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Hebrew Interacts with Other Languages

Like every other living language, Hebrew contains many foreign words and expressions. My purpose here is to collate some of these “imports”, for our amusement and interest, and to reflect briefly on the current state of our Hebrew. A reading knowledge of Hebrew will make this much easier to appreciate, but I will try making the content as broadly accessible as possible.

Living languages have always interacted and exchanged words and phrases with one another, and that was equally true of Hebrew going all the way back. Modern spoken Hebrew had to work fast and intensely, to make up for lost time. Other languages have grown and interacted over decades and centuries, in a gradual give-and-take process. Modern spoken Hebrew was an amazing act of will and national-cultural assertion, jump-started by blessed fanatics of whom Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1857-1922) was the most famous, but actually one of many.

Mining the Hebrew Bible, the Mishna, the Gemara, the Midrash, and centuries of Hebrew poetry, liturgy and religious-textual commentary, these pioneers creatively adapted old terms for modern applications and invented completely new ones. Inevitably, they had to adopt words and phrases from other languages for which no viable Hebrew equivalents existed, especially if those terms were in near-universal usage. They displayed tremendous ingenuity in often taking some of those foreign terms and modifying them, “Hebraizing” them, so that they fit the patterns of Hebrew conjugations and speech and sounded like original Hebrew.

The influx of different immigrant groups to Palestine and Israel, for example those speaking Yiddish, Russian, German, Polish, Arabic, Ladino, and many other languages, have left clear linguistic traces in contemporary Hebrew. So has the Palestinian Arabic spoken by Israel’s neighbours and many of its citizens. And of course, so has the English spoken during the pre-State British Mandatory period and in the English-dominated mass culture of the post-WW2 era.

Some linguistic groups have official institutions dedicated to guarding the purity of their languages against the invasions of foreign terminology. This task becomes increasingly arduous in a world of vast and growing digital communication and easy online accessibility to almost everything.

Preserving the unique aspects of any language, the forms and expressions which provide its distinctive flavour, humour and world-view, is totally natural and desirable, of course. But that impulse has to co-exist somehow with the linguistic cross-fertilization of our time, hopefully reaching a happy medium. It is fascinating to examine the ways in which languages borrow from one another and adapt words to their linguistic formats, to make them more palatable and pronounceable. That is largely what motivated me to write this piece.

Hebrew has been central for me, ever since I entered the Montreal Jewish day school which took the teaching of modern spoken Hebrew seriously. I studied there from kindergarten through high school and marveled in later years at the amount of Hebrew our often-beleaguered teachers managed, despite all, to cram into my thick skull. Spending time at a Hebrew-speaking summer camp (Massad Canada) was another reinforcement. When I came on aliya to Israel as a young adult, I was immediately able to converse and to understand the broadcast news, notwithstanding the errors of Hebrew conjugation, gender and phrasing which I made and sometimes still make. My consolation, typical of many immigrants, is that my children speak perfect Hebrew effortlessly (and English, too!).

Like many people with backgrounds similar to mine, my biggest initial problems in reading Hebrew were with transliterated non-Hebrew words. How for example could one cope with ציוויליזציה ( civilization / “tseeveelee-ZAT-siya”)? I once pondered a poster in front of a movie theatre for long minutes. It included words like “pear” ( אגס / “a-GAHSS”) and the first-person pronoun “I” ( אני / “ah-NEE”). That’s how I eventually made the acquaintance of Bugs Bunny ( באגס באני/ “Bahgs BAH-nee”)!

What follows is not original research, nor do I claim special expertise in this field. Those seeking systematic and scholarly treatments should refer to the books, articles and website of Ruvik Rosenthal, or to the site of the Academy for the Hebrew Language (האקדמיה ללשון העברית ), or for example to the works of Lewis Glinert (Dartmouth College) and Ghil’ad Zuckermann (U. of Adelaide). I am just a lifelong Hebrew-lover, who can copy and paste items of interest from Google and other internet sources. Readers who know more examples of the words and phrases listed below are invited, indeed requested , to send them to me. The lists are my subjective sampling of the considerable material out there. Each Hebrew word will be rendered phonetically in italicized English letters, along with my idiosyncratic transliteration (including CAPITALIZING the accented syllable) , and an English translation. Where possible (it wasn’t always), I have verified the non-Hebrew linguistic source of most of the words listed below in the Even-Shoshan dictionary.

This exploration will be divided into six sections:
1. Greek words in Hebrew.
2. German words in Hebrew.
3. Biblical Expressions (with Hebrew Sources) in Common English Usage.
4. Hebrew Words in English.
5. English Words in Contemporary Hebrew.
6. Where Are We Now?

1. Greek Words in Hebrew

Ancient Greece impacted most Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures. Prof. Rina Ben-Shahar estimates that some 500 Greek terms were absorbed into Hebrew during the time of the Mishna and another 3500 during the Talmudic era. Sometimes the Greek word is directly absorbed, and other times it arrives via intermediate languages like Aramaic, Arabic, English, etc. Here is a sample list:

אוויר, אווירון – “aveeRON”, ”aVEER” – air, airplane
אוכלוסיה – “ooch-LOS-ya” / population
אורתודוקסי“orto-DOKsee” / orthodox
אוקינוס“okee-YAH-nooss” / ocean
אטריה, אטריות – “eetreeYA, eetree-YOT” / noodle(s), pasta (from Gr. & Aramaic)
איטליז“eet-LEEZ” / butcher shop
איקליפטוס“ayka-LEEP-toos” / eucalyptus
אירוס“EEroos” / iris
אכסניה“ach-SAHN-ya” / hostel, lodging /
אלכסון“a-lach-SOHN” / diagonal
אמבטיה“am-BAT-ya” / bath, bathtub
אנדרטה“an-DAR-ta” / statue, monument /
אנדרוגינוס“anDROgaynoos” / hermaphrodite (bi-sexual) [Ben Yehuda included this term in his dictionary]
אנדרלמוסיה“an-drala-MOO-sseeya” / chaos, utter confusion
אסטניס“eeste-NEES” / extremely delicate, hyper-sensitive person
אסטרטגיה“estra-TEH-geeya” / strategy
אסכולה“as-KO-la” / school, school of thought, intellectual approach
אספרגוס“ahspa-RAH-goos” / asparagus
אפוטרופוס“ahpo-TRO-poos” / guardian, custodian, guarantor
אפיקומן“ahfee-KO-man” / “ final matza for completion of Pesach seder
אפיקורוס“ehpee-KO-rus” / heretic, named for Greek philosopher Epicurus/
אפרסק“a-fahr-SEK” / peach
אצטדיון“eets-tad-YON” / stadium
אקדמיה“akkaDEMeeya” / academy /
ארכיאולוגיה“archee-o-LO-geeya” / archaeology
ארנונה“arNO-na” / municipal taxes (Greek or Latin source)
אקלים“ahk-LEEM” / climate (also via Arabic + English)
ביאולוגיה – “bee-oLO-geeya” / biology
בימה – “BEEma” / raised platform (as in synagogue), stage
בלמוס –“BOOLmoos” / ravenous hunger
בסיס – “bah-SEESS” / basis
גיאוגרפיה –“gay-o-GRAFya” / geography
גרוטה, גרוטאות – “gruTA, gruta’OT” / scrap(s), wreckage
דוגמה – “doogMAH” / example
דיוקן – “dyo-KAN” / portrait
דלפק – “dal-PEK” / service table or counter
דמגוג – “dema-GOG” / demagogue
דפוס – “defoos” / printing; template, pattern, mould
דרקון – “dra-KON” / dragon
הדיוט – “hed-YOT” / layman
הימנון – “heem-NON” / anthem
חלודה – “cha-loo-DA” / rust (from Gr. and/or Aramaic)
טופס – “TO-fess” / questionnaire, application form
טקטיקה – “TAK-teeka” / tactic(s)
טקס – “TEH-kess” / ceremony
טראומה – “TRAU-ma” / trauma
טרקלין – “trahk-LEEN” / lounge, dining-hall
יקינתון – “yakeen-TON” / hyacinth
כולסטרול – “koleste-ROL “ / cholesterol
כרוב – “kroov” / cabbage (Gr. + Aramaic)
כרטיס (Gr. + Aramaic) – “kahr-TEESS” / ticket, entry-card
לוגיקה“LO-geeka” / logic
לוגריתם – “logah-REETem” / logarithm
מוזיאון“moozay-ON” / museum
מונופול“mono-POL” / monopoly
מוסיקה“MOOseeka” or “MOOzeeka” / music (Gr. via Arabic)
מלפפון“melafe-FON” / cucumber /
מנתה“MEEnta” or “MENta” / mint
מתמטיקה“ma-te-MAH-teeka” / mathematics
נימוס“nee-MOOSS” / politeness, courtesy
נמל“nah-MAL” / port, harbor
סגנון“seeg-NON” / style (Gr. + Latin sources)
סיטונאי“seeto-NIGH”/ wholesaler
סימן“see-MAN” / sign, signal, indication
סימפתיה“seem-PAT-ya” / sympathy, affection
סנגור“sah-NAY-gor” / advocate, defense attorney
סנדל“sahn-DAHL” / sandal
סנדק“sahn-DAHK” / godfather
סנהדרין“Sahn-HEH-dreen” / supreme judicial body during and shortly after the Second Temple period; also a tractate of the Babylonian Talmud
סנטר“sahn-TERRE” / chin
ספוג, סופגניה“sfog, soof-ga-nee-YAH”
עוגן“O-gen” / anchor
פולמוס“POOL-mooss” / controversy, polemics, debate, conflict
פומבי“POOM-bee” / public
פונדק“poon-DAK” / inn
פטרוסיליה“petro-SEELeeya” / parsley
פיוט“pee-YOOT” / poetry
פיוס“pee-YOOSS” / reconciliation, assuaging of hard feelings
פיסיקה“FEEs-seeka” / physics
פנקסpeen-KAHSS / notebook, journal, ledger
פסיפס“psay-FAHSS” / mosaic
פרנסה“par-nah-SAH” / livelihood – (Yidd. pronunciation – “par–NOO-seh”)
קברניט“kabar-NEET” / captain, commander
קתדרה“ka-TED-ra” / chair (university), seat of honour, teacher’s dais
פנס“pah-NASS” / lantern, headlight
פרגוד“pahr-GOD” / screen, partition, curtain
פרוזדור“proz-DORR” / corridor, passageway
קומקום“koom-KOOM” / kettle (Gr. + Latin sources)
קטגור“kah-TAY-gor” / prosecutor
קלידים, מקלדת“kleeDEEM, mik-LE-det” / keys (piano), keyboard (via Aramaic)
קַלְפֵּי“KAL-pee” or “KAL-pay” / ballot box, voting booth
קנוניה“k’noon-YAH” / conspiracy
קרון “ka-RON “ / coach (railway), carriage, cart, wagon
תיאטרון “tay-at-RON” / theatre (also via Eng. + German)
תריס“treess” / shutter

In addition, there are expressions commonly used in spoken Hebrew whose roots are Greek, often via English. For example:
חוקים דרקוניים“chookeem draKONee’eem” / Draconian laws
חרב דמוקלס“cherev DEMo-kless” / The sword of Damocles
חי על האולימפוס“Chai al ha’o-LEEM-poos” / Lives on Mt. Olympus, i.e. out of touch with reality
משימה סיזיפית“mehssee-MAH see-ZEE-feet” / Sisyphean task
תיבת פנדורה“tay-VAHT Pan-DO-ra” / Pandora’s Box
עקב אכילס“a-KEV aCHEEL-less” / Achilles’ heel

My last point about Greek words in Hebrew is to observe how some of them have been “Hebraized” by adapting their main letters to Hebrew verb forms and conjugations. Here are some examples, in the infinitive form:

לאכלס“le’ach-LAYSS” / to populate
לאכסן“le’ach-SAYN” / to store something for later use
להתאקלם“le’heet-ak’LAYM” / to acclimatize or adjust to a given situation
לבסס“le’vah-SAYSS“ / to establish or provide a basis for something
להדפיס“le’had-PEESS“ / to print
לנרמל“le’nar-MAYL” / (actually from Latin root, “norma”) to normalize
לסמפט“le’sahm-PAYT” / to like or sympathize with something/someone
לסנגר“le’sahn-GAYR” / to defend or advocate on someone’s behalf
לספוג“leess-FOG” / to absorb
לפייס“le’fah-YAYSS” / to appease or achieve reconciliation with someone
להתפלמס“le’heet-pal-MAYSS” / to conflict/debate/argue with someone
לצנזר“le’tsahn-ZAYR”/ to censor (actually from Latin root, “censor”)
לקטרג“le’kaht-RAYG” / to prosecute or severely criticize someone

2. German words in Hebrew

Ruvik Rosenthal contends that the influence of German on the developing Hebrew language during the 1930s and 40s was not as strong as that of Russian or Polish, for reasons of demography and the degree to which the different olim integrated into the Yishuv and its cultural life. Nonetheless, there are many examples of words adopted and phrases translated literally. Another issue is the considerable overlap between Yiddish and German. When is a given German-sounding word in Hebrew attributable to German, and when to Yiddish? I will try to point out the cases in which they overlap.

אבסורד“Ahb-SOORD” / Absurd (Germ. + Latin)
אגרוף ברזל“egg-ROF- barZEL” / iron fist (military metaphor, from eiserne Faust)
אדון נכבד“aDON neech-BAHD” / sehr geehrter Herr) – Dear Sir (letter salutation)
אוטובוס“OT-to-booss” / Bus, Autobus
אות קין“ot KIGH-yeen” / das Kainszeichen tragen-Mark of Cain, stigma of past misdeed
אחות“a-CHOT” / Literally “sister”, but the term for medical nurse (Schwester)
אין לו מושג“ayn lo mooSAG” / he has no idea/clueless (keine Ahnung)
אין לו מושג ירוק“ayn lo mooSAG yaROK” / he knows absolutely nothing about it (keine grüne Ahnung)
אינסטלטור“een-sta-LAH-tor” / plumber, Installateur (Eur.)
אלטה זאכן (crossover with Yidd.) – “AL-teh ZAH-chen” / alte Sachen, old used things (for sale)
אם כבר, אז כבר“IM kvar, AZ kvar” / wenn schon, denn schon – Go all the way, finish the job
אנאלפבית“Analfa-BET “ / Illiterate
אֶקוֶולט“EK-velt” / Eckwelt- somewhere remote, out in the sticks
בוידעם“BOY-dem” / in-ceiling storage area , Boden
ביס “beess” / A bite or taste (Biss)
גוטֶה“GOO-teh, GOO-teh!” / Good!Great! Often repeated twice for emphasis
גֶזונדהייט“Geh-ZUND-hite” / To your health (blessing after sneeze)
דביל“deh-BEEL” / Fool, low-intelligence person
דג קר“Dahg KAR”, kalter Fisch / Cold fish, emotionally distant person
דֶלִיקָאטֶס“dehlee-ka-TESS” / Very delicious food, a delicacy, Delicatesse
החזיק לו אצבעות“He-che-zeek lo etzba’OT” / Hand-finger gesture of wishing someone good luck– ( einem die Daumen halten drücken)
היפוכונדר“Heepo-CHON-derr” / Hypochondriac (Grk. + Germ. sources)
הכול בסדר“Hakol Be’SEH-der” / everything is in order/ alles ist in Ordnung
השוויץ“heesh-VEETS” / Bragged, boasted (overlap with Yidd – Shvitser/braggart)
השקפת עולם“hash-kaFAHT o-LAHM”/ Weltanschauung , world view
וינקר“VEEN-kerr” / Vehicle turn indicator/ Winker
וישֶר“VEE-sherr” / Wischer, Windshield wiper
חברה בערבון מוגבל“Chevra b’ayra-VOHN moogBAHL” / A limited company, Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
טורניר“toor-NEER” / Turnier Tournament
טפט“ta-PET” / Wallpaper, Tapete
טרמפ“tremp” / hitchhike, Trampen
ייסורי תופת“yeesoo-RAY TO-fet” / höllische Schmerzen , infernal torments, extreme pain
יֶקֶה“YEK-keh” / Germ-Austr. Jewish immigrant to Palestine in 1930s– ethnic stereotype, Jecke
כתב עת“ktav AYT” / Zeitschrift, periodical publication, magazine
לא נורא“lo no-RAH” / Not so bad, Nicht so schreklich
מברשת“meev-REH-shet” / Bürste, brush [Eliezer Ben Yehuda adopted this from the Germ. and Eng. words and also made it into a verb – “le-hav-REESH”/ (להבריש) , to brush]
מדעי הרוח“madah-AY ha-ROO-ach” / humanities, Geisteswissenschaften
מישמש“MEESH-mash” / random mixture of elements, Mischmasch
מלחמת תרבות “mil-CHE-met tar-BOOT” / Kulturkampf, culture war
מֶנְטש“Mench” / Honest, ethical person, Mentsch (Yidd.+ Germ.)
מָתַי שהוא“mah-TIGH she-HOO” / irgendwann / sometime, whenever
ניירות ערך – “Nee-ya-ROT EH-rech” / securities, wertpapier
נעלי בית“na’a-LAY BA-yeet” / slippers, Hausschuhe
לנשנש“le’nash-NESH“ / to snack, naschen (Germ. + Yidd.)
עמד על רגליו האחוריות“aMAD al rag-LAV ha-achoree-YOT” / stubbornly insist, sich auf die Hinterbeine stellen
פָּאקוּנְג ראש“PACKung rosh”/ engine head, Packung + Rosh (head)
פוּטש“pootsch” / military takeover, coup, Putsch
פּוּנְקְט“poonkt” / Punkt , exactly on time, punctual
פיינשמֶקֶר“FINE-shmecker” / gourmet, overly choosy, Feinschmecker
פריש-מיש“FREESH-meesh” / re-shuffling (cards, jobs, assignments), Frisch
פְּלָקָט“plah-KAT” / poster, Plakat
פרגן“feer-GEHN” / Celebrated someone else’s good fortune, success- vergönnen – Yidd.+ Germ.
פרינציפ “preen-TSEEP” / Prinzip, principle
צִימֶר“TSEE-mer“ / B & B type hotel accommodation, “room”, Zimmer
צ’יק צ’אק“CHEEK-chahk” / Zickzack, immediately, urgently
צֶנזוֹר“TSEN-zor” / censor, Zensor
קָאפּוּט“kah-POOT” / broken, spoiled, finished, useless, Kaputt
קובע פלדה“KOva pla-DA” / helmet (military), Stahlhelm
קוהרנטי“ko-heh-REN-tee” / coherent , kohärent (Eng. + Germ.)
קיבל על הראש “kee-BELL al ha-ROSH” / reprimanded, smacked on the head, eins auf den Kopf bekommen
ריאל פוליטיק“ray-all-polee-TEEK” / practical politics , Realpolitik
רֶצֶפְּט“reh-TZEPT” / Rezept, medical prescription
שאלטֶר“SHAHL-terre” / on-off light switch , Schalter
שווּנג“shvoong” / momentum, acceleration , Schwung
שטויות במיץ עגבניות“shtoo-YOT be’meetz agva-nee-YOT” / preposterous!, Quatsch mit Sosse
שטַנץ “Shtahnts” / Stanze, mould, template
שטֶקֶר“SHTEK-ker” / Stecker, electric plug
שינקֶן“SHEEN-ken” / Schinken, pork meat
שלאגר “SHLAH-gerr” / Schlager, a “hit”, successful performance
שלפשטונדה“SHLAFF-shtoondeh” / nap-siesta, Schlafstunde
שלוּק“shlook” / a sip, Schluck
שמונצעס“SHMON-tzess” / bric-a-brac, unimportant items, nonsense , Schmonzes (Germ. + Yidd.)
לשנורר “le’shno-RERR” / to beg for charity, raise philanthropic funds, schnorren (Germ. + Yidd.)
שניצל“SHNEE-tzell” / Shnitzel – breaded chicken breast , Schnitzel
שְפִּיץ“Shpeetz” / Spitze, peak, pinnacle, sharp end
תותח“To-TACH” / cannon, outstanding person , Kanone

3. Biblical Expressions in Common English Usage:

I will copy/paste below twenty Hebrew Biblical texts and their English translations, together with the English idioms based on them. I used two translations: the classic King James version [KJV] and the Jewish Publication Society version of 1955 [JPS1955]. The impact of Hebrew on English is indirect in this case, and filtered through the wording chosen by the translators. The Bible was such a central, influential text for many centuries, during which these expressions became deeply rooted and idiomatic in English and other languages. The fact that some of these expressions may now sound slightly antiquated is perhaps a reflection of the Bible’s diminished status as a seminal text in Western secular culture.

1. “at their wit’s end”, based on Psalms, 107:26-27 –
כו יַעֲלוּ שָׁמַיִם, יֵרְדוּ תְהוֹמוֹת; נַפְשָׁם, בְּרָעָה תִתְמוֹגָג.
כז יָחוֹגּוּ וְיָנוּעוּ, כַּשִּׁכּוֹר; וְכָל-חָכְמָתָם, תִּתְבַּלָּע.

26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. [KJV]

2. “bite/lick the dust”, based on Psalms, 72: 8-9 –
ח וְיֵרְדְּ, מִיָּם עַד-יָם; וּמִנָּהָר, עַד-אַפְסֵי-אָרֶץ.
ט לְפָנָיו, יִכְרְעוּ צִיִּים; וְאֹיְבָיו, עָפָר יְלַחֵכוּ.

8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. [KJV]

3. “a broken heart”, based on Psalms, 34:19 –
יט קָרוֹב יְהוָה, לְנִשְׁבְּרֵי-לֵב; וְאֶת-דַּכְּאֵי-רוּחַ יוֹשִׁיעַ.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart
And saveth such as are of a contrite spirit [JPS 1955]

4. “by the skin of your teeth”, based on Job, 19:20 –
כ בְּעוֹרִי וּבִבְשָׂרִי דָּבְקָה עַצְמִי וָאֶתְמַלְּטָה בְּעוֹר שִׁנָּי.

20 My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. [KJV]

5. “the root of the matter”, based on Job, 19:28 –
כח כִּי תֹאמְרוּ מַה נִּרְדָּף לוֹ וְשֹׁרֶשׁ דָּבָר נִמְצָא בִי.
28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me? [KJV]

6. “a leopard cannot change its spots”, based on Jeremiah, 13:23 –
כג הֲיַהֲפֹךְ כּוּשִׁי עוֹרוֹ, וְנָמֵר חֲבַרְבֻּרֹתָיו; גַּם-אַתֶּם תּוּכְלוּ לְהֵיטִיב, לִמֻּדֵי הָרֵעַ.
23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. [KJV]

7. “like a lamb to the slaughter”, based on Jeremiah, 11:19 –
יט וַאֲנִי, כְּכֶבֶשׂ אַלּוּף יוּבַל לִטְבוֹחַ; וְלֹא-יָדַעְתִּי כִּי-עָלַי חָשְׁבוּ מַחֲשָׁבוֹת, נַשְׁחִיתָה עֵץ בְּלַחְמוֹ וְנִכְרְתֶנּוּ מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים–וּשְׁמוֹ, לֹא-יִזָּכֵר עוֹד.

19 But I was like a docile lamb that is led to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me: Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, That his name may be no more remembered. [JPS 1955]

8. “a drop in the bucket”, based on Isaiah, 40:15 –
טו הֵן גּוֹיִם כְּמַר מִדְּלִי, וּכְשַׁחַק מֹאזְנַיִם נֶחְשָׁבוּ; הֵן אִיִּים, כַּדַּק יִטּוֹל.
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, And are counted as the small dust of the balance; Behold, the isles are as a mote in weight. [JPS 1955]

9. “see eye to eye”, based on Isaiah, 52:8 –
ח קוֹל צֹפַיִךְ נָשְׂאוּ קוֹל, יַחְדָּו יְרַנֵּנוּ: כִּי עַיִן בְּעַיִן יִרְאוּ, בְּשׁוּב יְהוָה צִיּוֹן.
8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. [KJV]

10. “no rest for the wicked”, based on Isaiah, 57: 20-21
כ וְהָרְשָׁעִים, כַּיָּם נִגְרָשׁ: כִּי הַשְׁקֵט לֹא יוּכָל, וַיִּגְרְשׁוּ מֵימָיו רֶפֶשׁ וָטִיט. כא אֵין שָׁלוֹם, אָמַר אֱלֹהַי לָרְשָׁעִים.

20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. [KJV]

11. “rise and shine”, based on Isaiah, 60:1 –
א קוּמִי אוֹרִי, כִּי בָא אוֹרֵךְ; וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה, עָלַיִךְ זָרָח.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. [KJV]

12. “nothing new under the sun”, based on Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9 –
ט מַה-שֶּׁהָיָה, הוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה, וּמַה-שֶּׁנַּעֲשָׂה, הוּא שֶׁיֵּעָשֶׂה; וְאֵין כָּל-חָדָשׁ, תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ.
9 That which hath been, it is that which shall be. And that which has been done is that which shall be done; And there is nothing new under the sun. [JPS 1955]

13. “eat, drink and be merry”, based on Ecclesiastes, 8:15
טו וְשִׁבַּחְתִּי אֲנִי, אֶת-הַשִּׂמְחָה, אֲשֶׁר אֵין-טוֹב לָאָדָם תַּחַת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, כִּי אִם-לֶאֱכֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת וְלִשְׂמוֹחַ;

So I commended mirth, that a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry, and that this should accompany him in his labour all the days of his life which God hath given him under the sun. [JPS 1955]

14. “fly in the ointment”, based on Eccesiastes, 10:1 –
א זְבוּבֵי מָוֶת, יַבְאִישׁ יַבִּיעַ שֶׁמֶן רוֹקֵחַ; יָקָר מֵחָכְמָה מִכָּבוֹד, סִכְלוּת מְעָט.
Dead flies make the ointment of the perfumer fetid and putrid; So doth a little folly outweigh wisdom and honour. [JPS 1955]

15. “a man after my own heart”, based on 1 Samuel 13:14 –
יד וְעַתָּה, מַמְלַכְתְּךָ לֹא-תָקוּם: בִּקֵּשׁ יְהוָה לוֹ אִישׁ כִּלְבָבוֹ, וַיְצַוֵּהוּ יְהוָה לְנָגִיד עַל-עַמּוֹ–כִּי לֹא שָׁמַרְתָּ, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-צִוְּךָ יְהוָה.
14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. [KJV}

16. “how the mighty have fallen”, based on 2 Samuel 1:25 –
כה אֵיךְ נָפְלוּ גִבֹּרִים, בְּתוֹךְ הַמִּלְחָמָה–יְהוֹנָתָן, עַל-בָּמוֹתֶיךָ חָלָל.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. [KJV]

17. “pride comes before a fall”, based on Proverbs, 16:18 –
יח לִפְנֵי-שֶׁבֶר גָּאוֹן; וְלִפְנֵי כִשָּׁלוֹן, גֹּבַהּ רוּחַ.
18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. [KJV]

18. “forbidden fruit”, based on Genesis, 3:3 –
ג וּמִפְּרִי הָעֵץ, אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹךְ-הַגָּן–אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ, וְלֹא תִגְּעוּ בּוֹ: פֶּן-תְּמֻתוּן.
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. [KJV]

19. “my brother’s keeper”, based on Genesis, 4:9 –
ט וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-קַיִן, אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ; וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי, הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי.

9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? [KJV]

20. “a land of milk and honey”, based on Exodus, 3:17 –
יז וָאֹמַר, אַעֲלֶה אֶתְכֶם מֵעֳנִי מִצְרַיִם, אֶל-אֶרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַחִתִּי, וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי–אֶל-אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב, וּדְבָשׁ.
17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. [KJV]
There are numerous other examples, such as “the writing is on the wall” and “feet of clay” in the Book of Daniel (5:5-6 and 2:31-33, respectively). I omitted those specific examples because they are in Aramaic rather than Hebrew.

4. Hebrew Words in English

Here is a list assembled from various sources. In some cases the link to Hebrew is speculative and mediated by passage through Arabic, Greek or other languages. I will not include English words recently adopted whole either from Yiddish (maven, mazel, chutzpah, ganef, meshuga, rebbe, nachas, schmooze, tsuris, bris, trayf, mamzer, etc.) or from modern Hebrew (Bar Mitzvah, hora, aliyah, kibbutz, shalom, haggadah, menorah, maftir, megillah, challah, sabra, kaddish, ulpan, etc.), or in many cases from both simultaneously.

Abacus – from אבק / “a-VAK“ – dust

Abracadabra – speculative; one version links it to kabbalistic roots and the Hebrew expression אברא כדברי /”evRA ke-dab-REE” –“ I will create as I speak”, or to a Talmudic description (Berachot 55a) of Bezalel, master-builder of the sanctuary. The Oxford English Dictionary sees it as a Latin word, originally of Greek origin. Who knows?

Agora – from אגורה/ “ago-RAH“ – small coin

Alphabet – from אלף-בית / “aleph-BAYT” – first 2 letters of Hebrew alphabet, shared Phoenician and Greek origins

Amen – from אמן /”ah-MAYN” – certainly, verily

Behemoth – from בהמות / “behay-MOT” – beasts

Camel – from גמל / “ga-MAL” – camel, also Arabic, Greek, old French origins

Cherub – from כרוב / ”ke-ROOV“ – celestial hierarchy angel – “cherubic” is used in English to describe childlike or pristine beauty.

Cider – from שכר /”she-KHAR” – strong drink

Copacetic – disputed, perhaps from כל בצדק/ “kol be’TSE-dek” – all with justice or כל בסדר / “kol be’SEH-der” – all is in order (also from German)

Habitat – (speculative) from בית, הבית / “BA-yeet” – house, the home

Hallelujah – from הללויה /”halleh- LOO-yah” – praise the LORD

Hosanna – from הושיע נא / “ho-SHEE-ah na” – please save

Jacket – from יַעֲקֹב /”Ya’a-KOV” – Jacob (=he has protected), speculative, via old French (Jacques) among others

Jubilee – from יובל/ “yo-VEL” – Biblical Jubilee 50th year in which slaves freed and land returned to original owners

Klezmer – from כלי זמר /”k’lay ZE-mer” – musical instruments

Leviathan – from לויתן /”leev-ya-TAN” – great sea creature of Creation, anything immense

Messiah – from משיח / “Me-SHEE-ach” – the anointed, redeemer, saviour – method of crowning kings

Paradise – one version of its etymology links it to the Hebrew פרדס / “par-DAYSS” – orchard or even to Biblical Garden of Eden, but there are also Persian and Greek versions of its origin.

Sabbath, Sabbatical – from שבת, לשבות / “Shab-BAT” – to rest, desist

Satanic – from שטן /”sa-TAN“ – adversary, devil

Shibboleth – from שיבולת /”shib-BO -let “ – stream, ear of grain – a word, saying, practice, custom, or any other shared feature that distinguishes one group from another

Tour – I thought this must be related to the Israelite spies’ mission לתור את הארץ /”la’TOOR et ha’ARetz”, but the sources did not corroborate, insisting instead on Latin, old French and other origins. However, Jeff A. Benner’s article, “Hebrew Words Found in English Words” (https://www.ancient-hebrew.org/edenics/hebrew-words-found-in-english-words.htm ) does connect the two.
There are more examples but these are fairly representative. Many of the words reference religious or liturgical contexts, and thus have not migrated that far from their original Hebrew meanings or penetrated that much into everyday, secular English language, as far as I can tell. Nonetheless, the scope of penetration is greater than we might have guessed beforehand.

5. English Words in Contemporary Hebrew

There are two main categories of adoption of English terms in modern spoken Hebrew. One is where the English word is simply co-opted whole, as is, because it is universally recognized and no competing Hebrew term has so far displaced it. The other is where the English term is Hebraized and even adapted to the formats of Hebrew grammar. Then there are also “calques”, to be explained below.
English words adopted whole are usually nouns referring to contemporary items for which the new-developing Hebrew language has not yet developed adequate equivalents, or at least not in time. Some of them relate to motor vehicles, internet technology, social media, fashion, current fads, etc. or derive from army slang. For example:

אגזוז”egg-ZOZ” / the exhaust pipe/system of a motor vehicle
אגרסיבי“ah-gres-SEE-vee” / aggressive (there is frquent use of the Heb. alternative word, תוקפני / “tok-pah-NEE” )
אדיקווטי“ah-dee-KVAH-tee” / adequate
אובייקטיבי“ob-yek-TEE-vee” / objective
אוטו“OT-toe” / car
אינטרנט“EEN-terrnet” / internet
אנדרדוג“AHN-dehr-dog” / underdog, as in sports
אפטר“AF-terre” / short, “after-duty” leave from army base
ביג דיל“beeg deel” / big deal, something really important (or the opposite meaning, if used ironically, as in so what? or who cares?)
בייביסיטר – “BAYbee-see-terr” / babysitter (the official Heb. word of שמרטף – “shmar-TAFF” is rarely used)
בנק – “bahnk” / Bank (from Fr., Eng., Ital. etc.)
בקאקס – ”BEK-ekss” / back axle of a vehicle , whereas the front axle is of course פרונט בקאקס /“frohnt BEK-ekss”
ברוקולי“BRO-kolee” / broccoli
,ברקסים – אמברקסים “BREKS-seem” ,“AM-breks-seem” / brakes, hand brakes
ג’ינס“jeenss” / jeans /
די-ג’יי“DEE-jay” / disc jockey (DJ)
היסטוריה“heess-TORyah” / history
ווילות“VEE-lot” / detached houses, villas
ווליום “VOL-yoom” /volume, as in sound level of electronic device
טוטאל־לוס“TO-tall loss” / total loss, re: car accident
טוקבקים”talkbacks” / TOK-be-keem
טלוויזיה“tele-VEEZya” / television
טלפון“TELefon” / telephone
טמפרטורות“tempera-TOO-rot” / temperatures
טנק“tahnk” / tank
מניאק“MAHN-yak” / maniac
נורמלי“nor-MAH-lee” / normal
סוודר“SVEH-derr” / sweater
סימפטי “seem-PAH-tee” / likable, congenial
סנוב“snob” / snob
סנפלינג“SNEPP-leeng” / snappling, rappelling
סנקציות“SAHNK-tsee-yot” / sanctions
פאקים“FAH-keem” / errors, screw-ups
פארק ”park” / park
פול גז“fool gaz” / pressing the gas pedal all the way down, i.e. “flooring it”
פופולרי“po-poo-LAHR-ee” / popular
פופקורן“POP-korenn” / popcorn
פייבוריט“FAY-voreet” / favorite, favored to win, as in sports
פְּלָיֶר“PLY-ehrr” / pliers
פנדל“PEN-dell” / free kick in soccer (corruption of the word “penalty”)
פנצ’ר“PAHN-cherr”/ flat tire, from “puncture”
פרויקט“pro-YEKT” / project
ציוויליזציה“tseeveelee-ZAT-siya” / civilization
קומי“KO-mee” / comic(al)
קונטרוברסלי
“kontro-ver-SAHL-ee” /controversial
קרבורטור“kahr-bo-RAH-tor”– carburetor /
קורס“koorss” / course (of study)
רדיו“RAD-yo” / radio
רדיאטור“radee-AH-tor” / radiator
רלוונטי“rele-VAN-tee” / relevant

There is a delightful 2010 lecture by the late, great Prof. Miriam Shlesinger (Bar-Ilan U.), available on the net (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtuGs5FVAxs ), about English calques in Hebrew. A calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal word-for-word or root-for-root translation (Wikipedia definition). It makes no sense initially in the borrowing language, without the recognition of its meaning in the language borrowed from. It starts off as a jarring abomination, an unwanted foster-child, and an annoying affectation. However, if it remains in current use for long enough, the resistance gradually erodes, the illegitimate provenance is increasingly disregarded, linguistic ownership is asserted, and the phrase becomes part of the idiomatic slang of the borrowing language. Some examples:

אור בקצה המנהרה“or beek-TZEH hameenha-RA” / light at the end of the tunnel

איך זה מרגיש? “Aych zeh mahr-GEESH?” / how does it feel?

אינו מחזיק מים“ay-no mach-zeek MYE-eem” / doesn’t hold water

אני חולה ועייף“ah-nee cho-LEH ve’ah-YEFF” /I am sick and tired (of whatever)

אני לא יכול לחכות“ah-nee lo ya-chol lecha-KOT” / I can’t wait (impatience)

ברכה בתחפושת“bra-CHA be-tach-PO-set” / a blessing in disguise

גדול מהחיים“ga-DOL may-ha-cha-YEEM” / larger than life

וואנס הסברתי לו, אז…“once hiz-BAR-ti lo…. AZ” / once I explained it to him, then…./ (This probably doesn’t qualify as a calque, because it doesn’t even bother translating “once” into Hebrew. It just thrusts the English word into the sentence as is, expecting you to understand the meaning, and virtually daring you not to. The jury is still out on this one. I find it particularly obnoxious and hope it doesn’t gain wide acceptance, but it has already survived for quite awhile.)

חלב שנשפך“cha-LAV she’neesh-PACH” / (no point crying over) spilled milk

לגנוב את ההצגה“leeg-NOV et ha’hatsa-GAH”/ to steal the show

לסגור עיסקה“leess-GOR ees-KA” / to close a deal

לשפוך אור“leesh-poch OR” / to shed light

מים מתחת לגשר“MA-yeem mee-tach-at la-GEH-sherr” / water under the bridge

נייר עמדה“nee-YAR em-DAH” / position paper

עושה שכל“o-SEH SEH-chel” / makes sense

רגע אמת“REH-ga eh-MET” / moment of truth

רוב מהומה על לא מאומה“Rov meh-hoo-MAH al lo meh-oo-MAH” / making a mountain out of a molehill (actually the translation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”)

השורה התחתונה“ha-shoo-RAH ha-tach-to-NAH” / the bottom line (aka “tachliss”)

שיהיה לך יום יפה“she-yeeh-YEH lecha yom ya-FEH” / have a nice day

And another one I heard recently:
נסיון להסתיר את הפיל שבחדר“nee-sa-YON le-has-TEER et ha-PEEL she-ba-CHED-der” / An attempt to hide the elephant in the room

We should also take note of another category of English-Hebrew interaction, similar to the Greek case, where English words are Hebraized and their consonants fitted into the verb template of 4-letter infinitives (sometimes 3-letter infinitives), which can then be conjugated more or less regularly. Examples:

לבלף“le-bah-LAYF” / to bluff
לבלשט“le-bal-SHAYT” / to bullshit
לדסקס“le-dahs-KAYSS” / to discuss
לדקלם – “le-dahk-LAYM” / to declare, declaim
להקליק – “le-hah-KLEEK” / to click on a link, as on the internet
לטרפד“le-tahr-PAYD” / to thwart, nullify, shoot down
למקסם“le-mak-SAYM” / to maximize
לנטרל“le-nah-TRAYL” / to neutralize
לסמס“le-sah-MAYSS” / to send a text message (SMS)
לסמפט“le-sahm-PAYT” / to like, sympathize with
לפברק“le-fah-BRAYK” / to fabricate
לפלרטט“le-flahr-TAYT”/ to flirt
לפמפם“le-fahm-PAYM” / to pump, exert pressure
לפנטז“le-fahn-TAYZ” / to fantasize
לפקסס“le-fahk-SAYSS”/ to fax
לקטלג“le-kaht-LAYG” / to catalogue

6. Where Are We Now?

It is no exaggeration to call the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language one of the two greatest achievements, together with the creation of Israel, of the Zionist movement. Both were accomplished through considerable struggle and conflict. Herzl and some early Zionist leaders saw German as the likely candidate for the language of the eventual Jewish state. The partisans of Hebrew had to fight hard to establish it as THE common language of the growing Jewish population of early twentieth-century Palestine and its educational system. There was for example a famous struggle at the founding in the 1920s of the Technion, Israel’s “M.I.T.”, over German or Hebrew as the language of instruction in the sciences.

There is a poignant anecdote around the official institution designated in January 1949 as the ongoing guardian and developer of the Hebrew language. What name to give it? Names are important, and convey a symbolic message. The scholars and academics leading this body wished to call it האקדמיה ללשון העברית / ha-akka-DEMeeya lelaSHON ha-ivRIT, the Academy for the Hebrew Language.

No less than David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett and Yitzchak Ben-Zvi, the senior leaders of their generation, were outraged. They roared, in effect: Do you not see that you are mocking yourselves and trivializing this critical cause by using a foreign term (aka-DEMeeya) precisely for the body charged with protecting Hebrew? Can you not find a suitable Hebrew alternative? Feelings ran high and the controversy dragged on for four years. In a Knesset debate, Moshe Sharett, Israel’s first Foreign Minister, thundered that the name of this body had to be זך כגביש / “zahch ke-ga-VEESH” – “as pure as crystal”, and that using a foreign word would be בבחינת טומאה בהיכל הקדושה (“equivalent to an impurity in the Holy of Holies”)! Pragmatism triumphed in the end and the body is indeed called an academy to this day.

Speaking of the אקדמיה / “akka-DEMeeya” underlines a basic point about living languages and Hebrew in particular: they are by definition works-in-progress. Change is a constant. The Academy annually devises new words to describe new phenomena or hopefully to replace unwanted loan-words. They then publish (sometimes even on milk cartons!) and recommend them to the public, inviting people to vote for the new word of the year. Examples of their recommendations:

* חוּפשוֹן / “Choof-SHON” instead of the military “after”/ אפטר / “AF-terre” ;

* פַּרְצוּפוֹן /”par-tsoo-FON” or more recently סִמְלוֹן / “seem-LON” instead of emoji;

* שְׁמֵנוּת / “SHMAY-noot” for obesity;

* הַעֲדָפַת קְרוֹבִים /“ha-a-da-FAHT kro-VEEM” for nepotism;

* מְכוֹנַת מִמְכָּר / “me-cho-NAT meem-KAHR” for vending machine;

* הֵעָדְרָנוּת / “hay-ad-ra-NOOT” for absenteeism;

* מוֹלַדְתָּנוּת / “moladi-tah-NOOT” for patriotism; and so on.

There is a democratic process operating here, for it is the preferences of the public that will determine whether a given recommended word survives or is forgotten. Many or most of the Academy’s neologisms don’t pass this reality test, but some do, like תסמינים /”tas-mee-NEEM” for symptoms or נייד / “nigh-YAHD” for mobile telephone. Jews argue over everything else and this is certainly no exception. I can guarantee that some of my transliterations of Hebrew words and designations of which syllables to accent in this paper will evoke criticism and correction.

The controversies about Hebrew go way beyond a general inclination to being argumentative, and touch the heart of the Zionist enterprise. Our founders were seeking a physical sanctuary from Jew-hatred and the afflictions of a toxic Diaspora, but they had greater ambitions as well. Many of them aspired to create a new Jew, redeemed by the experience of living a natural, “normalized” existence in his/her own ancestral country and thus liberated both from the distortions of minority status and the restraints of traditional Jewish culture (be careful what you wish for!).

The unprecedented revival and modernization of the ancient tongue was a critical centerpiece of this effort. Hebrew would enable the Jews to transcend the disparities imposed by a hundred different exiles, and to powerfully enhance their common roots. Living and loving and fighting and cursing in Hebrew, with all its associations to Jewish sources and history, would enable the new Jew to automatically re-connect with the Jewish past while forging a glorious Jewish future. This sounds wonderful, but is quite a lot to expect of a language. So, how is it working out? How do you measure such a thing? Who is to say?

The American-Israeli writer and translator, Hillel Halkin , is certainly one of the most respected, senior arbiters of the Hebrew language in our time. Over 50 years ago, he issued a stern warning (“Hebrew As She Is Spoke”, Commentary, December 1969) about the directions in which Hebrew was developing at that point, when about two million people spoke the language. His worry was precisely that Hebrew was being overwhelmed by the massive influx of loan-words that were eroding its soul and its ability to fulfill its Zionist mission: “… it is by now possible to construct lengthy if improbable ‘Hebrew’ sentences which sound and look like nothing so much as a kind of Semiticized Esperanto.” The Hebrew being spoken was increasingly cut off from its sources, he claimed, and even from that of its 19th-20th century champions like Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Chaim Nachman Bialik, and S.Y. Agnon. He wondered whether the Hebrew of the Bible was on its way to becoming as remote from its present form as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is from modern English. He also voiced doubts as to whether contemporary Hebrew was capable of providing the linguistic tools necessary for the full expression of complex human experiences. In the end, he just hoped for the best.

It would be fascinating to hear Halkin’s views on all this today, from his perch in Zichron-Ya’akov, and I fervently hope he airs them. Does the evidence gathered here of the deep penetration of Hebrew by other languages confirm his 1969 forebodings? Or does the apparent success of Hebrew in absorbing it all, along with the vigorous flowering of Israeli literature (in whose translation Halkin has played a major role), theater, art, cinema, music, dance, scholarship, technology, etc. as well as Israel’s population growth to over 9 million, serve to allay his concerns? (An aside: I wish Yossi Klein Halevi, another outstanding American-Israeli intellectual and commentator, with serious expertise on Israeli popular music, would examine the Hebrew language development in that important sector. It would reveal some unexpected findings, I think.)

In the same way that Jews can never stop arguing, they can also never stop worrying. Ben-Yehuda, Bialik and Agnon would not likely be very happy with the amount of non-Hebrew in the display windows of the stores in Israel’s shopping malls today. Nonetheless, I feel strongly that Hebrew has proven to be a dynamic vehicle for expressing every aspect of our human experiences, and our participation in global events. And that its interactions with other languages for the most part confirm its basic health and energy. It is true that English has to an extent pushed its way into daily Hebrew discourse, much as it has with so many other languages, and as the examples above illustrate. My strong subjective impression is that this is not close to any danger-point. Moreover, the capacity of Hebrew to digest these linguistic infiltrations and often turn them into well-Hebraized versions of the original seems to me an indication of cultural-linguistic strength, not weakness.

On the other hand, am I being too sanguine and complacent? It is often jarring to Hebrew-sensitive ears to hear the latest Americanism mouthed by some young media celebrity or television commentator. We are never released from the preoccupation with our past and the varying degrees of our faithfulness to or our rebellion against it. Our language is par excellence one of the fields in which those issues play out.

Israel was not meant to be a ghettoized fortress within which we could both shelter and effectively keep the world at a safe distance. Or at least not only that. It was rather intended to be a secure platform from which we could engage and interact with the world on an equal basis, giving and receiving and sharing in the unfolding human story. The very inclusiveness and exuberance of our beloved Hebrew language gives worthy testimony to that aspiration. I will not restrain my upbeat last comment on our Hebrew today: כל הכבוד!/ “Kol ha-Kah-VOD!” / Well done!

About the Author
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, studied at McGill, U. of California, Berkeley, and the London School of Economics, resident in Israel since 1976, former director of the WUJS Institute (Arad) and of the Israel-Diaspora Institute (Tel Aviv U.), involved in the Israeli plastics industry (former vice-president of ZAG Ltd.), now living in Ra'anana.

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