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The Hebrew root ג.ב.ר (g.b.r) means bravery, heroism, strength, manhood. In the reflexive-intensive הִתְפַּעֵל verb form, this root yields the word לְהִתְגַּבֵּר .   In Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew, להתגבר means to overwhelm or to overflow, as in: רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲרָךְ, מַעְיָן הַמִּתְגַּבֵּר Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh (is) like an overflowing spring   In Modern Hebrew, we use להתגבר to mean to overcome. For example:

הִיא תִּתְגַּבֵּר עַל הַמַּחֲלָה. She will overcome the illness.


הַמַּכַּבִּים הִתְגַּבְּרוּ עַל הַמַּעֲצָמָה הַיְּוָנִית. The Maccabees overcame the Greek superpower.
חַג חֲנֻכָּה שָׂמֵחַ! Happy Chanukah holiday! Visit Ktzat Ivrit.


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Ami Steinberger is founder and director of Ulpan La-Inyan.