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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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In Hebrew: ‘200-Shekel Discount’

A daily dose of Hebrew.


200-shekel discount for early registration (Sunday deadline) for Ulpan classes in Jerusalem.

In Western languages such as English, Spanish, German, etc, we add a number from 1-10 before a multiple of 100. For example: one hundred, two hundred, three hundred, etc.

In Hebrew and other languages, the second item in such a count gets a special name that ends with the sound AH-yeem.

An example from the Torah portion to be read this Shabbat by Jews around the world:

כִּי-זֶה שְׁנָתַיִם הָרָעָב, בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ; וְעוֹד חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים, אֲשֶׁר אֵין חָרִישׁ וְקָצִיר (בְּרֵאשִׁית מ”ה:ו’)
For two years now there has been a famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping (Genesis 45:6)

Here the word שְׁנָתַיִם means two years. Compare it with the others in the list below to see the difference:

שָׁנָה אַחַת – one year
שְׁנָתִים – two years
שָׁלֹש שָׁנִים – three years
אַרְבַּע שָׁנִים – four years
חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים – five years
שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים – six years
שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים – seven years
שְׁמוֹנֶה שָׁנִים – eight years
תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים – nine years
עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים – ten years
listen to this list read aloud

This AH-eem ending indicates other multiples of two in the Hebrew language, such as:

עֵינַיִם – eyes

גִּבְעָתַיִם – two hills
(name of a city adjacent to Tel Aviv)

מָאתַיִם – two hundred

Here’s that last word used in a sentence:

מִי שֶׁנִּרְשָׁם לְקוּרְס שֶׁלָּנוּ עַד יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן, מְקַבֵּל הֲנָחָה שֶׁל מָאתַיִם שְׁקָלִים.

Whoever registers for a course of ours by Sunday gets a 200-shekel discount.

Note: The AH-eem ending indicates a doubling, but it is not used for all nouns.

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About the Author: Ami Steinberger is founder and director of Ulpan La-Inyan.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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