Saturday, August 3, 2019

Hebrew Grammar's The Key, Masei מסעי Parshat Shavua

I must admit that I love grammer, Hebrew Grammar and English, too. But it's Hebrew grammar which is most important. There are so many hidden messages in words, and an enormous amount of words can't be easily translated. The name of this week's Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week,  Masei מסעי, is one of those words.



Generally people translate Masei מסעי as "journeys." The Sefaria online Tanach/Bible translate it as "march" which is a drop closer. The letters מסעי all have meaning. The root is סע travel. The word is a plural noun, signified by the י at the end. And I see the מ as conjugated in the verb form הפעיל which "activates" or "forces" the linguistic root. When you add that all together, you have a forced march/journey, which makes sense. 

The so-called "journeys" the Jewish People took in the wilderness were not of their choice or timing. They didn't just wander around out of boredom or curiosity. Gd signalled, and they moved; then Gd signalled and they stopped.

Once we arrived in the Land Gd promised us, we were to stop and build and stay. Here's how the chapter ends:
וַיְדַבֵּ֧ר יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֖ה בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵח֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃
In the steppes of Moab, at the Jordan near Jericho, the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
51
דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן׃
Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52
וְה֨וֹרַשְׁתֶּ֜ם אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם וְאִ֨בַּדְתֶּ֔ם אֵ֖ת כָּל־מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־צַלְמֵ֤י מַסֵּֽכֹתָם֙ תְּאַבֵּ֔דוּ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־בָּמֹתָ֖ם תַּשְׁמִֽידוּ׃
you shall dispossess all the inhabitants of the land; you shall destroy all their figured objects; you shall destroy all their molten images, and you shall demolish all their cult places.
53
וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּ֥ם אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וִֽישַׁבְתֶּם־בָּ֑הּ כִּ֥י לָכֶ֛ם נָתַ֥תִּי אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ לָרֶ֥שֶׁת אֹתָֽהּ׃
And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have assigned the land to you to possess.
54
וְהִתְנַחַלְתֶּם֩ אֶת־הָאָ֨רֶץ בְּגוֹרָ֜ל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹֽתֵיכֶ֗ם לָרַ֞ב תַּרְבּ֤וּ אֶת־נַחֲלָתוֹ֙ וְלַמְעַט֙ תַּמְעִ֣יט אֶת־נַחֲלָת֔וֹ אֶל֩ אֲשֶׁר־יֵ֨צֵא ל֥וֹ שָׁ֛מָּה הַגּוֹרָ֖ל ל֣וֹ יִהְיֶ֑ה לְמַטּ֥וֹת אֲבֹתֵיכֶ֖ם תִּתְנֶחָֽלוּ׃
You shall apportion the land among yourselves by lot, clan by clan: with larger groups increase the share, with smaller groups reduce the share. Wherever the lot falls for anyone, that shall be his. You shall have your portions according to your ancestral tribes.
55
וְאִם־לֹ֨א תוֹרִ֜ישׁוּ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָאָרֶץ֮ מִפְּנֵיכֶם֒ וְהָיָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תּוֹתִ֣ירוּ מֵהֶ֔ם לְשִׂכִּים֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וְלִצְנִינִ֖ם בְּצִדֵּיכֶ֑ם וְצָרֲר֣וּ אֶתְכֶ֔ם עַל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַתֶּ֖ם יֹשְׁבִ֥ים בָּֽהּ׃
But if you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land, those whom you allow to remain shall be stings in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land in which you live;

56
וְהָיָ֗ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּמִּ֛יתִי לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת לָהֶ֖ם אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֥ה לָכֶֽם׃ (פ)
so that I will do to you what I planned to do to them.

2 comments:

Mr. Cohen said...

I must agree with you about the importance
of grammar, because without it, a precise
understanding of language is not possible.

However, for most people, grammar is the most
difficult part of mastering any language.

What bothers me about the way Israelis
speak Hebrew is when they replace perfectly
adequate Hebrew words with non-Hebrew words.

We must do something to safeguard the
purity of the Hebrew language from
infiltration by unnecessary non-Hebrew words.

===================================

from JNS dot org:

“Under the Trump administration,
the United States argued that UNRWA
[United Nations Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine Refugees]
has perpetuated, rather than helped,
end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
by extending refugee status to
the children, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren of those who
fled Israel during the establishment
of the Jewish state in 1948.”

SOURCE: UNRWA Leaders Accused
of Sexual Misconduct, Ethics Violations

www.jns.org/unrwa-leaders-accused-of-sexual-misconduct-ethics-violations/

===================================
Anthony Abma said:

“Appeasement [of evil] is not only
nearsighted, but dangerously addictive.

It induces short-term high that acts
as a justification for ignoring the
consequences future generations must face.

The intoxication of appeasement
has blinded even some of the
most senior Israeli officials.”

SOURCE:
Time to stop feeding the crocodiles
by Rev. Anthony Abma, 2019 August 1
www.jns.org/opinion/time-to-stop-feeding-the-crocodiles/

===================================
Tuvia Tenenbom
[a secular Israeli author] said:


“Outside of the Orthodox community,
where Jews are proud to be Jews,
and are observing Jewish Law...

In state-after-state, temple-after-temple,
what I saw and what I witnessed was a nightmare:

You see [non-Orthodox] Rabbis,
so-called Rabbis, leaders, supposedly
leaders, standing at a podium,
and all they can tell to their
listeners, is that Israel is
an apartheid state,
and that Judaism is racist.

That is what they preach,
over and over and over and over again...”

SOURCE: Shocking Tuvia Tenenbom
Interview Tells Truth about Reform & Conservative Jews

a YouTube video/published on 2017 July 17
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkT19Gyf5DM

Batya said...

Using non-Hebrew words and terms doesn't bother me as much as their awful grammar, incorrect gender for numbers and adjectives, plus the wrong prefix for 1st person future etc.