Family get-togethers can be a lot of fun, but there can also be a lot of pressure to be your best self and make your relatives proud. If you come from a Hebrew background, brushing up on your Hebrew skills and learning some new vocabulary can be a great way to impress your family and friends during holidays like this coming Chanukah.
Here are some Hebrew phrases you can use to impress your family during the holidays:
“Shalom” is a common expression used in Hebrew. When you meet people in the streets, at home, or even at work, you will say “shalom” to them, and they will respond with the same word. The word means peace, prosperity, tranquility, harmony, wholeness, and completeness. Shalom is used idiomatically to mean both goodbye and hello.
2. Yasher Koach
Yasher koach is a Hebrew phrase that means “congratulations”. Did you perform well in your exams? Yasher Koach. This phrase is derived from yishar koach, which stands for, “may it be for strength (koach) be straightened (yishar)”.
In Deuteronomy, God spoke to Moses regarding the first tablet that he broke. The Rabbis translated the reading as if God was proud of Moses for breaking the tablet, saying “Yasher koech for breaking” in reaction to the people abandoning him and starting to worship the Golden Calf.
3. Boker tov/Layla tov
“Boker tov, beautiful family.” This is a common greeting phrase used by the Israelis to mean good morning. You can use the word anytime as long as it’s not before midday. If the person you are greeting is having a fine morning, they are likely to respond with boker, which stands for morning light. During the night, Layla tov is the best word to use. This expression is a Hebrew way of saying good night.
Being humble and polite to your family members and other people matters a lot. There are simple ways of showing politeness. Slicha is a Hebrew expression that means “sorry” or “excuse me.” You can use this word to get your family’s attention or try to avoid a fight.
Ahava is a common phrase used by the Hebrews. The phrase is pronounced, “ah-ha-va.” It simply means love. The root of the word is hav, meaning “to give.” The meaning is a hidden fact about love: to love means one should be willing to give.
This phrase can be used by a family to express their true love for each other. A husband can use ahava to describe the love he has for his wife or even children. Ahava can also describe the undying love God has for his people.
B’hatzlacha is a common and meaningful Hebrew phrase you can use to impress your family. Does your brother or sister have an interview? Just wish them B’hatzlacha. It is a simple way of wishing people good luck.
This is a term meaning “soul” and a slang term for beautiful. Neshama, can you kindly hand me the remote? This is a spiritual and beautiful word. Both women and men use this term with each other. This shows how spirituality is a part of daily life in Israel.
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