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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777
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In Hebrew: ‘Officer’

A daily dose of Hebrew.

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קָצִין

I’m taking the day off to attend my cousin’s טֶקֶס סִיּוּם קוּרְס קְצִינִים officers’ graduation ceremony.

That phrase provides a great example of how language picks up from its environment as the generations go by. Here’s the phrase broken down etymologically, in reverse chronological order:

קורס course – comes from English
סיום end, completion – comes from Aramaic
טקסceremony – comes from Ancient Greek
קציןofficer – is Biblical Hebrew

I’m filled with pride as I think of my cousin and that the word קצין, symbolic of the Jew who stands up in defense of his basic human dignity as well as of the dignity of that which he represents, is the only word in this string that is authentic Biblical Hebrew.

כָּל הַכָּבוֹד, יוּדִי! כָּל הַכָּבוֹד לְצַהַ”ל.
All the respect, Yudi! All the respect to the IDF.

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Ami Steinberger

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

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