David Kolinsky
David Kolinsky

Bringing into View God’s Bringing Forth of Existence

Last week’s blog emphasized that embedded within the tapestry of our lives there are specific experiences created for us by God that we should focus on and engage. To convey this idea, the parashah utilized the words ShaeM (שם name), allegorically meaning “what is put forth (in experience)”1 and LeHheM (לחם bread), allegorically meaning “what can be gotten into closely (of experience).”2 These two words were joined in construct phrases with the words Elohim (אלהים), meaning “of God’s guidance being presented in experience”3 and QaDShi (קדשי), allegorically meaning “of what is brought forward of me.”4 Therefore, our goal is to tease out the things put forth in experience and that can be gotten into closely as a result of God’s guidance being presented in experience and what is brought forward by God. In order to do this, we are endowed with the mental faculties that enable us to thoughtfully engage what is being presented to us in experience to see both the larger picture and to extract those intended experiences. The name Israel represents our ability to make a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience.5 The word for priest, kohaen, represents our ability to give something in experience precise and mindful attention.6 Aharon represents our ability to bring things to light;7 while Moshe represents our ability to draw out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience.8 Once the intended experiences have been teased out from the broader tapestry, they need to be engaged by a person who is disposed to them. In parashat B’har, the word /eReTs (ארץ land) represents a person’s disposing of oneself to experience.9 The Talmudic word for one’s disposing oneself is /aRTsuT (ארצות). While the word for land evolved from the verb RaTsaTs (רצץ to run upon and crush), the word /aRTsuT (ארצות disposing oneself) evolved from the related (precursor) root RaTsaH (רצה) to run toward, show favor and dispose oneself to something.

The text says that when we come into the land that God is giving to us, every seven years the land (the act of disposing oneself to experience) will require rest. The instruction is a parallel to the six day work week that is followed by a Shabbat rest. For six years, we are to sow our fields, prune our vineyards, and gather in its yield. While on the level of peshat, this applies to repetitive seven year cycles in the land of Israel; allegorically, this applies to our daily lives. The verb ShaNaH (שנה) means to repeat, but because it evolved from the root /aNaH (אנה to impose) some related words also mean imposing > sharp. These ideas are connected because the act of sharpening requires repetition. Therefore, the act reflected in the word ShaNaN (שנן to teach) involves both (mental) sharpening and repetition, while the word for tooth, ShaeN (שן), reflects only sharpness and the word for year, (שנה ShaNaH), literally means “a repetition.” However, because of its etymology, the allegory for (שנה ShaNaH, year) is both repetition and imposition. The word for six, ShaeSh (שש), literally means “to carry over” like when counting the number six on the second of two hands, we carry over from the first to the second.10 Therefore, six years represents a person’s being carried along by imposing experiences. In life, our task is to scatter ourselves about so as to sow the seeds of engagement (זרע)11 with the things that we encounter. While going back and forth in the fields of life (שדה),12 we prune the experiences that we have accumulated (כרם)13 – some to be kept and others to be discarded. However, we will occasionally encounter an experience that satiates and fills us with feelings of satisfaction (שבע). These are the times that must give us pause so that we might settle into (שבת)14 them more completely. These experiences into which we settle down are the Shabbats for our land, our way of disposing ourselves to experience. After we have settled into these experiences, we must not scatter ourselves away from them (זרע), nor should we prune them back. That which is in excess that surges (ספיח)15 beyond your ability to harvest, you shall not harvest. The Shabbat rest is not only for you, but also for those who work the fields with you. Allegorically, this settling in of the disposing of oneself to experience is also for your devoting attention (עבד servant),16 and for your being ever present (אמה maid servant),17 and for your being prodded (שכיר hired hand)18 and for your settling in (תושב settler)19 – the acts of drawing into experience (גרים sojourners) with you.20

The text emphasizes that the instructions that follow are being given on Mount Sinai – allegorically: the place of bringing things into view (הר mountain),21 one of filtering through and clarifying what is sharply imposing of experience (סיני Sinai).22 In a way that is analogous to the counting of the Omer (what is overwhelming)23 after our taking a leap (פסח Pesach)24 to God’s bringing forth of existence (Y-H-W-H), we are commanded to count seven cycles of seven years. Allegorically, this is a recounting of the satiating bubblings (שבע seven)25 of the things settling in (Shabbats)14 of what is repetitively imposed (שנים years), the satiating bubblings (שבע seven) of what is repetitively imposed (שנים years) – the satiating bubblings (שבע seven) of the things that are both startling and inspiring (פעמים).26 Then, on Yom haKippurim, the most overwhelming of days, we are to pass a Shophar throughout all of our lands. Formed from root PaR (פר disengage),27 the word ShoPhaR (שופר) denotes a horn disengaged from a ram’s head. However, there is another word ShaPhaR (שפר) that having evolved from the root ShaPhaH (שפה to flow over) denotes something that is soothing and pleasing. Armed (חמושים) and empowered with what is soothing, we can sanctify and therefore commit to bring forward the fiftieth year, “the repetition of many acts of taking things in hand (חמשים).”28 Therefore, as the shophar passes through our lands, its ability to sooth passes throughout all of the many ways for a person to dispose oneself in experience, during this time of being overwhelmed by experience.

The Semitic root YaBhaL (יבל) from which comes the word YoBhaeL (יובל), referred to as the Jubilee in English, denotes a heavy flow of something. In Hebrew a YuBhaL (יובל) is a stream and Y’BhuL (יבול) is the yield of the earth, while the Arabic cognate indicates a heavy downpour of rain. Allegorically, the Jubilee represents the forceful downpour and heavy flow of experience that carries and conducts a person along. On the peshat, the liberty that is proclaimed represents a freedom from financial troubles, allegorically it represents an act of swiftly and freely flowing with experience (דרור liberty)29 with the act of disposing yourself (land), with regard to all of what settles in as a result of it (inhabitants). The text states that the Jubilee is when we are to eat what comes in from the field. Allegorically, its is therefore a time of embracing (eating)30 from what comes in of an act of going back and forth with experience (שדה field).12

The text says, “In the year of this yobhael (Jubilee), you are to return-settle in31 – a man to his possession.” This word for man (איש) actually initially meant husband and it literally means “the one who persists;”32 it represents a person’s ability to be mentally persistent with a particular thing in experience. The word used for possession (אחוזה /aHhuZaH) comes from the root /aHhaZ (אחז) meaning “to apprehend, catch and take hold of.” It is more often used to mean something that is acquired in the moment than something that has persisted as an ancestral possession. Therefore, the year of the yobhael (Jubilee) represents “an imposition of a heavily flowing experience that carries a person along.” During its occurrence a person’s ability to be mentally persistent with a particular thing (man) settles into what can be taken hold of by him. Given this down pour and heavy flow of potential experiences, how is a person to decide with what to engage? Because the word for brother (אח) coincidentally resembles an unrelated root (חוה HhaWaH, to point out), it signifies a person’s mental faculty that points things out regarding experience.33 Finally, because the word for fellow (עמית) comes from a root meaning both ever present and crowding in, it represents a person’s being mindful of the many things crowding in from a scene.34

A person can either dodge (Arb)(מכר sell)35 or acquire (קנה buy) experiences with which to engage, from the act of being mindful of the many things crowding in from experience (fellow).34 Nevertheless, it is very important that one’s ability to be mentally persistent with a particular thing does not tax (תונו)36 the mental faculty that points things out for it regarding experience (brother). Therefore, the text says “through the recounting of years after the yobhael, you shall acquire from your fellow – through the recounting of the years of produce, he can sell to you.” Allegorically this means that through the recounting of many imposing things (years) after the downpour and heavy flow (of experience), you shall acquire (from experience), as a result of being aligned with your being mindful of the many things crowding in from experience (fellow). Additionally, through the recounting of the impositions of the things coming in (from experience)(produce) it shall dodge (experience)(sell) for you. In other words, through a recounting of the many things that are imposing in experience and utilizing the ability to be mindful of many things crowding in, a person can decide which things to acquire from experience and which things to avoid. Of course, the degree to which a person must be mindfully attentive depends on the workload coming from experience, as it says; “According to a coming in of a large-amount of imposing things (years), you shall increase the act of visually fixing upon it (acquisition price) and according to a coming in of a lesser-amount of imposing things (years), you shall decrease the act of visually fixing upon it (acquisition price).” Thus ensuring that one’s ability to be mentally persistent with a particular thing (איש)32 does not tax (תונו)36 its being mindful of the many things crowding in from experience (fellow).34

The text goes on to say that it is incumbent upon each man to return to his (ancestral) possession and to his family. Allegorically this means that each act of being mentally persistent with something in experience (איש man) will settle into that which it takes into its possession (אחזתו), that which it can flow into of experience (משפחתו his family).37 Therefore it stands to reason that the disposing of oneself to experience (land) may not be dodged (sold) to an irredeemable state (צמתת), to the point of being cut off and exterminated (צמתת) – for the disposing of oneself to experience (land) is for God’s bringing forth of existence. We are merely those drawing into experience (גרים sojourners) and those settling into experience (תושבים settlers) with God. Thus, for every act of a person’s disposing of oneself to something taken into its possession of experience, we shall give a redeeming – a recovering and re-energizing of oneself – for the act of disposing of oneself (to another thing).

Lev 25:25 – 28
But what happens if the mental faculty pointing things out for you regarding experience (brother) is sunken and low (מוך MuKh)? While the Hebrew root MuKh implies poverty, its Akkadian cognate means negligent and neglectful. If such negligence leads to a dodging (Arb: מכר)(sale) of the potential activity of his possession, then a process of recovery (גואל redeemer)38 is needed. The text specifies that the redeemer should be someone that is close (הקרוב). Since this word comes from the verb meaning “to come close or approach more closely,” the initial means of recovery is for the person to approach the situation more closely. But in its absence, an act of being mentally persistent (איש) may lead to its own recovery. The problem is that the negligence of the mental faculty pointing things out regarding experience has led to its pointing out many distractions. Therefore, it must consider the many imposing things that it has dodged (years of its sale) and then settle down what is in excess (restore the over payment) with regards to the ability to be mentally persistent. Only then can it return to the intended activity. However, if it is not within his power to settle down (the excess), then what he has dodged (sold) is within the power of the act of visually fixating upon things (the buyer),39 until the imposition of the downpour of the heavy flow of experience (year of the Jubilee). Because once the experience pours forth in a torrent that carries him along, he will have no choice but to return to it.

Lev 25:29 – 34
The text next turns to a situation in which a man would sell his own home. This section contrasts houses in cities with walls, with houses in villages that don’t have walls. A man who sells his home within a walled city has up to a year to redeem it. If it is not redeemed, then it remains unrecoverable and it is not released in the Jubilee. Because the word used here for wall (חומה) also means “observation,”40 a walled city represents a stirred up situation (city)41 under observation. The house (בית BaYiT) represents “the coming in”42 of a single data point within that stirred up situation. So if a person’s ability to be mentally persistent (man) shall dodge (sell) what comes in from experience (house) and this thing was part of a stirred up situation (city) under observation (walled), he has until it is completely dodged to recover – for there are many (days) stirring things43 (to be observed) for its recovery. But if it shall not be recovered, then “what comes in (house) that is within the situation stirred up (city), that was not under observation, will remain firm regarded as a thing irredeemably lost, with regard to the act of visually fixating on it (to the buyer), with regard to his (the person’s) making the rounds in experience (דורותיו).”44 It shall not come out through the down pour and heavy flow of experience (Jubilee). Notice here that the word regarded as a spelling error Lo/ (לא not) for Lo (לו to it) enables the allegorical translation to make sense.

On the other hand, houses of the villages without walls all around represent isolated data points. They are not part of stirred up situations under observation (walled cities). They are things coming in from experience (houses) as a result of acts of narrowing in upon things (courtyards, villages).45 Each shall be considered, upon a person’s going back and forth in experience in disposing oneself to experience (a field of the land).12,9 Through a down pour of a heavy flow of experience that carries a person along (Jubilee), they shall come out.

A Levite is an escort that “clings” with a person in performing his duties. Allegorically, a Levite is an act of clinging upon a scene with mental persistence, generating an awareness of many startling things.46 Therefore by definition, any of the things coming in (houses) of the stirred situations (cities) clung to by this act of being mentally persistent can be recovered. Because the word for pasture land (מגרש) literally means “what is driven into,”47 it cannot be dodged (sold). Because an act of going back and forth (field)12 that is driven into of an act of clinging upon a scene with mental persistence, generating an awareness of many startling things will not miss (dodge) any of the information.

Lev 25:35 – 38
The text now returns to an impoverished brother, commanding us not to take monetary interest from an impoverished brother who has over extended himself and thus lives (חי) with us. Allegorically, this is the mental faculty pointing things out for us regarding experience,33 that in over extending itself, behaves lively (חי), causing us to draw into (be a sojourner)20 and settle in (be a settler)19 upon many different things encountered in experience. The danger here is that we will be distracted by too many things and miss what is important. Although there are two words used for interest here, they have opposite denotative meanings: NeSheKh (נשך bite) implies a “hedging in of (oneself),”48 while maRByt (מרבית increase) implies “an expanding of (oneself).” The text says: “Your silver, you shall not give to him with interest (נשך bite) and with interest (מרבית increase), you shall not give him your food.” Therefore, the overextending of the mental faculty that points things out for you regarding experience should not be allowed to hedge in the many impressions that you have acquired about experience (your silver)49, nor to increase what you are able to embrace (eat)30 in experience. After all, the point of observing experience is to be in awe of God’s Guidance being presented to you in experience (Elohim). Because it is God’s bringing forth of experience (Y-H-W-H), God’s Guidance being presented to you in experience (Elohim) that brings you out from feverishly focusing upon the many things narrowing in from experience (Mitsraim).50 So that God can provide guidance when you dispose yourself to what draws in upon you in experience (Canaan).51

Lev 25:39 – 46
This section makes a distinction between servants that come from among your brethren and those that come from the nations. Although a poor brother can be a servant, he cannot be made to slave for you and you cannot rule over him with vigor. Although the text does not say that a foreigner can be treated that way either, because the word /eBheD (עבד) can mean servant, worker, devotee and slave;16 the only distinction made on the peshat is that your brother is released in the Jubilee and the other not. Allegorically, if the mental faculty pointing things out for you regarding experience (brother)33 shall be negligent, but then it is brought around (sold) to you, you shall not make it slave for you. Instead it shall work as one prodded by experience (hired),18 as one who settles into something in experience (settler),19 until what is imposed of the down pour and heavy flow that conducts a person through experience (Jubilee). Then it will go out – it and its many associated activities (children) – that it will settle into its flowing forth (family)37 and to what it takes into its possession as a result of its acts of taking notice of things (father’s).52 The point is that you should not slave over experience in order to find something to devote attention to. All acts of devoting attention (servants-slaves) should come from either the mental faculty pointing things out for you regarding experience (brother)33 that prods you in response to something seen or from one’s passion to draw into things (nations).53

Lev 25:47 – 55
This final case is one in which your impoverished brother is sold to a wealthy sojourner. Afterwards he can be redeemed by one (אחד) of his brothers, his uncle (דדו), a brother of his uncle (בן דדו), a relation of his flesh from his family (משאר בשרו ממשפחתו), or by his own means (השיגה ידו). Allegorically, this refers to a situation in which you draw into a particular aspect of experience (sojourning),20 settling into it (settler),19 but then the mental faculty pointing things out to you (brother) is negligent and therefore becomes distracted. In this case, it can be redeemed-recovered through an act of mental sharpness (אחד),54 through its being favorably disposed (דדו),55 through a behavior associated with its being favorably disposed (בן דדו), as a result of a passion associated with his confidently driving in as a result of his flowing forth (משאר בשרו ממשפחתו)56,57,37 or the power of his reach will accomplish it (השיגה ידו).58 But if it shall not be recovered through what advances forward in experience (אלה these),59 then it will come out through the imposition of the down pour and heavy flow of experience that carries a person along (Jubilee).

The end of the parashah summarizes the allegorical themes. A person’s behaviors of making a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience (Israel)5 are acts of devoting attention (servants)16 for what God brings forth. The text says: “They (הם) are my servants that I brought them out from the land of Egypt.” Because the word HaeM (הם they) literally means “those stirred up”60 it emphasizes the point that the acts of devoting attention to what God brings forth are not passive, but rather responsive – they are stirred up in response to what is surveyed in experience. Otherwise, a
person remains in Egypt, feverishly focusing on the many things narrowing in from experience (Mitsraim).50 In engaging experience, a person is not to make worthless wanderings (אלילם idols),61 or faint heartedly turn away (פסל graven images)62 or show a rigid defiance (מצבה pillar).63 Furthermore, a person should not lay oneself out to a thing sticking out in experience (stone)64 that is dimly seen / hedged in (משכית).65 The things to be observed are the things settling in of experience (Shabbats)14 and one should be in awe of what is brought forward in experience by God (his sanctuary).4

Notes:
1 – name (שם – ShaeM) from SuM-SYM (שום – שים to put, place, impose, label). It has the allegorical meaning of the applying or application of something or what is put forth of something. Related roots: ShaMa\ (שמע) (stay put) > to listen; ShaMaR (שמר) (stay put) > to observe; ShaM (שם) (put) there > ShaMayim (שמים) two arrangements > sky (nighttime and daytime); ShaMaSh (שמש) to wait upon, attend to, serve, minister, officiate, be in attendance as a disciple to a scholar; SuM (סום) means to bind, mark, to serve as a mark for / indication of, (bind up, wrap up) to finish, end with. The derived noun SaM (סם) means “(something applied, an application) spice, paint, drug, medicine, poison.”
2 – bread (לחם) is related to the word MiLHhaMah (מלחמה – to engage in battle). Both words derive from LaWaHh (לוח – to join together and to be well joined > escort). In Arabic, לחם means to cling, join, solder, get stuck, engage in battle.
3 – Elohim (אלהים) plural of Eloah (אלוה) – Although most derive it from El (אל), I believe that the word evolved from LaWaH (לוה) meaning to escort and guide. Hence, initially the word Elohim (אלהים) referred to the pantheon of gods, whose purported purpose was to guide and escort humanity. With the advent of monotheism, the word was used with a singular verb to represent G-d, but continued to be used to represent the pantheons of others, a council of judges and people of similar purpose.
4 – Holy (קדש – QoDeSh, QaDoSh) 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)
5 – Yisrael (ישראל) from the verb Sarah (שרה), from which comes the name Yisrael (ישראל). It 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.”
6 – priest (כהן – KoHaeN). Allegorically: performing with protracted, precise and mindful intention; giving something protracted, precise, mindful attention. 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).
7 – 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.
8 – 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.”
9 – 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
10 – six (שש – ShaeSh) Allegorically: being elated and getting carried away. The probable literal meaning of six is “carried over (to other hand (when counting)).” It is related to other roots meaning “to lift and carry” originally from NaShaH > NaSa/ (נשה > נשא). They are ShuS (שוש – to lift something, to rob) ShuS (שוס – to lift > plunder), SuS (שוש – uplifted, joyful) > SuS (סוס – horse, one who rears upward).
11 – 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).
12 – 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)
13 – 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.
14 – Sabbath (שבת – Shabbat). This verb evolved 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). So the root (שבת – ShaBhaT) means (to settle down) > cease, rest, but allegorically also has a meaning of settling in.
15 – nature’s bounty, natural grow of food crops (ספיח SaPhiaHh) literally means “to swell” therefore also surge (of the ocean) (Jb14:19).
16 – servant (עבד – \eBheD) from the verb \aBhaD (עבד). Allegorically: devoting attention. Originally meaning slave, the verb evolved to mean to work, serve, worship and devote. It evolved from /aBhaD (אבד), thus meaning “one lost (to slavery).”
17 – female slave (אמה –/aMaH). Allegorically: (your) being mentally present, from the unattested root /uM (אום) literally means “what is ever present.” Therefore, the word /aeM mother literally means “one who is ever present,” the word /aYaM (אים) foreboding literally means “an ever present feeling,” and m’/uMaH (מאומה) something literally means “a thing of that is ever present.”
18 – hired worker (שכיר –SaKhyR) Allegorically: a person who must be prodded (dug into) by experience. From the verb SaKhaR (שכר – to hire) which possibly evolved from KaRaH (כרה – to dig) or from KaRaH (כרה – to go around) of slightly different etymologies.
19 – settler (תושב ToShaBh) Allegorically: being settled down and resignedץ From YaShaBh (ישב) to sit, to settle. This verb evolved 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 ShaBhaHh (שבח – to settle down, still) and the root (שבת – ShaBhaT) meaning (to settle down) > cease, rest.
20 – sojourner, convert (גר – GaeR) from the root GuR (גור – sojourn) literally meaning “to draw into something, somewhere, somebody.” גור to sojourn, gather together, be afraid (draw inward), incite; GaRaR (גרר) to drag along, saw, draw up cud; GaRaBh (גרב) to scrape; GaRaPh (גרף) to scrape up, sweep away; GaRaM (גרם) to draw along, carry with, to gnaw on or crush bones; GaRa\ (גרע) to drag away, reduce, diminish; Ga\aR (גער) to draw into, rebuke; GaRaSh (גרש) to drive into so as to drive out / divorce; SaGaR (סגר) to close in upon
21 – mountain (הר HaR) 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. It comes 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).
22 – Sinai (סיני) from the root SaNaN (סנן – to strain, filter, refine). Allegorically: showing restraint in filtering and clarifying experience. From SaNaN (סנן (impose >) to be bright, sharp & to filter, refine, strain) from ShaNaN (שנן – to sharpen, hone, teach) &/or ShaNaH (שנה – to sharpen > repeat), from /aNaH (אנה – to impose). In the Talmud, Sinai is used as a characteristic type of scholar, one who is restrained and refined. As opposed to an \oqaer harim עוקר הרים “a mutilator / one who extirpates / pulls up by the roots of mountains.” But allegorically mountains (הרים – HaRim) represents acts of bringing things to light, (See note 10). So Sinai is a refined scholar who goes through the data slowly and methodically. Whereas, an oqaer harim is one who pulls up ideas (perhaps from nowhere) and throws them out into public view without much support.
23 – full capacity (עמר – Omer) Allegorically: overstuffed, overwhelmed. Arabic: to load, fill up; copious, abundant, overflow, lavish, heap up, and to overwhelm emotionally. in Syriac: be immersed (in an occupation).
24 – Passover (פסח – PeSaHh) Allegorically: leaping. See (KgI18:26)
25 – SheBha\ (שבע) seven, Although with a shin, this word appears to have been derived from the similar root with a letter sin, SaBha\ understood as satiated, it derives from either NaBha\ (נבע – to swell or well up) or Ba\aH (בעה – to bubble up, boil). Perhaps it means the number seven because it fulfills a period of one week, although this too is not completely clear. Metaphorically, from context and this etymology it means “being satiated by what bubbles up” or just “a bubbling up of something.
26 – once or (a number of) times (פעם Pa\aM), its verb means “to startle / be startled.” The root Pa\aM (פעם) literally means “a single puff of air” from PW\ (פוע) and Pa\aH (פעה) to pant; haPhya\ (הפיע) to resuscitate. Hence Pa\aMon (פעמון) bell; (פעם Pa\aM) anvil; (פעמים Pa\aMim) hoof beats.
27 – 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. A bull or cow are described as PaR(aH) because it is disengaged from the rest of the herd.
28 – five (fingers) > fifty (חמש – ChaMaeSh) handed = armed (חמושים – ChaMuShim) which actually means “grasping or groping” from MuSh (מוש – to grasp, grope)
29 – liberty (דרור D’RoR) Allegorically: an act of swiftly and freely flowing with experience. Related to (דרור D’RoR) swiftly / free flowing (of Myrhh)(Ex30:23); (?flying-spinning around >) swallow (Ps84:4). From DoR (דור to go around), from ZuR (זור to go around).
30 – eat (אכל – /aKhaL) the verb evolved from KaLaH (כלה – to contain); allegorically to embrace, encompass.
31 – 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). So the root (שבת – ShaBhaT) means (to settle down) > cease, rest, but allegorically also has a meaning of settling in.
32 – 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.”
33 – 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.
34 – fellow (עמית – \aMyT) 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.
35 – to sell (מכר MaKhaR) Allegorically: to bring around, take around, deliver over, dodge (Arb). Arabic: (get around) deceive, dupe, delude, cheap, double cross, cunning, craftiness, ruse, dodge, swindler, impostor. 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.
36 – tax (תונו ToNu) from the hiphil form of the verb YaNaH (ינה) meaning “to assert oneself hesitantly, reluctantly, apprehensively,” according to Jastro: to be undecided, to waver; because the action is not necessarily followed through with, it can also mean: threatening, menacing. The root evolved from /aNaH (אנה to assert, impose oneself). From the idea of threatening, menacing, the hiphil form means “to oppress, maltreat, vex.” In this case, allegorically it means “to over work > tax.”
37 – family (משפחה miShPaHhaH) Allegorically: to pour, flow forth. Related to Akkadian and Arabic cognates: “to pour” and probably Akkadian SaPhaHh to spread, spend freely, splash over, scatter, disperse, frustrate, squander; diaspora.
38 – redeem, recover (גואל Go/aeL) This verb means to redeem, recover, save, avenge, AND to stain, pollute and defile. The verbs derived from GuL (גול) have meanings related to “to roll up / around” and “to turn over.” GyL (גיל rejoice), GaLGaeL (גלגל to roll down, whirl about), GaLaH (גלה to roll out, remove, to go into exile), GaLaL (גלל to roll, roll up, remove); GaLaBh (גלב (reveal) to scrape, shave); GaLaHh (גלח (reveal) shave); GaLa\ (גלע (reveal) disclose); GaLaM (גלם to roll, bundle up); GaLaSh (גלש to roll down > slide); SaGaL (סגל to roll up, save, treasure); ShaGaL (שגל (reveal) to rape)
39 – buyer (קנה QoNeH) Allegorically: an act of visually fixating upon things. It is derived from the verb QaNaH (קנה) which lieterally means to fix something in place, but it is used to mean “to acquire.” Related to other Q.N. words, all meaning fixed in place, such as the word for nest (קן QaN); arrangement (קינה QyNaH); reed, stalk, staff, beam (קנה QaNeH). cattle ( מקנה miQNeH)(קנין QiNyaN possession); to make straight, fix (תקן TaQaN). The allegorical meaning can be seen from another derived verb QaNa/ (קנא) (to be visually fixated on >) jealous, zealous.
40 – wall (חומה HhoMaH) Allegorically: observation. The root evolved from HaMaH (המה – to stir up) > HhaMaH (חמה – to stir, heat, churn), but in Akkadian and per Jastro and Klein in Hebrew it also means to observe / see. These meanings are probably etymologically related where a person stationed on the wall has a job as a look out and one who alerts and stirs up the community within the walls if danger is seen. Husband’s father (חם HhaM) is also related.
41 – city (עיר \yR) Allegorically: stirred up situation. It evolved from the verb \uR (עור – to stir up, awaken)
42 – house (בית BaYiT ) Allegorically: what comes in. From the root Bo/ (בוא to come in). Literally it means “the place of coming in.”
43 – YoM (יום – day) Allegorically: what causes a stirring of experience. From HaMaH (המה – to stir up), literally means “time period causing a stirring.”
44 – generations (דורות) Allegorically: making the rounds in experience. From DoR (דור) to go around.
45 – courtyards, villages (חצרים HhaTsaeRim) Allegorically: acts of narrowing in upon things. From the root HhaTsaR (חצר) to enclose around. Derived from TsuR (צור – narrow in).
46 – 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
47 – pasture land (מגרש miGRaSh) Allegorically: what is driven into. Related to: GaRaSh (גרש) to drive into so as to drive out / divorce. Roots derived from GuR (גור – sojourn) literally meaning “to draw into something, somewhere, somebody.” גור to sojourn, gather together, be afraid (draw inward), incite; GaRaR (גרר) to drag along, saw, draw up cud; GaRaBh (גרב) to scrape; GaRaPh (גרף) to scrape up, sweep away; GaRaM (גרם) to draw along, carry with, to gnaw on or crush bones; GaRa\ (גרע) to drag away, reduce, diminish; Ga\aR (גער) to draw into, rebuke;
48 – interest (נשך – NeSheKh) from the verb NaShaKh (נשך – to bite, take a bite off) which evolved from SuKh (שוך – to hedge into).
49 – silver (כֶּסֶף – KeSePh) evolved from the root K.S.H (כסה) which means “to make marks, cuts, impressions and to cover over.” Over time, silver tarnishes. K.S.Ph. Silver, literally means “that which is marked up (tarnished)
50 – 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 viusally narrowing in upon what narrows in upon the person. I added “feverishly” because the king of Mitsraim is Pharaoh (chaos).
51 – 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.
52 – father (אב /aBh) 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.”
53 – nation (GoY – גוי) and body (G’WiYaH – גויה) both derived from the root 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
54 – one (/eHhaD – אחד) evolved from the root HhaDaD (חדד – to sharpen), literally meaning “one (sharpened point);” allegorically it means “mental sharpness” or “what sharpens the mind” > “enigma, conundrum, or riddle” from the related root HhuD (חוד) meaning to test one’s mental acumen, to propose a riddle or enigma
55 – uncle (דוד DoD) Allegorically: being favorably disposed. Related to Arabic WaD (וד) to love, like, be fond of, want and its doublet WDWD (ודוד) to be favorably disposed.
56 – relative (שאר Sh’/aeR) Allegorically: passion, overflowing, expanding outward. This root is related to Sha/aR (שאר) to remain, be in excess and S’uR (שאור – leaven, what overflows). According to Jastro, the root also conveys the idea of bodily contact and intimacy > passion. The root evolved from /uR (אור – light) which literally means “what emanates outward.” Hence: /oRoTh (אורות) weeds (emanating outward), herbs; /aWiR (אויר open space, air); ממארת cancerous, malignant; and Nile (יאור – Y’/oR) “what forms a delta, emanating outwards.
57 – flesh, confident (בשר – BaSaR). The word almost always means flesh, but literally “what is driven into with confidence,” probably alluding to removing meat from a bone. The Arabic cognate means “to peel, scrape / shave off, grate, shred, come in contact, sexual intercourse, apply oneself.” Also note probable mis-translation of (Ec2:3) תרתי בלבי למשוך ביין את בשרי Conventionally translated as: I sought in my heart to draw out with wine, my flesh. But more correctly translated as: I sought in my heart to draw out with wine, my confidence.
58 – hand (יד YaD) Allegorically: the power of one’s reach.; The noun evolved from /aDaH (אדה) which literally means to extend outward (from DaWaH (דוה) to flow) hence: /aeD (אד extending mist) and /UD (אוד poker, firebrand). Therefore: YaD (יד hand) literally means “what extends outward.”
59 – these (אלה /aeLeH), literally means “what is advancing forward” or “what is of advancing forward.” It is related to 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.”
60 – derived from the root HaMaH (המה – to stir up) are YaM (ים – sea, what is stirred up); HaeM (הם they, those stirred up); HaMoN (המון those stirred up); YoM (יום – day, time period causing a stirring)
61 – idols (אלילם) Allegorically: worthless wanderings. From the root אלל to project forward, circle, go around, espy, track. See רעי אליל wandering shepherd (Zc11:17); עובד אלילי כוכבים one who worships the wanderings of the stars (M.Avodah Zarah 26b)
62 – graven images (פסל) Allegorically: faint heartedly turn away. From PaSaL (פסל) (Akk- turn away, divert, reneg, distort); פשל (Arb – fail, unsuccessful, despair, faint hearted, cowardly; which in Hebrew is “to chip off, hew, chisel” – all of which evolved from PaSaH (פסה) (spread out / apart).
63 – pillar (מצבה maTsaeBhaH) Allegorically: show a rigid defiance. From NaTsaBh (נצב to stand upright-defiantly-straight)
64 – stone (/eBheN – אבן), from the root BuN (בון – to be or project between), literally means “what sticks out.”
65 – ?image? (משכית MaSKyT) Allegorically: ? dimly seen / hedged in. The etymology of this root is very unclear. The Aramaic Targum (translation) uses SaGaD (סגד) meaning “to bend over, bow, worship.” Klein attributes it to SaKaH (שכה to look at), but derived from KaBhaH (כבה dim) this actually means “to squint.” A possibly related root (if not the same) משׂכיות כסף a setting of silver (Pr25:11) comes from an unattested SaKaH (שכה) to hedge in > set in place. Related to the verb SuKh (שוך – to hedge in), which evolved into ShuKh (שׁוך – to cordon off) > ShaKhaBh (שכב – to snuggle up, huddle, lie up against, lay down); ShaKhaR (שכר – to become drunk)(= hedged in); HhaShaKh (חשך) to darken, be dark; HhaSaKh (חשך) to withhold; NaShaKh (נשך) to bite, take a bite off; testicles (אשך /eSheKh)

A.F.L Beeston, M.A. Ghul, W.W. Muller, J. Ryckmans (1982) Sabaic Dictionary. Publication of the University of Sanaa, Yar

Ernest Klein (1987) A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company

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Jeremy Black, Andrew George, Nicholas Postgate, eds., A Concise Dictionary ofAkkadian, 2nd corrected printing (Santag Arbeiten und Untersuchungen Zur Keilschriftkunde, 5; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2000)

Marcus Jastrow (1996) A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushlami, and the Midrashic Literature.New York: The Judaica Press

J. Payne Smith’s (1999) A Compendious Syriac Dictionary. Published by Wipf and Stock

G. del Olmo Lete & J. Sanmartin (2003) A Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition. Leiden: Brill. Translated by Wilfred G.E. Watson

Wolf Leslau (1976) Concise Amharic Dictionary. University of California Press. Berkeley and Los Angeles.

H.W.F. Gesenius (1979) Gesenius’ Hebrew – Chaldee Lexicon. Baker Books. Grand Rapids.

Judaic Classics by David Kantrowitz version 3.4, 1991 – 2009. Institute for computers in Jewish Life. Davka Corp and /or Judaica Press Inc.

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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