David Kolinsky
David Kolinsky

A Sin of Festering Over the Details of Experience

In the previous parashah, God sent us to dispose ourselves (ארץ)1 to what oppressively draws in from experience (Canaan).2 Failing that, God encouraged us to repetitively strive (TsiTsiT)3 to draw in the basic facts encountered in experience (כנפי בגדים).4,5 As the mental faculty that festers over things in experience (Qorahh),6 a behavior of narrowing in upon things so as to gain clarity (Yitshar)7, a behavior of intently maintaining a visual fix on a scene (Q’hat),8 a behavior of clinging to a scene so as to generate an awareness of many startling things (Levi)9 – Qorahh’s motives were noble. Along with an act of repetitively going over a scene (Datan),10 an augmented effort to take notice of things (Aviram),11 and a great capacity, a behavior of going to extremes (On ben Pelet)12 – Qorahh was taking up (information) from the scene. In so doing, he and the behaviors associated with him were challenging the mental faculty that draws out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience (Moshe)13 and one’s ability to repetitively bring things to light (Aharon).14 While on the peshat, Qorahh appears to be vying for leadership, allegorically he is challenging Moshe and Aharon to process the vast amount of data that he and the behaviors associated with him have attained from the scene.

Moshe says: בקר וידע יי את אשר לו ואת הקודש “Morning (בקר BoQaeR) and HaShem will be one acknowledging what there is to Him and what is holy.” By stating that this challenge will occur in the morning (בוקר), in the time of making an investigation, Moshe is agreeing that an investigation (בקר) of the information that can be acquired from the scene must be done. Furthermore, the text does not say that God will acknowledge, nor does it say that God will make known (what there is to him). Instead, the gerund (is one acknowledging) is used. The word YaDa\ (ידע to acknowledge > know) evolved from YaDaH (ידה to point out > acknowledge). Therefore, the text is saying that the action of God, God’s bringing forth of existence, brings forward the aspect of experience upon which a person must focus attention (holy).15 Thus Qorahh (an act of festering over a scene) and his associated behaviors must perform their duties of taking up from experience with their scoopers (מחתות),16 with mental persistence (fire),17 and by investigating the scene (קטרת)18 with regard to the many presentations (לפני)19 of God’s bringing forth of existence. Then, when a prodding comes from experience (מחר tomorrow),20 there will be one particular component of being mentally persistent (איש man)21 whose object of focus will be what is brought forward of experience. The job of Levi is not to bring that one thing forward, but rather to cling to a scene with mental persistence and bring forward an array of startling things.9 Additionally, it is not their job to be acts of giving particular things precise and mindful attention (kohanim).22 Nor is it their job to be as Aharon (an act of repetitively bringing things to light)14 so as to tease out the individual things from experience that are pertinent.

Qorahh, one’s festering over the details of a scene,6 represents a relentless process of data acquisition. Although not mentioned in this parashah, his three sons’ names provide the evidence: being bound to the scene (אסיר),23 advancing forward and acquiring (אלקנה),24 and my taking notice of things gathers in (אביאסף).25 However, it is Datan (the act of repetitively going over a scene)10 and Aviram (an augmented effort to take notice of things)11 who are ultimately cited and accused. Nevertheless, before their final condemnation, they are given an opportunity to redeem themselves when Moshe sends to call them closer (וישלח לקרא). As sons of Eliav (my advancing forward, taking notice of things),26 they represent acts of relentless and excessive data acquisition. They accuse Moshe of elevating them from an act of disposing of oneself to what flows forth of what is captivating and copious (land flowing with milk and honey),27 into a flash flood of experience that drives directly forward and barrels down (wilderness),28 an inheritance of going back and forth in a frenzy (field)29 and of piling up the data that surrounds (vineyard).30 Furthermore, they accuse Moshe, the mental faculty drawing out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience,13 of ruling over them. Even if Moshe were to pick through (נקר gouge)31 all of the observations (eyes > eyeings) of the many acts of applying oneself in experience (men),32 the details attained by them would not ascend to him. Moshe retorts that their way of leaning into experience (minchah)33 should not be given priority. For Moshe did not lift up nor perform poorly with a single detail (חמור אחד)34,35 acquired by them.

At this point, Qorahh (one’s festering over a scene) is again instructed, along with all of his being enduringly mentally present (congregation),36 to present themselves with their scoopers and their mental persistence and their investigating of a scene (incense)56 before God’s bringing forth of existence (Y-H-W-H). However, these instructions differ from before because here Aharon (one’s repetitively bringing things to light)14 is included. Additionally, all of these are channeled to the opening of the act of becoming familiar with things in being enduringly mentally present (tent of meeting).37 In other words, all of the details of the scene are made apparent and, therefore, the intensity (כבוד)38 of God’s bringing forth of existence appears. HaShem then instructs Moshe and Aharon to separate from the data pushing in resulting from the act of being enduringly mentally present (תוך העדה).39 However, they question the decision of reviewing and then withdrawing (רגע)40 from all that can be acquired from a scene just because a single act of being mentally persistent (man)21 with things in experience goes astray.

Instead, Moshe instructs the congregation to remove themselves from being about the tents (acts of becoming familiar with things)41 of these wicked men. The word for wicked, ReSha\ (רשע), literally means “one who drives in and is overpowering.”42 In Ugaritic, the root also means “to be defective.” Here a person’s ability to be enduringly mentally present with a scene (congregation) is being divided off from a similar yet excessive behavior of defectively and overpoweringly attempting to acquire all of the details from a scene as represented by Qorahh (festering over a scene), Datan (repreatedly going over a scene), and Aviram (an augmentation of one’s taking notice of things). They are to be compared and contrasted with the many acts of clearly seeing things as a result of one’s making a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience (elders of Israel)43,44 and with one’s ability to draw out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience (Moshe).13

Allegorically, information drawn out (and engaged) from experience is referred to as having died,45 while information left alive (lively) is that which remains unengaged. Moshe says: אם כמות כל האדם ימתון אלה ופקדת כל האדם יפקד עליהם לא יי שלחני “If as the death of all humans, these shall die; and a fate of all humans shall be summoned upon them – HaShem has not sent me.” Allegorically, the word for human-man, (אדם /aDaM), means “one’s being thoughtfully absorbed with experience.”46 Here it represents an act of being aware of all that is around in experience. In contrast, Moshe draws out particular things from a midst all of what is around. If the things advancing forward in experience (אלה these) are completely drawn out (die)45 and therefore made manifest through a process of one’s being thoughtfully absorbed with all that is around (אדם /aDaM), then Moshe’s job of picking and choosing has been spurned.

Moshe then says:ואם בריאה יברא יהוה ופצתה האדמה את פיה ובלעה אתם ואת כל אשר להם וירדו חיים שאלה וידעתם כי נאצו האנשים האלה את יהוה “And if HaShem shall create a new-creation. And the ground will split open its mouth and will swallow them and all that is to them such that they will descend alive toward Sheol then you will know that these men rejected HaShem.” Allegorically this means: “And if God’s bringing forth of existence will create a novel, well sculpted thing47 and yet the being mentally absorbed with experience (ground)46 will open its mouth and will swallow them and all that is to them (the data) such they will descend alive, moving toward ultimate decay (Sheol).48 Then you will know that these acts of applying oneself (men) have rejected God’s bringing forth of existence.”

So as not to be as Qorahh (one’s festering over a scene)6 and his congregation (the being enduringly mentally present associated with it),36 Elazar the son of Aharon is given instructions to make their scoopers into over-layed beaten plates for the altar. Allegorically, the scoopings are of things widely acknowledged (רקועי)49 of the things blown about (פחים),50 observed (צפוי),51 for the purpose of the act of flowing forth to experience (מזבח).”52 It will be a sign (אות) that indicates what can be found in experience, thus pointing the way53 for the behaviors of making a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience (Israel).44 This was done, so that a way of being mentally persistent with experience (איש man)21 that is estranged (זר)54 that is not of the scattering about (seed)55 of the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 shall not be utilized to make an investigation (קטרת)56 with regard to God’s bringing forth of existence. Which is to say that making a directed search by advancing forward with initiative (Elazar),57 giving something precise and mindful attention (kohaen, priest),22 is the opposite of festering over experience (Qorahh).6

Even though they were not as Qorahh (festering over the scene),6 they did bring out a tremendous amount of data from experience – things widely acknowledged (רקועי)49 of the things blown about (פחים),50 observed (צפוי).51 Therefore, the congregation complained about the complete drawing out (death)45 of the being mindful of the many things crowding in (עם people)58 from God’s bringing forth of existence. This led to the appearance of the intensity (כבוד)38 of God’s bringing forth of existence as a covering of the overwhelming presence (cloud),59 as a result of their turning to the act of becoming familiar with things in being enduringly mentally present (tent of meeting).37 Although Moshe was instructed to remove himself from the middle of the congregation so that God might contain-eliminate them in an instant (כרגע). Moshe instructs Aharon to make atonement for the congregation through the ritual use of incense. So Aharon (the repeated acts of bringing things to life)14 stops the stumbling (נגף plague)60 by making an investigation (incense)18 while standing at the boundary between the things in experience drawn out and engaged (dead)45 and those still lively and unengaged.

At this point, HaShem orders for one staff inscribed with the name of each tribe to be taken into the tent of meeting. מַטֶּה אֶחָד לְרֹאשׁ בֵּית אֲבוֹתָם “one staff for the head of the house of their fathers.” Allegorically: “an inclining,61 one of being mentally sharp,35 for a seeing62 of what comes in (from experience)63 of their taking notice of things.64” In so doing, the best way of being mentally persistent with experience (איש man)21 can be chosen and its way of inclining (staff)61 can flourish. HaShem’s explanation: וַהֲשִׁכֹּתִי מֵעָלַי אֶת-תְּלֻנּוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֵם מַלִּינִם עֲלֵיכֶם “And I will hedge in from upon me the complaints of the children of Israel that they are complaining about you.” Interestingly, the word for complain is the causative of the verb that means “to join up > lodge.” The purpose here is to designate a particular behavior to be the way of inclining toward God’s bringing forth of existence and for the other behaviors to no longer join up and lodge against God’s bringing forth of existence, the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 and the act of drawing out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience (Moshe).13 Ultimately, it was the way of inclining (staff)61 of the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 that was coming out flourishing, such that it was striving to look (וַיָּצֵץ צִיץ blossoms),65 such that it was delivering up many acts of being intently watchful of things in experience (וַיִּגְמֹל שְׁקֵדִים almond blossoms).66

Unfortunately, this led the Israelites to complain further saying:הֵן גָּוַעְנוּ אָבַדְנוּ כֻּלָּנוּ אָבָדְנוּ: כֹּל הַקָּרֵב הַקָּרֵב אֶל-מִשְׁכַּן יְהוָֹה יָמוּת הַאִם תַּמְנוּ לִגְוֹע “Here, we are expiring, we are lost, all of us are lost. Each approaching more closely, approaching more closely toward the mishkan of HaShem shall die. Would we come to an end by expiring.” Allegorically, “It is too substantial,67 we are drawn inward-exhausted,68 we are lost, regarding our containing (of experience),69 we are lost. Any approaching more closely, approaching closer toward the act of dwelling upon70 God’s bringing forth of existence shall be completely drawn out.45 Would we be spent up-consumed regarding the act of being drawn inward-exhausted.”67 Therefore, their continued concern is one of being overwhelmed by what is encountered in experience, as a result of dwelling upon God’s bringing forth of existence. The solution is that the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon),14 its associated behaviors (sons) and the acts of mentally clinging to a scene, and thus generating an awareness of many startling things (Levites),9 by taking on the responsibility of more directly engaging with experience, will remove a person’s tendency to twist away (iniquity)71 regarding the dedication to move forward into experience (מקדש),15 regarding the giving experience precise and mindful attention (priesthood).22 So that there will not be a bearing down of experience (קצף)72 upon the behaviors of making a sustained survey of the things advancing forward in experience (children of Israel).44

Furthermore, both the relationship and the contrast between the line of Aharon and the rest of Levi is defined: וגם את אחיך מטה לוי שבט אביך הקרב אתך וילוו עליך וישרתוך ואתה ובניך אתך לפני אהל העדות “And also your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, you must bring close with you that they shall be joined upon you and they shall minister to you. But you and your sons with you will be before the tent of testimony.” Allegorically: “And also what points things out to you regarding experience,73 the inclining61 of the acts of mentally clinging to a scene, and thus generating an awareness of many startling things,9 the scanning74 of your acts of taking notice of things64 – you must bring closer with you. So that they shall be joined to you and they shall minister to you. But you and the behaviors associated with you will be for the may things being presented19 of the act of becoming familiar with the things41 that are evident in experience.”75 Therefore, the purpose of Levi is to scan a scene thus creating an awareness of many things. This information is then delivered to the priesthood – to the acts of giving something precise and mindful attention.22 So that the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 and its associated behaviors (sons) can do the work of becoming more familiar with the things in experience that are evident (tent of testimony).41,75 In contrast, Israel represents a person’s directing their attention forward to the things advancing forward in experience.44 It is in opposition to a person’s trying to feverishly focus upon the many things that narrow in upon a person (Mitsraim)76 when trying to chaotically attend to many things in experience (Pharaoh).77

The rest of the parashah gives a detailed delineation of the particular things that are granted to either Aharon and his sons or to the Levites. Allegorically, these represent particular aspects of information that can be attained from experience in particular ways. In general, the acts of mentally clinging to a scene, and thus generating an awareness of many startling things (Levites)9 is responsible for the act of becoming familiar with things (tent).41 However, they may not directly engage any of the things about which they have become aware. Therefore, they may not approach any act of containing what is brought forward in experience (כלי הקודש utensils of holiness),69,15 nor can they flow forth toward particular things in experience (altar).52 Allegorically, the Levites are only observational. In contrast, the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 and its associated behaviors (sons) are those giving things precise and mindful attention (priests).22 They are responsible for anything driving directly forward (דבר thing)28 of the act of flowing forth to things in experience (altar)52 and for what comes in from experience (מבית inside)63 regarding the act of vigorously going over a scene and threshing over the many details (veil).78 Therefore, they attain from experience the things that are especially brought forward of experience (קדש הקדשים what is holiest of the many holy things).15 Because God’s bringing forth of existence is Aharon’s portion and inheritance – belonging to the act of repeatedly bringing things to light.14 Whereas the behaviors of mentally clinging to a scene, and thus generating an awareness of many startling things (Levites)9 observationally receives what bears down (tithe)79 of experience through the making of a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience (Israel).44

Notes:
1 – land (ארץ – /eReTs) evolved from RaTsaTs (רצץ to run upon / crush), which evolved from RuTs (רוץ to run) > RaTsaH (רצה to run toward, show favor). The allegory comes from a related noun /aRTsuT (ארצות one’s disposition, how a person runs-shows favor). Related roots evolved from RuTs (רוץ to run) > RaTsaH (רצה (to run toward) > show favor); RaTsaHh (רצח) (run through) > kill; RaTsa\ (רצע) to run > bore through; RaTsaD (רצד) (run with the eyes)(Arb, keep one’s eyes upon) > to spy out, observe with envy (Ps68:17); RaTsaPh (רצף)(to run into > crowd together) to inlay; MaRaTs (מרץ) to make run > go quick > hasten, provoke; RaTsaTs (רצץ to run upon / crush); \aRaTs (ערץ) to charge at > be terror driven, startled, frightened off, panicked
2 – Canaan – from the root KaNa\ (כנע) meaning to subdue or oppress. A comparison with related roots such as KaNaS (כנס to enter), KaNaPh (כנף wing, (what is drawn in)), KaNaN (כנן to wind around), and KineReT (כנרת the lake, ?drawn into) suggest that literally it means to draw in upon. So Canaan allegorically means one’s being subdued by the many things drawing in from experience from context.
3 – TsiTsiT (ציצת) which represent “little acts of striving.” From TsuTs (צוץ) to bud, blossom, flourish > (hiphil) הציץ (striving to see) to look, gaze (Ss2:9); From the root TsaWaH (צוה – to strive with > command), evolved from NiTsaH (נצה – to strive), by dropping the initial letter nun. The essential meaning is to strive.
4 – wings (כנף KaNaPh) Allegorically: what is drawn in, what draws in. Many K.N. (כנ) roots mean “to draw in” – KaNa\ (כנע) meaning to subdue or oppress. KaNaS (כנס to enter), , KaNaN (כנן to wind around), and KineReT (כנרת the lake, ?drawn into) suggest that literally it means to draw in upon.
5 – clothing (בגד BeGeD) Allegorically: to deliver up basic facts and information. From the (probably unrelated) root BaGaD (בגד) meaning “root, source, what is real, basic fact in Arabic; to betray, give up information, be a traitor, unfaithful, faithless, in Hebrew.
6 – Qorah (קרח) one’s getting in very close and festering over a particular thing. Roots based on the biliteral root Q.R. essentially mean “to get in very close”: קרה to come upon, happen occur; קרא to call closer, call out to, meet, call and read; קרב to approach; קרם to cover closely, membrane, encrust, plate; קרן horn, to project; קרע (get closely into) to tear into, to put on eye liner; קרש to contract, gnash, bite into; קרס to stoop; קרץ to pinch off, squint, purse; נקר to gouge, chisel; שקר to gouge > deceive, lie. In Arabic, the root קרח means to wound, fester, ulcerate. From the idea of fester over something it also means to think up, propose, invent, and improvise. In Sabaic, to inflict a wound. In Syriac: to become bald, (?be clear >>) expose, divulge, disclose, declare expressly, make clear, evident, specify). This idea of baldness which predominates in Hebrew comes from wound > ulcerate > clear out / away > bald, ice/ frost, inside lining (of clothing).
7 – Yitshar (יצהר) narrowing in upon a particular thing so as to make it clearer. The allegory is based on the idea that narrowing in upon something can have a visual component. Evidence for this can be seen in the related words צוהר window; צהרים (time of clarity) before and after noon; יצהר (transparent) oil and the related Arabic ד’הר to be / become visible, perceptible, distinct, clear, apparent, appear, know, learn, noon.
8 – QaHaT (קהת) the act of intently maintaining a visual fix on a scene; from (hold onto firmly) to be obedient (Gn49:10). Based on an unattested root קת (to hold onto firmly) which would have evolved from קשה (be hard / firm / stiff / straight). Also related to קת (Syr – remain fixed, stuck, fix eyes upon / gaze).
9 – Lewi – Levi (לוי) from LaWaH (לוה) to take around, escort to, to follow, to cling to, join company of, be attached. In naming him: עתה הפעם ילוה אישי אלי כי ילדתי לו שלשה בנים. Allegorically, the words Pa\aM implies startling, LaWaH implies clinging, \eeSh implies mental persistence, SheLoShaH implies dangling-suspending, BaNim implies activities. Therefore: mentally clinging to a scene, and thus generating an awareness of many startling things
10 – Datan (דתן DaTaN) Allegorically: repetitively going over a scene. Related to Dotan (דותן). Possibly in the word Dat (דת – religion (although some believe this to be from Persian or from DaNT to rake, tread, thresh, stampede. Which works in context as well.
11 – Aviram (אבירם /aBhyRaM) Allegorically: “my taking notice of things is elevated.” From /aBhaH (אבה) which in Hebrew means “to be willing to give forth of oneself,” whereas in Arabic it means “to take notice of,” + RaM (רם) elevated, high, exalted.
12 – On, son of Pelet (און בן פלת /oN BeN PeLeT) Allegorically: one of (great) capacity, a behavior of going to extremes. Form (און – /oN) “being, strength, capacity, wherewithall, a substantial amount, wealth,” AND PeLeT (פלת) a root only used in names, that derives from PaLaSh (פלש) meaning to go to extremes or from end to end, fullest extent as in מפלשי עב “extent of the cloud” (Ek27:30). As can be seen in Akkadian cognate: “to gaze from one extreme to another, consider, direct-divert attention-check over- look at / toward.” Related to its Arabic cognate (PLT): “to escape, slip away, get away, set free, relieve, EXTRAVAGANT, wanton, licentious.”
13 – Moshe (משה) allegorically complex, with all of the details of the story, the archetype of Moshe means: “A behavior of being mindfully present with many startling things coming in from experience, in mentally clinging to a scene, sucking up some details and looking them over, considering the many possible directions that one particular thing may go, being more mindful of it, channeling this one particular thing while subduing the thoughts about the others, and in showing resolve and being decisive in attending to this one particular thing, making it a priority, thus drawing it out from a midst the many other stirring things found in experience.” Simplified: “the mental faculty drawing out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience.” The verb MaShaH (משה) simply means “to draw out.”
14 – Aharon (אהרן) “the mental faculty bringing things to light;” from the verb HaRaH (הרה – to conceive), but like the related verb HaRHaeR (הרהר), it refers to one’s ability to conceive of something in mind (not in the womb). Also related to these words is the noun HaR (mountain – הר) which literally means “the place of bringing things to light,” a place where one can see and conceive of what is coming due to its elevated perspective.
15 – Holy (קדש – QoDeSh, QaDoSh) Allegorically: what is brought forward. Related to the roots meaning to put the head forward – QaDaD (קדד – to bow), QaDQaD (קדקד – crown of head) and QaDaM (קדם to proceed, advance forward); QaDaR (קדר – to drop the head > to duck under, gloomy, potter), QaDaHh (קדח – (drop the head) > to bore into, pierce), ShaQaD (שקד – watch intently, be watchful of, be vigilant, be determined), \aQaD (עקד – to draw the head toward the feet; fix the eyes on s.th, be deter-mined to do s.th (Arb)) The root QaDaSh (קדש) fundamentally means to advance something forward (so as to dedicate for sanctified use)
16 – fire pan, censer (מחתה MaHhTaH) Allegorically: scoop things up from experience. From the verb HhaTaH (חתה) to scoop up.
17 – Fire /aeSh (אש, fire, persistent existence) from /uSh (אוש – to make persistent, to go on and on, be lengthy, make a steady noise (Jastro)). Allegorically, it can be used to mean persistence or “mental persistence.”
18 – incense (קטרת QaToReT) Allegorically: to engage with and inspect. From the verb QaTaR (קטר) to shrivel (from QuT קוט to shrivel, be disgusted), but also means to tie a knot, interlace, couple together, stiffen; In Amharic: tie a knot, keep secret, engage a worker, encircle; engagement > appointment, to rank > number, count >> encircle, regard, consider, supervise, inspect, oversee and reckon
19 – before (לפני LiPh’Nay) from PaNim (פנים face) but literally meaning faces (because a person has many presentations in one’s face), from the root PaNaH (פנה – to face > turn). Allegorically meaning: many faces > aspects > presentations.
20 – tomorrow (מחר MaChaR) Allegorically: the time of prodding. However, this word actually evolved from “delay, behind, after (אחר – /aChaR)” with an addition of an mem and elision of the aleph. The idea of prodding comes from the related Ch-R roots (חור חרה חרר) all essentially meaning (to prod) to poke through, make a hole, puncture. Consider: MaChyR (מחיר) (incentive price >) price (Dt23:19)(SmII24:24) and its cognates: Akkadian: “to drive into > present again and again > to appeal to;” and Ugaritic: “tax collector, price, commercial value.”
21 – husband > man (איש – /eySh) from /uSh (אוש – to make persistent, to go on and on, be lengthy, make a steady noise (Jastro)). Initially meaning husband (one who persists with a wife), it later came to mean man. Allegorically, it is always used to mean “mental persistence.”
22 – priest (כהן – KoHaeN) related to the noun KaWaNaH (כונה – mindful intention); used as a verb not related to priestly duties (piel) to set / fix in place precisely (Is61:10).
23 – Asir (אסיר) one’s becoming bound to a particular thing; from אסר to wrap around, harness, to bind.
24 – Elqanah (אלקנה) one’s advancing so as to fixate upon a particular thing; from El (אל) G-d, meaning one advancing forward with initiative such as in el (אל) to, toward; ayil (איל) ram forward; Ya/aL (יאל) to endeavor to advance forward allegorically can be used to mean “what advances forward” and “one’s advancing forward.” + QaNaH (קנה – to acquire), representing one’s (visually) fixating on particular things, it literally means “to fix in place.” It evolved into QaNa/ (קנא) be visually fixated on > jealous, zealous. Note related root תקן to fix.
25 – Aviasaph (אביאסף) one’s reining in of one’s ability to take notice of things; from /aBhaH (אבה) which in Hebrew means “to be willing to give forth of oneself,” whereas in Arabic it means “to take notice of.” + אסף to gather in
26 – Eliav (אליאב /eLy/aBh) Allegorically: “my advancing forward, taking notice of things.” From El (אל) G-d, meaning one advancing forward with initiative such as in el (אל) to, toward; ayil (איל) ram forward; Ya/aL (יאל) to endeavor to advance forward; /aeLeH (these – what advances forward); /aL (אל) preclude; /aLaH (אלה) curse (what is brought forward) AND From /aBhaH (אבה) which in Hebrew means “to be willing to give forth of oneself,” whereas in Arabic it means “to take notice of.”
27 – a land flowing with milk and honey (ארץ זבת חלב ודבש) a disposing of oneself to what flows of what is captivating in experience and what pours forth copiously. FROM: land (ארץ – /eReTs) evolved from RaTsaTs (רצץ to run upon / crush), which evolved from RuTs (רוץ to run) > RaTsaH (רצה to run toward, show favor). The allegory comes from a related noun /aRTsuT (ארצות one’s disposition, how a person runs-shows favor). Milk (חלב – HhaLaBh) from the Arabic root (חלב = ChaLaB – to seize with claws, cajole, coax, beguile, fascinate, captivate; gripping, captivating, attractive, tempting). Honey (דבש – DaBhaSh) literally means both to extend outward and to rush or flow heavily. It is related to DaBhaR (דבר – to drive directly at / over, kill, pestilence, speak); DaBhaQ (דבק – to adhere to, catch up with, pursue); DaBha/ (דבא – strength, prime); DoBh (דוב – bear, one who rushes at). In Akkadian, this root means bear like.
28 – miDBaR (מדבר) In most Semitic languages the root DaBaR (דבר) means to drive at and to direct. Even in Hebrew, the same piel form of the verb that usually means to speak means “to drive over, barrel down, to kill” (CrII22:10). The word DeBheR (דבר) means plague for this reason. Although miDBar may simply mean “a place requiring direction or guidance,” the fact of geography and the frequent occurrence of flash floods suggests to me otherwise.
29 – SaDeH (שדה) field, is related to the verb SaDaD (שדד – (drag behind) to level / harrow ground) which in turn is related to ShaDaD (שדד – (to drag) > to overpower, plunder, ruin, destroy). The idea of going back and forth can be seen in the related verbs ShaDaKh (שדך – haggle, negotiate, stipulate) and ShaDaPh (שדף – to make swing back and forth, to blast)
30 – vineyard (כרם KeReM) heaping up a lot from experience; from the verb KaRaM (כרם) (surround) > vineyard, (per Jastro > ) to pile up, stock up; to set apart (Amh), to stock up (Akk). From the root KuR (כור) which in Arabic means “to be / become round, to wind around, roll up). Related roots also mean either to be round or to go around, such as: KaRaH (כרה) prepare a feast; KiRKaeR (כרכר) to dance > KiKaR (ככר) a circuit, labyrinth, maze; KaRaBh (כרב) to plow, turn over and over in one’s thoughts (Syr), to worry (Arb), to constantly pray (Akk); KaRaKh (כרך) to wrap around > make a sandwich wrap, garment; KaRaM (כרם) surrounded > vineyard; to set apart (Amh), to stock up (Akk); MaKhaR (מכר) to go around > to sell; NaKhaR (נכר) to go around > to be barely acquainted, to become acquainted, to recognize.
31 – to gouge (נקר NaQaeR) Allegorically: to get very close into and pick through. From roots based on the biliteral root Q.R. (קר) essentially mean “to get in very close”: KaRaH (קרה to come upon, happen occur); QaRa/ (קרא to call closer, call out to, meet, call and read); QaRaBh (קרב to approach); QaRaM (קרם to cover closely, membrane, encrust, plate); QaRaN (קרן horn, to project); QaRa\ (קרע (get closely into) to tear into, to put on eye liner); QaRaSh (קרש to contract, gnash, bite into); QaRaS (קרס to stoop, clasp); QaRaTs (קרץ to pinch off, squint, purse); NaQaR (נקר to gouge, chisel); ShaQaR (שקר to gouge > deceive, lie).
32 – Men (/aNaShim – אנשים) from the noun /eNoSh (אנוש), evolved from the root /aNaH (אנה) meaning to impose or apply oneself. Therefore the meaning is those applying-imposing themselves in experience.
33 – meal or MinHhaH offering (מנחה MiNHhaH) etymologically comes from the verb MaNaHh (מנח) Ugaritic: “to deliver; delivery, contribution, tribute; offering” & Arabic “to grant, give, accord, bestow, confer; gift, present, grant, and donation.” MaNaHh (מנח) evolved from NaHhaH (נחה), has a sense of leaning in or inclining toward something. Cognate with NaHhaH (נחה) is the Arabic (נחא – to wend one’s way, go, move, walk, turn toward > follow, imitate; BUT Also (incline >) lean, push aside, remove, yield, withdraw), Also from NaHhaH (נחה) is NaHhaL (נחל (to push toward) inherit) and NaHhaT (נחתּ to take down, put at the disposal of, bring, reach for ((Ugaritic)).
34 – donkey (HhaMoR – חמרים) From HhaMaR (חמר – to heap up, load), but also related to the Talmudic word HhuMRaH (חמרה – a stringent, fastidiousness and attention to details). Usually allegorically means “acts of conscientiously loading up details.” However, Arabic cognate also means: constraining or harboring resentment
35 – mental sharpness (/eHhaD – אחד) evolved from the root HhaDaD (חדד – to sharpen), literally meaning “one (sharpened point);” allegorically it means “mental sharpness” from the related root HhuD (חוד) meaning to test one’s mental acumen
36 – congregation (עדה \aedaH) Allegorically: an act of being enduringly mentally present. Related to testimony (עדות – \aeduT); enduring (עד – \aD); evident-witness (עד – \aeD); endure, meet, appoint (יעד Ya\aD) > meeting (מועד Mo\eD); these related terms all essentially mean “to endure in place or time.”
37 – tent of meeting (אהל מועד /oHeL Mo\aeD) Allegorically: the act of becoming familiar of being enduringly (mentally) present. In Arabic, the root /aHaL (אהל tent) means “take a wife, be familiar, inhabited; enable, qualify, competence, aptitude).” The following roots all mean: “to endure in place or time.”testimony (עדות – \aeduT); enduring (עד – \aD); evident-witness (עד – \aeD); endure, meet, appoint (יעד Ya\aD) > meeting (מועד Mo\eD);
38 – intensity, heaviness, glory (כבוד KaBhoD). From the verb KaBhaD (כבד – be heavy, honor, respect, take seriously).
39 – in the middle of, midst of (תוך ToKh) comes from the verb TaWaKh (תוך – to push or force inward).
40– in a moment (רגע ReGa\) Allegorically: in accordance with an act of withdrawing-going back and forth-reviewing. From the verb that literally means “to go back and forth.” Consider: רגעי־ארץ those migrating of the land (Ps35:20). The Arabic cognate: recur, come back / again, begin again, resume, revert to, go over s.th, retreat, react, look up, consult, refrain, and withdraw and distance oneself. R.G root words, generally mean “to go back and forth.” רגג to swoon after; הרג to kill (make go back and forth), in Syriac and Arabic to muse over, blur the mind; רגל walk about, spy out, to slander; שרג to slip back and forth, entangle; שׂרג to swing back and forth, slip; רגב clod, make clods; quiver, be afraid; רגף to shake, stir; רגם to throw at, pelt at, Akk- shout at, persecute raise claim against, accuse; Ugr – to communicate, say, tell, announce, inform, answer; Amh- to curse, wish evil upon; Arb- to stone, curse, revile; shooting stars, meteorites; רגע to swing back and forth, roll; רגש to surge together, rage; רגז to deviate from side to side, wander about, get lost; ארג to weave
41 – tent (אהל /oHeL) Allegorically: the act of becoming familiar. In Arabic, the root /aHaL (אהל tent) means “take a wife, be familiar, inhabited; enable, qualify, competence, aptitude)
42 – wicked (רשע RaSha\) Allegorically: drive into > exert power over. From RaShaH (רשה)(to drive into). Hence RaShaM (רשם) to mark; RaSha\ (רשע) to exert power over > be wicked; RaShaSh (רשש) to crush, pummel; RaShaPh (רשף) to penetrate, insinuate > lightening, arrow, flare. Which evolves into: RaSaH (רסה drive in, strike) > RaSaS (רסס) to crush, crack, make fragments > HaRaS (הרס) to break down, destroy;
43 – elders of (זקני ZiQNaey) allegorically “the acts of clearly visualizing things of the making of a sustained survey of what advances forward in experience” from (זקן – (be clear) beard, old), related to ZuQ (זוק – (Arb- (make clear in the mind) to visualize) and ZaQaQ (זקק – (to make clear / purify) to distill).
44 – Yisrael (ישראל) from the verb Sarah (שרה) which does not exactly mean to wrestle, nor does its associated noun exactly mean princess. It means to fix on something either visually or physically. When to fix on something physically, it could be used to mean wrestle. When to fix on something visually, its male counterpart, Sar (שר), means an overseer, a member of the court. Additionally, El (אל) G-d, meaning one advancing forward with initiative such as in el (אל) to, toward; ayil (איל) ram forward; Ya/aL (יאל) to endeavor to advance forward allegorically can be used to mean “what advances forward” and “one’s advancing forward.” Yisrael is an augmentation of Yaaqov (investigating what comes around). Therefore, it is just a bit more than focusing upon the many things advancing forward, because it is an action that is more sustained.
45 – die (MuT – מות) has the paradoxical meaning of “to be completely drawn out,” or fully manifest. Its essential meaning of extending something in space or time can be seen by examining the related roots MaTaQ (מתק – to savor), MaTaiy (מתי – (drawn out to) when), and MaTaHh (מתח – to draw, spread out)
46 – human (אדם – /aDaM) evolved from DaMAH (דמה – to make comparisons, to think) which evolved from DuM (דום – be still, silent). Also related ground (/aDaMah – אדמה) comes from the root DuM (דום) which means to be still. In Arabic אדם means to enrich bread with food / fat / condiment; fatty / shortening; dyed leather; hide; skin; surface, earth), In Akkadian אדם means to be engaged in conflict whereas in Amharic it means plot, conspiracy, coup d’etat, strike, boycott. Similarly, in Ugaritic the verb is used in the following line: “the cow lows for her calf (..) as they lament.” Based on comparative Semitics, I believe lament is best replaced with “are intensely concerned, absorbed, preoccupied, obsessed, engrossed together.” Lastly, the related root דאם in Arabic means “to remain, persist, last, go on, continue, persevere, be devoted, permanence, incessant.”
47 – novel, well sculpted (B’Ry/aH – בריאה). The word BaRa/ ברא is commonly known to mean to create. However, it also means to carve (a physical sign) (Ezek21:24) and to carve up (people in battle) (Ezek23:47). Therefore, the idea of create comes from to carve > sculpt. Most of the roots with BaR (בר) literally mean to make a clearing, to clear away, or to go clear through, hence בור (clearing > pit), באר (clearing > well, to clearly elucidate), בער (to clear away > clear a field, burn), ברר (to clear away > sift), ברא (to clear away > to sculpt, create, carve, cut down), ברח (to go clear through > escape, bar), ברך (to go clear through > to excel, be / declare excellent; to make a clearing > kneel, pool), ברק (to go clear through > lightening).
48 – Sheol (שאול Sh’/oL) Allegorically: decay. Many roots with Sh.L.literally mean “to suspend, dangle.” For example, שולים – skirt, train, abdomen; שלה – to be lax, relax; שלל to let fall; שלח – to let loose (Syr – slough off) > send forth > שלך to cast; שלם – to suspend > complete, submit to > peace, compensate. In Hebrew, the root Sha/aL (שאל) to ask, request; literally means “to suspend before.” This idea of suspend mutated into drag and draw out and then draw away. To understand Sheol, consider: Arabic SaL(שׂל) “to pull out, withdraw, remove gently > steal away, slip away, sneak, escape > have Tb, be consumptive” and how that evolved into שׁאל depart, dead?, sparse, scarce; של to dry up, wither, lame, paralyzed > שלו decaying corpse.
49 – beaten (רקועי R’Qu\y) Allegorically: things widely acknowledged. From RaQa\ (רקע) to make thin > spread out > stamp, make flat, to beat / pound flat. Compare cognates: Syriac “to spread out, press down, make firm, plug; impervious, patch, sew”; Arabic “to patch; patch, piece of cloth / land / area; cursive; (?all over the place >) shameless, stupid, silly, foolish.” Of particular note: רקיע = of wide reputation, well known every-where, distinguished (MKt28a).
50 – plates (פחים PaHhim) Allegorically: the things blown about. From the verb NaPhaHh (נפח) to blow > פיח
soot (Ex9:8); (פוח) Syriac – blow (upon / into) to blow away, to scatter; (פוח) Arabic – to spread, be diffuse.
51 – plated, overlayed (צפוי Ts’Phuey) Allegorically: observed. The verb TsaPhaH (צפה – to overlay, (graze over a surface >) observe). Likewise, the Arabic cognate of TsPhaHh > to thumb through, examine, scrutinize.
52 – altar (מזבח – miZBae’aHh) Allegorically refers to the way in which a person flows forth. The verb ZaBhaHh (זבח – make an offering, sacrifice) evolved from ZaBhaH (זבה – to flow), perhaps due to the flowing of blood that occurs with ritual offering.
53 – sign, indicator (אות /oT). From the verb /aWaH (אוה) whose full meaning is “to point out what exists that one desires.” Hence: (piel) to point out, designate (Ps132:13). From thus evolved words about pointing-advancing-radiating, existence, and wanting: /uL (אול – advancing forward), /uM (אום – ever present existence), /uR (אור – light, emanation, radiation), /uSh (אוש – to make persistent, to go on and on, be lengthy, make a steady noise (Jastro)), HaWaH (הוה – to be / exist), and /aBhaH (אבה – to be willing). Also consider /oT (אות sign, indicator), /iy (אי) (pin point) an island, תאוה peak (Gn49:26), /aey (אי) (indicate…) where
54 – stranger (זר ZaR) Allegorically: estranged. From the verb ZuR (זור) to turn away from (Ps58:4;78:30), estranged from….(Jb19:13)
55 – seed (זרע – ZeRa\) meaning to scatter, but practically also suggests implantation > engagement. Evolved from ZaRaH (זרה) to scatter. And expanded into: ZaRaHh (זרח to shine, break out), ZeReD (זרד be brave, valiant) and ZaRaZ (זרז to speed up, urge and stimulate).
56 – incense (קטרת QaToReT) Allegorically: to engage with and inspect. From the verb QaTaR (קטר) to shrivel (from QuT קוט to shrivel, be disgusted), but also means to tie a knot, interlace, couple together, stiffen; In Amharic: tie a knot, keep secret, engage a worker, encircle; engagement > appointment, to rank > number, count >> encircle, regard, consider, supervise, inspect, oversee and reckon
57 – El’azar (אלעזר) one’s advancing forward with initiative, becoming involved with the things that are around; from El (אל) G-d, meaning one advancing forward with initiative such as in el (אל) to, toward; ayil (איל) ram forward; Ya/aL (יאל) to endeavor to advance forward allegorically can be used to mean “what advances forward” and “one’s advancing forward.” + \aZaR (עזר) surround, around. Syriac: entangle, involve, swaddle.
58 – people (עם – \aM) allegorically means “being ever presently (mindful) of what crowds in.” It comes from the related roots \aMaH – \aMaM (עמה – עמם) literally meaning to be ever present with. However, when something is ever present with something else, it can be close or too close. Therefore, the words derived from this root reflect closeness: with (עם – \iM), people-crowd (עם – \aM), and connecting (עמה – \uMaH); and those representing being too close: covered over, suppress, ignorant, dim, dark, and blind. In ancient Hebrew and in those Semitic languages retaining the ghayin variant of ayin, the latter words are spelled with ghayin, but are nevertheless etymologically related.
59 – (overcast) cloud (ענן – \aNaN) is derived from \aNaH to afflict, overwhelm, humiliate, rape, oppress.
60 – plague (נגף NeGePh) Allegorically: stumbling. From the verb NaGaPh (נגף) meaning to strike, thrust against, plague, but also to strike legs against one another > stumble (Jr13:16)
61 – staff (מטה – MaTeH) from NaTaH (נטה – to stretch, incline)
62 – head (ראש – Ro/Sh) possibly derived from Ra/aH (ראה – to see) which explains the vestigial aleph. Contextually, this always works allegorically as well.
63 – house (בית – BayiT) from Bo/ (בוא – to come in). Technically, it means “place of coming in” but based in context the allegory uses it as “the coming in of something from experience” or “what comes in from experience.”
64 – father /aBh (אב) derives from /aBhaH (אבה) which in Hebrew means “to be willing to give forth of oneself,” whereas in Arabic it means “to take notice of.”
65 – blossom (וַיָּצֵץ צִיץ) Allegorically: it was striving to look. From TsuTs (צוץ) to bud, blossom, flourish > (hiphil) הציץ (striving to see) to look, gaze (Ss2:9)
66 – and it was yielding almond-blossoms (וַיִּגְמֹל שְׁקֵדִים) Allegorically: acts of being intently watchful of things in experience. From almond (שקדים Sh’QaDim) From the root ShaQaD (שקד) literally meaning “to put head forward” > to watch, guard, be vigilant, to be bent upon, be determined, be intent / vigilant. The almond tree is vigilant in its blossoming first in the land of Israel, hence ShaQaD. Related to the roots meaning to put the head forward – QaDaD (קדד – to bow), QaDQaD (קדקד – crown of head) and QaDaM (קדם to proceed, advance forward); QaDaR (קדר – to drop the head > to duck under, gloomy, potter), QaDaHh (קדח – (drop the head) > to bore into, pierce), ShaQaD (שקד – watch intently, be watchful of, be vigilant, be determined), \aQaD (עקד – to draw the head toward the feet; fix the eyes on s.th, be deter-mined to do s.th (Arb)) The root QaDaSh (קדש) fundamentally means to advance something forward (so as to dedicate for sanctified use)
67 – Here (הן HaeN) Allegorically: what is substantial. From HoN (הון) substantial > wealth, from /oN (און) substantial. Its hiphil (ההין to make/be present, make/be ready; (Dt1:41)), and HiNaeH (הנה – see here (be present)).
68 – expiring-dying (גוע GaWa\) Allegorically: drawn inward-exhausted. Evolved from GaWaH (גוה) literally meaning “to draw in,” in Arabic גוי means to be passionately stirred (love / grief), passion. In Syriac GaWaH means to take / bring in, admit, innermost. Derived nouns: nation (GoY – גוי) and body (G’WiYaH – גויה). In Arabic גוע means to starve, be hungry, famine (possibly from to draw inward > be emaciated).
69 – all, each (כול KoL). Allegorically: containing, restraining of. This verb evolved from HhoL (חול sand, common (literally meaning “what is thrown about > goes on and on.”) From there, it evolved to KaLaH (כלה to contain, restrain, complete)
70 – tabernacle, mishkan (משכן – MiShKaN) Allegorically: one’s (visually) dwelling upon a scene. From the verb ShaKaN (שכן to dwell), from the root KuN (כון to be fixed in place).
71 – iniquity (עון) Allegorically: twistings and turnings. This root evolved from \aWaH (עוה – to twist, twist away)
72 – anger (קצף QeTsePh) Allegorically: scraping, bearing down, cutting back. The root evolved from QaTsaH (קצה) to scrape. That sense can be seen in קצפה (scraping) splintering (Yl1:7)
73 – brother (אח – /aCh) most probably was derived from the root ChaWaH (חוה) which in Arabic means to join someone and to join the company of. Usually the allegorical meaning of a word is based on this type of etymological connection. However, sometimes the Torah makes up an artificial folk etymology. Because Hebrew uses the same letter symbol, ח, for two different consonantal sounds (Hhet and Chet), there is another חוה in Hebrew, (HhaWaH) which means to point out and instruct. Based on context, the allegorical meaning of the word brother (אח) comes from the similarly spelled root HhaWaH (חוה) and not the etymologically correct root ChaWaH (חוה). Allegorically, a brother is one who points something out or points the way.
74 – rod, staff, branch > tribe (שבט SheBheT) Allegorically: swinging back and forth, scanning. ShaBhaT (שבט) Akkadian “to beat, sweep away, (sweep back and forth” Syriac (swing easily) to fly loose, float, stream; beat out, hammer, rod, staff, branch, tribe); SaBaT (שׂבּט) Arabic – lank hair; graceful stature. The root ShaBaT evolved from ShaBaTs (שבץ) to embroider / inlay, but also agony (SmII1:9); which evolved from ShaBaSh (to go back and forth)
> to run in all directions, entangle, confound; from ShaBhaH (שבה – to settle back a captive) which evolved from ShuBh (שוב – to settle back > return, do again, stay, remain). It is related to YaShaBh (ישב – to settle back > sit, settle) and ShaBhaHh (שבח – to settle down, still).
75 – testimony (עדות – \aeduT); enduring (עד – \aD); evident-witness (עד – \aeD); endure, meet, appoint (יעד Ya\aD) > meeting (מועד Mo\eD); these related terms all essentially mean “to endure in place or time.”
76 – Mitsraim (מצרים). This word for Egypt probably was derived from there being two narrow (צר) strips of arable land on either side of the Nile river. The allegory is based on the idea that narrowing in upon something can have a visual component. Evidence for this can be seen in the evolved words צוהר window; צהרים (time of clarity) before and after noon; יצהר (transparent) oil and the related Arabic ד’הר to be / become visible, perceptible, distinct, clear, apparent, appear, know, learn, noon. Therefore, MiTsRi (מצרי – Egyptian) allegorically represents one’s visually narrowing in upon something. The doubling in Mitsraim (מצרים) suggests a person’s visually narrowing in upon what narrows in upon the person. I added “feverishly” because the king of Mitsraim is Pharaoh, chaos.
77 – Pharaoh (פרעה) one’s chaotically attempting to attend to too many things in experience. From (Ex5:4)(CrII28:19) to cause to disengage, cause disorder, chaos and Arabic > to be free, available, collect one’s thoughts, devote and apply oneself, and do one’s best
78 – veil, (פרכת PaRoChet) Allegorically: the act of vigorously going over a scene and threshing over the many details. From the root PaRaKh (פרך) to divide > crush > rub. Having evolved from the unattested root PaRaH (פרה) means to divide off from or disengage from. Thus PaRa/ (פרא) wildly (disengaged) being > to go wild; PaRaR (פרר) as seen in Akkadian: dissolved-broken up-powerless-confused-disperse-scatter-smash-distributed-roam around; PeRy (פרי) fruit (that disengages from the tree); PaRPaR (פרפר) to crumble, throw about, convulse; PaRa\ (פרע) to be-make disorderly, chaotic; PaRaKh (פרך) to divide > crush > rub; PaRaQ (פרק) to break off, loose; PaRaM (פרם) to shred; PaRaSh (פרש) to separate, scatter; PaRaS (פרס) to split, tear apart; PaRaZ (פרז) to set apart, detach (Arb) > open village; PaRaD (פרד) to divide, separate, set apart, dislocate; PaRaTs (פרץ) to scatter, burst forth > breach; PaRaT (פרט) to break off from > pluck.
79 – ten, tenth, twenty, tithe (עשרה – \aSaRaH) metaphorically means “what bears down (upon a person).” This Semitic root consists of two etymologically unrelated homonyms. The number ten evolved from the root that means “to be well supported.” But the other homonym means to urge, force, compel, bear down, plight, and predicament in Arabic; and to put pressure on, demand, exact payment, constrict, enclose, and confine in Akkadian.

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About the Author
David Kolinsky is a retired physician born and raised in Monsey, New York. While living in Monterey California, David initially lived as a secular, agnostic Jew. However, in his spare time, he delved into twenty years of daily study of Hebrew etymology and Torah study culminating in the writing of an etymological dictionary of Biblical Hebrew and a metaphorical translation of Torah. Abandoning his agnostic views, David was simultaneously a spiritual leader of the world's smallest conservative synagogue, a teacher in his local reform synagogue, and a gabbai at Chabad. He is currently sheltering in place with his family in his new home in Plano, Texas.
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