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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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In Hebrew: ‘Addiction’

Your daily dose of Hebrew.


Before I moved back to Israel in 2007 and opened up Ulpan La-Inyan a year later, I was training as a psychotherapist in Los Angeles. My first post was to Beit T’shuva, a Jewish center for addiction recovery on Venice Blvd.

The Hebrew word for addiction is הִתְמַכְּרוּת, of the root מ.כ.ר (m.k.r) meaning sale – since one sells him/herself, in a way, to the object of addiction.

In context:

בֵּית תְּשׁוּבָה הוּא מֶרְכַּז יְהוּדִי לִגְמִילָה מֵהִתְמַכְּרוּת.
Beit T’shuva (literally, House of Return) is a Jewish center for recovery (literally, weaning) from addiction.

התמכרות comes from the reflexive-intensive הִתְפַעֵל verb,לְהִתְמַכֵּר.

For example:

לֹא קָשֶׁה לְהִתְמַכֵּר לְעִשּׁוּן.
It’s not difficult to become addicted to smoking.

Someone addicted is מָכוּרif a male and מְכוּרָהif a female.

For example:

הִיא מְכוּרָה לְפֵייסְבּוּק.
She is addicted to Facebook.

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

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