Sunday, 11 January 2015

It's Hebrew Language Week. Let's Start Counting the English Words You Know that Actually Come from Hebrew.


It's me again. Zvuvi. And I have a question for you: how many of the English words you use are actually Hebrew?

Hmmm....Want to think about it? Take your time. In the meantime I'm going to put up our alphabet.

Our alphabet is called the Alef Bet.

What's that??? Did I hear you say that the word alphabet sounds like Alef Bet?!?

Ding, Ding, Ding!!!!! You just scored a point because the Alef Bet was around a long time before the word "alphabet" came into being.

What other English words are almost, if not identical to Hebrew words?

How about:



Here's another. It's a Leonard Cohen favorite: 

Too much prayer? Here's a word that's Shabbat related. It's something everyone loves to eat, even people that are not Jewish. The word -- in Hebrew and English -- is right there, on the bottom right corner of this cutting board.


What's that? You say I've got a lot of  

And if you think this is a Yiddish word, you are so wrong! Have a read

These are only a few "English" words. There are many more. 

Why, all of a sudden, am I into this? Because it's Hebrew Language Week in Israel. Tomorrow is the birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of the modern Hebrew language. Without him, Hebrew would only be the language of the Bible. Thanks to him, it's the language we speak morning, noon and night. 

Don't worry. A lot of English words have crept into Hebrew as well. But that's another post.

So, for now... 



Alef Bet Credit

Amen Credit

אמן Credit

Hallelujah Credit

Challah Credit

Chutzpah Credit

חוצפה Credit

Bye Bye Credit

ביי ביי Credit

Shabbat Around the World

We Jews are a diverse people, with communities all over the world creating engaging Shabbat customs.

You can learn about them through my unique,
digital-story / lesson-plan series that
It Gets You and Your Students Involved!