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May 25, 1990 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-05-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Hava Nedaber lvrit: Am Yisrael, Torah Indivisible

By NIRA LEV

Each month in this space,
L'Chayim will present a Hebrew
lesson entitled, "Hava Nedaber
Ivrit!" (Let's Speak Hebrew), whose
aim is to encourage further study of
Hebrew. The lesson will include a
brief story utilizing the Hebrew
words to be studied and a
vocabulary list with English
translations. The lessons will be
prepared by Nira Lev, associate
professor of Hebrew language and
literature at the Midrasha College of
Jewish Studies. Mrs. Lev also
teaches Hebrew language and
literature at the Community Jewish
High School at the United Hebrew
Schools.
Following is this month's
lesson:
Like other Jewish chagim,
Shavuot is not only a religious and
historical chag, but it is also related
to tevah, to agriculture. Shavuot is
one of the three pilgrimages,
Shalosh Regalim, designated in the
Tanach, the other two being Sukkot
and Pesach. On these chagim, in
biblical times, oley regel flocked to
Yerushalayim from arba kanfot
ha'aretz. On Shavuot, also called
Chag Ha'bikkurim, or Chag
Hakatzir, the farmers brought their
bikkurim to Beit Ha'mikdash.
These bikkurim, the first fruit,
included the seven varieties, shiv'at
ha'minim, for which Yisrael is
known: cheetah, seorah, anavim,
t'eynim, rimonim, zeitim and
t'marim.
Shavuot also has a religious,
historical aspect: our masoret tells
us that Aseret Ha'dibrot were given
to Bnei Yisrael on Har Sinai on the
sixth day of chodesh Sivan, on
Shavuot. It is called Z'man Matan
Torateynu, or Chag Matan Torah.
The word "Shavuot" means
"weeks" and it refers to the fact
that this chag occurs seven weeks
after Pesach. In biblical times, on
the second day of Pesach, a
measure of barley, called omer was
brought as an offering to Beit
Ha'mikdash. From that day on'the
Torah commands us to count
shiv'ah shavuot or 49 yamim, and
the 50th day of this period is
Shavuot. This counting is called
"S'firat Ha'omer" and the period
between Pesach and Shavuot is
known as "S'firah." In Israel, the
celebration of Shavuot combines all
the aspects of the chag. In Israel
Shavuot marks the beginning of a
new season, kayitz, and it is
celebrated with special chagigot
in every belt sefer. The children
wear b'gadim I'vanim like the
kohanim in Beit Ha'mikdash, with
zerim made of fresh p'rachim on
their heads. They bring salim full of

perot to school which are later
distributed to the poor. The most
beautiful chagigot take place on the
kibbutzim, where, because of its
agricultural nature Shavuot is a
central chag. All the chaverim of
the kibbutz gather around the
central bama outdoors, and enjoy a
beautiful tekes of celebrating the
first fruit of kayitz.
in every beit knesset, and in
all schools, "Megillat Ruth" is
read. This is the seepur of Ruth the
Moabite who accepted God and the
Torah and joined the Jewish people.
It is appropriate to read this story on
the chag that celebrates Matan
Torah. Ruth is believed to be the
great-grandmother of David
Ha'melech and Shavuot marks both
the day of birth and death of David.
Megillat Ruth also takes place
during the katzir of the kayitz and
thus is tied to the agricultural
aspect of the chag.

Shavuot is another chag that
shows us how Am Yisrael, the
Torah and Eretz Yisrael are one
and indivisible.

Meelon (Dictionary)

holidays, festivals
chagim
a holiday, a festival
chag
nature
tevah
The Bible
The Tanach
pilgrims
oley regel
the four
arba kanfot ha'aretz
corners of the earth
the first fruit
bikkurim
harvest
katzir
The Temple
Beit Ha'mikdash
wheat
cheetah
barley
seorah
grapes
anavim
figs
t'eynim
pomegranates
rimonim
olives
zeitim
dates
t'marim
tradition
masoret

The Ten
Commandments
Har Sinai Mount Sinai
Z'man Matan Torateynu .The time of
giving of our Torah
Matan Torah .The giving of the Torah
seven weeks
shiv'ah shavuot
days
yamim
counting
s'firah
summer
kayitz
celebrations
chagigot
school
beit sefer
clothes
b'gadim
white
I'vanim
priests
kohanim
wreathes
zerim
flowers
p'rachim
baskets
salim
fruit
perot
members
chaverim
a stage, a platform
bama
a ceremony
tekes
synagogue
beit knesset
a story
seepur
scroll
megillah

Aseret Ha'dibrot

s
vit a e' Sandek Was People's Advocate
P ■

By BETTY PROVIZER STARKMAN

Sandek, as a family name
originates from the Hebrew word for
godfather — "sandek." This name
was adopted by a respected
member of the Jewish community
who often acted as an advocate or
emissary for his people. Scattered
Seeds, Chicago, 1986, by Dr.
George Sackheim, has references
to an Indiana family bearing this
name.
Pomerantz/Pomerance, is a
name of Ashkenazic origin. It
denotes that an ancestor was either
a grower or seller of oranges. The
Encyclopedia Judaica (New York
and Jerusalem 1971), has an article
about the Polish poet, Berl
Pomerantz.
The name Selnik/Celnik, could
have originated from the Polish work
celnik, meaning "custom's house
official." Its origins could also be
from the Yiddish, tselnik, meaning
"haberdasher."
The surname Spitz, could be of
geographic origin. It may have been
adopted in Germany by someone
who lived near a pointed hill. Spitz
in German means "pointed." The
name could also stem from the
Yiddish, Shpitsn, meaning "lace,"
and taken by a family producing or
selling lace.
The source of the Sephardic
family name Kordova/Cordoba, is
geographic. It denotes residence in

the ancient Spanish city of Cordova.
Moses Maimonides was born in
Cordova in the year 1135. The
synagogue where he worshipped as
a youngster has been partially
restored and renamed Rambam
Synagogue. The Jewish
Encyclopedia, has two biographies
from 17th century and 18th century
Holland and Germany.

The name Mirski, is of Eastern
Ashkenazic root. In Polish mir
means "peace." This is a
descriptive family name taken by a
respectful peaceful ancestor. The
name may also be of geographic
origin and may have been adopted
by a former resident of the city of
Mir, located in Belorussia.
Smetana is a name of Eastern
Ashkenazic root and probably
adopted by a family who lived in
Czechoslovakia. In Czech, smetana
means "soured cream." This name
was probably used by a producer or
seller of soured cream.
Bonner is an Ashkenazic family
name adapted from the German,
dormer, "thunder." It is one of the
many ornamental surnames taken
from the natural phenomena that
surrounds us.
Klayman is of Eastern
Ashkenazic root and of occupational
origin. In Yiddish kley means
"glue." The surname Klayman was
thus taken by a maker or seller of
glue.

The family name Wortman
stems from the Yiddish, "haltn vort"
or to keep one's word. This was
then a nickname for a very
trustworthy person.

Betty Provizer Starkman is the past
president and founder of the
genealogical branch of the Jewish
Historical Society of Michigan.

Sivan

Why was the Torah given
during the month of Sivan and not
earlier? A midrash says that the
zodiac sign of Nisan is a lamb, and
the sign of lyar is an ox, neither of
which can praise the Torah. But the
sign of Sivan is twins, and twins are
human, and have mouths to speak
with, hands to clap together, and
feet for dancing.

Mt. Sinai

The name Sinai is from the
Hebrew word sneh, meaning thorn
bush. Such bushes grow in
abundance on the desert mountain.
It was out of such a (burning) bush
that God first appeared to Moses,
urging him to lead the Jewish
people out of Egyptian slavery.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

53

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