дешево там и дорого‬‬
‫נותנים לך תיקח‪ ,‬מרביצים לך תברח (‪)Дают - бери, бьют - беги‬‬
‫קור כלבים (‪ - )Собачий Холод‬כל כך קר שאפילו הכלבים כבר לא מסתובבים בחוץ‪.‬‬
‫‪- 118 -‬‬
‫אָּבּו ‪( -‬أبو) אבא של‪ ,‬ובמדוברת‪" :‬בעל (תכונה)"‪ .‬למשל אבו ארבע (ממושקף)‪ ,‬אבו יו‪-‬יו‪.‬‬
‫אבו עלי ‪ --‬אדם פשוט בעל תדמית מפחידה‪ ,‬דמות מסיפור ערבי עממי‪" .‬לשחק אותה אבו עלי"‪" ,‬לעשות אבו עלי"‪.‬‬
‫באבו אבוהה ‪ -‬ועוד איך (מילולית‪ :‬באבי אביו)‪.‬‬
‫(أه َبل) הוא טיפש‪ ,‬אידיוט‪.‬‬
‫אהבל ‪ -‬בשתי השפות‪ ,‬אהבל ْ‬
‫(أصولي) הוא יסודי‪ ,‬מקורי‪ .‬ר' אסלי‪.‬‬
‫אוסול ‪ -‬שורשיות‪ ,‬מקוריות‬
‫אָחּוק ‪ -‬לרוב בא בצורת הריבוי "אחוקים"‪ ,‬לציון חברים בלב ונפש‪ .‬בערבית‪ ,‬אחוּכ (أخوك) הוא "האח שלך"‪.‬‬
‫الش ْر ُم َ‬
‫(أخو َّ‬
‫אחושרמוטה (גם‪ :‬חושרמוטה) ‪ -‬קריאת התפעלות‪" :‬יוצא מגדר הרגיל"‪ .‬מילולית‪ :‬האח של הזונה ُ‬
‫אחלה ‪ -‬טוב‪ ,‬מצויין‪ ,‬מילה של שביעות רצון‪ .‬בערבית‪ ,‬אחלא (أحلى) הוא הכי מתוק‪ ,‬ובהשאלה ‪ -‬משהו טוב‪ ,‬משובח‪.‬‬
‫اء الل) ‪ -‬הלוואי (מילולית‪ :‬אם ירצה השם)‪.‬‬
‫אינשאללה (إن َش َ‬
‫ַא ְּכּבָר ‪( -‬أ ْك َبر) הוא "הגדול ביותר" (זו צורת ההפלגה של כביר=גדול)‪ .‬יש הרבה צרופים בעברית שמשתמשים במילה‬
‫אכבר‪ .‬למשל‪ :‬אכבר גבר‪ ,‬אכבר טול‪ .‬מוכר כמובן הביטוי " ָאלְלָ ֻה אכבר" (אללה הוא הגדול ביותר)‪.‬‬
‫אסלי ‪ -‬אמיתי‪ ,‬אותנטי‪ .‬נאמר בעיקר על ידושלמים ותימנים‪.‬‬
‫ּבּוגֶ'ָרס (وجع الراس) ‪ -‬שיבוש של וּוג'ע אַ(ל)ָראס (כאב ראש) שהפך לוּוג ֶ'ָרס ולּבּוג ֶ'ָרס‪ .‬בעברית‪ :‬טרחה‪ ,‬טרדה‪ ,‬מצב מסובך‬
‫בסטה ( َب ْس َطة) ‪ -‬דוכן בשוק‪َ [ .‬ب َس َط ‪ -‬פרש (סחורה)]‪ .‬יתכן שמקור המילה הוא מפרסית‪ :‬بسته (‪ - )basta‬מקום סגור‪.‬‬
‫בעסה וגם‪ :‬באסה ‪ -‬תחושת אומללות הנובעת מאכזבה או ממפח נפש (בערבית ‪ -‬بعصة ‪ .‬בערבית המדוברת יש למילה גם‬
‫משמעות מטאפורית של קילקול או השריית אווירה של נאחס או של יאוש‪ .‬מכאן נגזרות גם המילים התבעס או התבאס‪.‬‬
‫(ج ْبل) ‪ -‬הר‪ ,‬הרים‪ .‬בשימוש בעיקר בסלנג הצבאי‪.‬‬
‫ּגַ'ּבֶל גַ' ְּבלָאֹות َ‬
‫ג'ורה ‪ -‬ביוב‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬جورة ‪ -‬בור (בור ספיגה)‪.‬‬
‫ג'מעה ‪ -‬חבֶר'ה‪ .‬בערבית‪ :‬ג'מאעה (جماعة) ‪ -‬חבורה‪.‬‬
‫ג'ננה ‪ -‬מאותו השורש כמו מג'נון (משוגע)‪ :‬שיגעון‪ ,‬עצבים‪ .‬ג'ננה מקבלים ומביאים ("אחי אתה מביא לי את הג'ננה")‪.‬‬
‫דוגרי ‪ -‬דיבור ישיר‪ ,‬בלי התחכמויות‪ .‬בערבית המדוברת‪ֻ ,‬דע`רי פירושו "ישר"‪ .‬למשל‪ִ " :‬א ְמׁשִי ֻדעְ`ִרי" ‪ -‬לך ישר‪ .‬המילה‬
‫הגיעה לערבית כנראה מן הטורקית (‪ dogru‬בטורקית משמעו ישר קדימה)‪.‬‬
‫דאחקות (ביחיד דאחקה) ‪" -‬צחוקים" (במלעיל)‪ .‬לרוב‪ ,‬במשמעות של בדיחה מתנשאת על מישהו שלא שייך לחבר'ה‪.‬‬
‫(ض ْح َكة) היא צחוק‪ .‬דאחקות מריצים ("להריץ דאחקות")‪.‬‬
‫בערבית‪ ,‬דחּכה َ‬
‫דיר באלק ‪ -‬זהירות! מילת איום ואזהרה מפני ביצוע פעולה‪ .‬בערבית‪ ,‬דיר ּבַאלַּכ ِ(دير َبالَك) משמעו 'הסב את תשומת לבך'‪,‬‬
‫כלומר 'שים לב'‪ .‬בערבית זאת רק צורת הציווי ליחיד (לרבים‪ :‬דיר באלכום וכו')‪ ,‬אבל בעברית משתמשים בה ללא שינוי‬
‫המין לכל הגופים‪.‬‬
‫ت َّفف שמשמעותו "נעשה קל" (ע"ע חפיף)‪.‬‬
‫התחפף ‪ -‬הסתלק‪ .‬מקור המילה הוא הפועל حَ َ‬
‫התחרפן ‪ -‬התנהג בצורה מוזרה‪ ,‬השתגע‪ .‬בא מהמילה חַ'ְרפָאן (خَ ِ ْرفَان)‪ ,‬שהוא זקן‪" ,‬סנילי"‪ ,‬פטפטן‪.‬‬
‫וואלה ‪ -‬צרוף של ו' השבועה והמילה אללה ( َواللّة) שמשמעו "אני נשבע בשם האל" או "בחיי אללה"‪ .‬בעברית‪ ,‬יש למילה‬
‫הזאת אינספור משמעויות (פליאה‪ ,‬הבנה וכו')‪ ,‬שתלויות בהקשר ובנימת הקול של הדובר‪.‬‬
‫(حزْب اللّة) ‪ -‬שמה של התנועה השיעית הלבנונית‪ .‬מילולית‪ :‬מפלגת אללה‪.‬‬
‫חיזבאללה ِ‬
‫חלאקה ‪ -‬המנהג היהודי לספר את הילדים פעם ראשונה בגיל שלוש בעלייה לרגל למירון‪ .‬בערבית מדוברת (حالقة)‪:‬‬
‫תספורת‪ ,‬גילוח‪.‬‬
‫חמסה ‪ -‬ח'מסה (خمسة) הוא הקמיע נגד עין הרע‪ ,‬שצורתו צורת כף יד‪ .‬בהשאלה‪ :‬ביטוי הנאמר כסגולה כנגד עין הרע‪.‬‬
‫בערבית‪ :‬ח'מסה הוא חמישה‪ ,‬ובהקשר הזה ‪ -‬חמש אצבעות היד‪.‬‬
‫חפיף ‪ -‬באופן מרושל‪ ,‬בקלות‪ .‬במקור‪ :‬ח'פיף (خَ ِفيف) ‪ -‬קל משקל‪ .‬מכאן הפועל לחפף ‪ -‬לעשות משהו באופן חלקי‪ ,‬ללא‬
‫הקפדה על הפרטים‪.‬‬
‫טמבל ‪ -‬מישהו שלא משופע בשכל‪ .‬גם בערבית‪ִּ .‬תנ ְּבַל (تنبل) הוא עצל‪ ,‬טיפש ומטומטם‪.‬‬
‫יאללה ‪ -‬מילת זרוז‪ ,‬צירוף של שתי מילים‪ :‬יא ‪ +‬אללה (يا أللة)‪.‬‬
‫יעני ‪ -‬כלומר‪ .‬וכך גם בערבית ( َي ْع ِني)‪.‬‬
‫כיף ‪ -‬מהנה‪ ,‬מענג‪ .‬המילה ּכַי ְף ( َك ْيف) בערבית פירושה הנאה‪ ,‬נחת‪-‬רוח; וגם חשיש‪.‬‬
‫לאפה ‪ -‬פיתה שטוחה וגדולה‪ .‬המילה הערבית לָפָה (لَ َّفة) באה מן השורש לפ"פ ומשמעותו‪ ,‬כמו בעברית‪ ,‬ללפף‪ ,‬לסובב‪.‬‬
‫ֶלּבֶן ‪ -‬המילה לַּבַן (لَب) משמעה חלב‪ ,‬וגם "לבן" ‪ -‬חלב חמוץ‪.‬‬
‫(م ْجد الك ُروم) משמעו "תפארת‬
‫מג'ד אלכרום ‪ -‬אמנם לא מילת סלנג‪ ,‬אבל שם של ישוב שטועים בו לפעמים‪ .‬מג'ד אלכרום َ‬
‫הכרמים"‪( .‬מג'דל כרום זה מגדל שעשוי מכרום)‪.‬‬
‫(س ْطل) בערבית הוא דלי‪ .‬מי שהפכו דלי על ראשו הולך כמו מסטול (מסומם)‪.‬‬
‫מסטול ‪ -‬סטל َ‬
‫מעאפן ‪ -‬דבר גרוע‪ ,‬לא מוצלח‪ .‬בערבית‪ַ ,‬מ ֲעפָן ( ُم َع َّفن) זה רקוב‪ ,‬מעופש‪ ,‬מזוהם‪.‬‬
‫מערוף ‪ -‬בעברית‪ ,‬מערוף זאת טובה‪ ,‬כבוד‪ .‬בערבית (معروف) הוא חסד‪ ,‬טובה‪ ,‬וגם אדם מפורסם‪.‬‬
‫מערוף עושים ("אחי אני צריך ‪ 100‬שקל עד מחר‪ ,‬תעשה לי מערוף")‪.‬‬
‫‪- 119 -‬‬
‫נאחס ‪ -‬הוא עוגמת נפש‪ ,‬הרגשה רעה‪ ,‬וגם תחושת דחיה וגועל‪ .‬בערבית‪ ,‬נחס (ن َْحس) הוא מזל רע; משהו מבשר רעות‪,‬‬
‫מביא פורענות‪ .‬נאחס עושים‪ ,‬ולפעמים נאחס נהיה מעצמו‪.‬‬
‫לנחס ‪ -‬לעשות למישהו נאחס‪ ,‬לגרום לו להיות מנחוס (منحوس = אומלל‪ ,‬ביש גדא)‪.‬‬
‫נ ָ גְלָה ‪ -‬כאשר צריכים להסיע אנשים אבל אין מספיק מקום לכולם‪ ,‬עושים כמה נגלות (סבבים) וכל פעם מעבירים חלק‬
‫מהאנשים‪ .‬במקור‪ ,‬נקלה (מהשורש נק"ל) היא העברה‪ ,‬הובלה‪.‬‬
‫(ص َبا َبة) הם כיסופים‪ ,‬אהבה לוהטת; ובערבית המדוברת‪ :‬יופי‪ ,‬מצוין‪ .‬בעברית חל בשנים האחרונות שינוי‬
‫סבבה ‪ -‬צבאבה َ‬
‫בשימוש במילה‪ :‬בעבר המילה סבבה שימשה להבעת התלהבות ושביעות רצון ממשהו‪ .‬היום נלווית למילה נימה של‬
‫השלמה עם משימה לא נעימה‪ .‬לדוגמה‪ - :‬מאמי‪ ,‬בא לך לרחוץ כלים? ‪ -‬סבבה‪.‬‬
‫סבבה אגוזים ‪ -‬דומה קצת ל"יופי טופי"‪.‬‬
‫סחבק ‪ -‬למילה יש שני שימושים‪ .‬כאשר אדם מדבר על "סחבק" בגוף שלישי‪ ,‬הוא בעצם מתייחס לעצמו‪ ,‬בנוסח "עבדכם‬
‫הנאמן"‪ .‬וכאשר מדברים על אנשים שהם "סחבקים"‪ ,‬הכוונה היא לאנשים שיש ביניהם קשרי ידידות‪ ,‬לעיתים בזמן‬
‫שמצפים מהם לענייניות או לרשמיות‪ .‬למשל‪" :‬בחיים בישראל הגבולות פרוצים וכולם מרגישים סחבקים‪ .‬אין קודים‬
‫מקובלים של נימוס‪ ,‬התחשבות בזולת או חינוך לאסתטיקה‪ ".‬בערבית‪ ,‬צָאחֵב (صاحب) הוא חבר וצאחבּכ (صاحبك) הוא‬
‫החבר שלך‪ .‬מהמילה סחבק נגזר גם הפועל להסתחבק במשמעות של להתרועע‪ ,‬ליצור ידידות‪ ,‬לעיתים באופן מלאכותי‬
‫או אינטרסנטי‪.‬‬
‫(ص َّحة) ‪ -‬בריאות‪ ,‬שלמות‪ .‬המילה‬
‫סחתיין ‪-‬‬
‫(صحتني) זאת צורת זוגי של צחה ِ‬
‫משמשת בערבית מדוברת במשמעות של‪ :‬לבריאות‪ ,‬בתיאבון‪ ,‬לחיים‪.‬‬
‫עלכ וגם‪ :‬עאלכ ‪ -‬בערבית במילה הזאת אין בכלל עי"ן‪ֻ :‬קלֶּכ (قلك) שנהגית ֻאלֶּכ בערבית המדוברת (העירונית)‪ ,‬היא‬
‫"כדבריך"‪ ,‬ונאמרת בנימה של זלזול וחוסר אמון‪.‬‬
‫עְַרס ( َع ْرس) ‪ -‬סרסור‪ .‬כשהמילה נאמרת בבדיחות הדעת‪ ,‬היא שקולה ל"ממזר"‪ :‬בחור פיקח וממולח‪ .‬בכל הקשר אחר זהו‬
‫ביטוי מעליב ופוגע‪.‬‬
‫يحة) היא שערוריה‪ ,‬בזיון‪ .‬מהמילה נגזרים‬
‫פדיחה ‪ -‬משמעה‬
‫ِ َ‬
‫גם הפעלים פידח‪ ,‬להתפדח‪ .‬פדיחות משתדלים לא לעשות‪.‬‬
‫פיספס ‪ -‬החטיא‪ ,‬החמיץ‪ .‬המילה נוצרה ככל הנראה מהלחישות "פסס‪..‬פסס‪(ِ "..‬ف َّّسة ِف َّّسة) שמטרתן להוציא את היריב‬
‫מהריכוז ברגע המכריע (פיספוס)‪.‬‬
‫פרחה ‪ -‬פְָרחָ'ה (ف َْر َحة) היא אפרוחית‪ ,‬פרגית‪ .‬צורת ההקטנה שלה היא פְֵריחָ'ה (כשם חיבה)‪ ,‬ובעברית המילה קיבלה‬
‫משמעות של נערה קלת‪-‬דעת‪ ,‬קולנית ובעלת לבוש צעקני‪.‬‬
‫פשלה ‪ -‬כמו בערבית (ف ْ‬
‫َشلَة)‪ :‬כשלון‪ .‬לרוב הכוונה היא למעידה חד פעמית ולא אופיינית‪ .‬גם פשלות משתדלים לא‬
‫לעשות‪ ,‬אבל לא תמיד זה מצליח‪ .‬מהמילה נוצר גם הפועל לְ ַפּׁשֵל‪ :‬הוא פישל‪ ,‬פישלתי בגדול וכו'‪.‬‬
‫צ'ילבה ‪ -‬אויבת‪ ,‬יריבה‪ ,‬בדרך כלל בין בנות‪ .‬המקור הוא במילה ּכָלְּבָה ( َكلْ َبة)‪ ,‬כמו בעברית‪.‬‬
‫צַ'ף ‪ -‬כף יד (הכ"ף מבוטאת כצד"י)‪ .‬למשל‪" :‬תן צ'ף"‪.‬‬
‫ראבק ‪ -‬פניה אל המצפון‪ .‬בחייאת ראבק ‪ -‬פניה‬
‫(ر َّبك) ‪ -‬ריבונך‪ ,‬אלוהיך‪.‬‬
‫(ر ْس ِم ّي) הוא "רשמי"‪ .‬למילה הזאת יש היסטוריה מעניינת‪ :‬המילה "רשמי" חודשה על ידי אליעזר בן יהודה על פי‬
‫ַר ְס ִמ י ‪َ -‬‬
‫הערבית‪ .‬בנוסף לזה‪ ,‬קיימת בעברית גם המילה המקורית "רסמי"‪ .‬למשל‪ ,‬בראשית ימי המדינה‪" ,‬רסמי" היה חוקי או רשמי‬
‫במובן של דווח לשלטונות‪ :‬כשעושים משהו "רסמי"‪ ,‬נותנים לו גושפנקא של עבודה מסודרת ורישום פורמלי‪ .‬בסלנג של‬
‫ימינו‪" ,‬רסמי" (ובמיוחד "רסמית") פירושו‪" :‬הכי אמיתי‪ ,‬הכי נכון‪ ,‬הכי באוסול (ע"ע)"‪.‬‬
‫שאפה ‪ -‬היא 'חתיכה' (גם בערבית)‪ .‬במקור‪ ,‬המילה היא ׁשְָקפָה َ‬
‫(ش ْقفَة)‪ ,‬אבל בהגיה המדוברת העירונית לא שומעים את‬
‫הקו"ף‪ ,‬וכך הפכה השקפה ל‪'-‬שאפה'‪ .‬בעברית‪ ,‬נגזרת מהמילה גם הצורה הזכרית‪' :‬שאף' (חתיך)‪.‬‬
‫שופוני יא נאס ‪ -‬מילולית‪ :‬תראו אותי! אמירה של ריקא שמנסה למשוך תשומת לב; "חמור קופץ בראש"‪ .‬או במילים של‬
‫סאבלימינל‪" :‬זהב על הצואר‪ ,‬שופוני יא נאס ‪ -‬וכל העולם תופס ממך דיסטנס"‪.‬‬
‫(ش ْر ُم َ‬
‫שרמוטה َ‬
‫وطة) ‪ -‬זונה‪ ,‬בעברית כמו גם בערבית‪ .‬במקור מצרפתית‪ - Charmante :‬מקסימה‪.‬‬
‫תפרן َ‬
‫(ط ْف َران) ‪ -‬עני‪ ,‬וכן בערבית‪ :‬מי שכיסו ריק‪ ,‬שאין לו פרוטה לפורטּה‪.‬‬
‫החיפזון מהשטן ( َالْ َع َجلَة ِم َن َّ‬
‫الش ْي َطان) ‪ -‬אימרה בשבח המתינות ויישוב הדעת‪.‬‬
‫صل) ‪ -‬יש ימים טובים ויש ימים לא מוצלחים (נאמר בדרך כלל ביום לא מוצלח)‪.‬‬
‫יום עסל יום בסל ( َي ْوم َع َسل َ َ ْ َ َ‬
‫מילולית‪ :‬יום דבש ויום בצל‪.‬‬
‫כל כלב ביג'י יומו (ערבית מדוברת‪ּ :‬כ ֻל ּכַלְ ְּב ּבִיג ִ'י יֹומֹו) ‪ -‬בביטוי הזה משתמשים גם בנוסח הערבי וגם בתרגום (כל כלב‬
‫בא יומו)‪ .‬ביטוי דומה בעברית יפה‪ :‬סוף גנב לתלייה‪.‬‬
‫يرة ِفي َها خَ ْي َرة) ‪ -‬העיכובים בדרך סופם להביא ברכה‪.‬‬
‫כל עכבה לטובה ( ُك ّل َت ْأ ِخ َ‬
‫‪- 120 -‬‬
Suggested Reading on the Topic of Jewish Languages
Ben-Yehuda, Eliezer, A Dream Come True. 1993, Westview Press/Modern Hebrew Classics.
Ben-Yehudaís autobiographical memoir, providing an account of his life until 1882, a year after he
settled in Jerusalem. Because itís in his own words, you can really get a sense of how he thinks.
Harshav, Benjamin, 1993 "Language in the Time of Revolution," University of California Press.
By the eminent scholar Benjamin Harshav. Part 2 is most relevant. It's not a heavy as it sounds. He
is utterly brilliant.
Katz, DovidóWords on Fire, the Unfinished Story of Yiddish, Basic Books, 2004óA very thorough,
scholarly, yet very readable book about the evolution of Yiddish and why it still is significant as a
Jewish language.
Stevens, Ilan, Resurrecting Hebrew, Schocken Books, 2008óAn intriguing, but meandering, account
of one manís recent obsessive search for his own forgotten Hebrew, and the real story of Ben Yehuda
and the resurrection of modern Hebrew.
St. John, Robert, Tongue of the Prophets, 1952, A well written biography of Ben Yehuda that
had input and approval from Ben Yehudaís wife Hemda. A good book for middle and high school
Weinstein, Miriam, Yiddish: A Nation of Words, Ballentine Books, 2004óa shorter, lighter read
than Words on Fire that gives an overview of the story of Yiddish.
On the Web
Ladino Today: Is the language of Sephardic Jews, undergoing a revival? By Aviya Kushner
Ladino, the Language of Sephardic Jews< NPR Radio Story
Ladino --- a Language Destined to be Lost? Dr. Jay Levinson
Zuckermann, Ghil'ad 2006. 'A New Vision for "Israeli Hebrew": Theoretical and Practical
Implications of Analysing Israel's Main Language as a Semi-Engineered Semito-European
Hybrid Language'. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 5.1: 57-71.
Zuckermann, Ghil'ad 2008. Realistic Prescriptivism": The Academy of the Hebrew Language,
its Campaign of “Good Grammar" and Lexpionage, and the Native Israeli Speakers. Israel
Studies in Language and Society 1.1: 135-154.
- 121 -
Zuckermann, Ghil'ad 2009. 'Hybridity versus Revivability: Multiple Causation, Forms and
Patterns'. Journal of Language Contact Varia 2: 40-67. Yadin, Azzan and Zuckermann, Ghil'ad 2010. 'Blorít: Pagans' Mohawk or Sabras' Forelock?:
Ideologically Manipulative Secularization of Hebrew Terms in Socialist Zionist Israeli' in Tope
Omoniyi (ed.), The Sociology of Language and Religion: Change, Conflict and Accommodation.
London - New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Compiled by Shari Davis
- 122 -
Contact Page - Educator’s Joint Seminar # 9
Park Plaza Orchid Hotel, 79 Ha’Yarkon St. Tel Aviv, Tel: 972-(0)3-5197111
Yad Ha’Shmona Guest House, Judean Mountains, Tel: 972-(0)2-5343956
Omer Adiri, Logistics Coordinator, Tel: 052-2849979
Usishkin School: 31 Shimon Hatarsi St. Tel: 03-6044362
Batya Meudovnik
[email protected]
Ort Singalovski School, 28 Ha'Tayasim Rd. Tel: 03-6301203
Irit Morag
[email protected]
Yael Lavie
[email protected]
Bloch School, 19 Bitzaron St., Tel: 03-5624991
Ety Ya'acov
[email protected]
Gordon School, 248 Hayarkon St., Tel: 03-5465869
Yotam Y'zraeli
[email protected]
Lady Davis School: 226 Bnei Efraim St. Tel: 03-6476160
Ronit Sapir
[email protected]
Shari Offir
[email protected]
Magen School: 4 Kadesh Barne'a St. Tel: 03-6471904
Drora Levi
[email protected]
Yoram Amir
[email protected]
Nitzanim School: 22 Anderson St. Tel: 03-6419880
Einat Lev Haim
[email protected]
Ironi Daled School: 74 Weitzman St. Tel: 03-5442514, 03-5466890
Yaffa Ambram
[email protected]
Ironi Tet School: 7 Tsherna St. Tel:03-6316525
Gila Ingbir
[email protected]
Sharon Levinhar
[email protected]
Ironi Yud-Daled School: 8 Even Sapir St. Tel: 03-6470970
Anat Kalay
[email protected]
Meiron School:65 Shlomtzion Ha'Malka St. Tel: 03-6057379
Mimi Reznikov
- 123 -
[email protected]
Zeitlin School: 22 Zeitlin St. Tel: 03-6963119
Pinchas Levi
[email protected]
Betzalel Aharoni
[email protected] Gretz School: 5 Adam Ha'Cohen St. Tel: 03-5220034
Ehud Nevo
[email protected]
Tichon Hadash, 81 Namir Blvd. Tel: 03- 5424444
Coby Wilner
[email protected]
Ironi He School: 227 Ben Yehuda St. Tel: 03- 6040039
Shirley Matityahu
[email protected]
Gymnasia Hertzlia: 106 Jabotinski St. Tel: 03-6940202
Lior Siboni
[email protected]
Zahala School: 3 Asa'el St. Tel: 03-6472593
Yifat Perlman
[email protected]
Yehudit Amitai
[email protected]
Haya Ben Dror - Education Director
[email protected]
Uri Asayag - Schools’ Consultant
[email protected]
Anna Kislanski - Curricular Consultant & Teachers’
Seminar Coordinator
[email protected]
Hamutal Levy - Administrative Assistant
[email protected]
Ahuva Ron
Senior Education Director
[email protected]
Davis Shari
Curricular Consultant
[email protected]
Dan Gold
Assistant to Educational Director
[email protected]
- 124 -
First name
Last name
phone number
Adat Ari El
[email protected]
Adat Ari El
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
NCJHS Gymnasia
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Ner Tamid
[email protected]
Temple Judea
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
TIOH Day school
[email protected]
- 125 -
‫החיפוש אחר שפה יהודית משותפת‬
The Search for a Common Jewish Language
- 126 -
- 127 -
To the Glory of the Hebrew Language
To make love to it, to worship it, to know it.
To hold a pride parade in its honor.
To reveal its treasures, to navigate its beauty marks,
To be among its mystics.
To listen to its sounds, to cause its lips and idioms to speak,
And talk,
To it and in it, and through it and about it
And watch for its suitors.
To know it,
The Hebrew which has copyrights
Over who I am and who we are.
And to strike an alliance with it,
An alliance with a word (Hebrew)
Hebrew of the Bible and of the Sabbath
Hebrew of "Hagashash" which is in no way 'pale.'
Hebrew of the yeshiva's pulpit and the market's stalls.
The language of the great liturgists and all the soccer fans.
Judaic Hebrew,
Of Yehudah Hanassi, Yehudah Halevi and Yehudah (Yehuda) Amichai.
Hebrew of Ben Yehuda
And of the Machane Yehuda Market, where every apple's a soccer star.
The language tanned from the bright azure light
The inverse Hebrew, for which it's a waste of time
The army's Hebrew, which leaves no wounded in the field and doesn't leave guard duty.
The Hebrew of for no reason at all, as if nothing.
Agnon's language, which if someone hasn't heard, he should
And someone who has, should hear it once again.
The Hebrew in which it's no longer so funny to say kruvit (cauliflower) but rather kruchit (@)
The Zionist Hebrew, of vagrants who traverse the country's length and width
And make love to it, undisciplined people.
Alterman's language found between words of a fool and words of a sage
A difference as if there's no difference, but there actually is
The aching Hebrew, who is sorry about brother Jonathan
And the happy one because we must be happy
The friendly Hebrew of friendship songs
And the romantic one of shepherds' songs.
The visionary language of "they shall beat their swords into plowshares."
Then, why, on earth do
Cafes boast of names such as
Coffee to Go, or Coffee Shop
When we have Pundak (an inn), Beit Cafe and Cafe Botz (mud coffee).
To the glory of the Hebrew language.
Aryeh Bodenheimer
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