top of page

אַחֲרֵי מוֹת - ?aChaRaey MoTh (After the death of..)

God’s Bringing Forth of Existence is in the Cloud

In the opening paragraph of parashat Acharay mot, there are a number of reasons - both stated and implied – as to why Aharon (representing one’s mental faculty of bringing things to light)1 should be cautious about approaching HaShem. First, despite the intervening chapters, the reader is told that these instructions were given after the death of two of his sons – implying that if the instructions are not followed, he too could die. Second is the actual instruction:ואל יבא בכל עת אל הקדש…..ולא ימות "And he shall preclude from entering into the Holies, in (just) any time….and he shall not die.” From an allegorical perspective can be added three other words of greater import: parokhet (פרכת veil), kaporet (כפרת covering) and anan (ענן cloud). The verb PaRaKh (פרך) means to divide, crush into many pieces and to vigorously rub. Allegorically, it represents an act of vigorously threshing over the many details found in experience. The verb KaPhaR (כפר) evolved from the verb KaPhaH (כפה to palm something). Although it basically means to cover over, it has developed into words meaning pitch, frost, atonement, denial, pacify and renounce. Allegorically, it means to have a scene completely, visually covered. Together the words parokhet (פרכת veil) and kaporet (כפרת covering) tell the reader that approaching God’s bringing forth of existence entails much threshing over the details found in experience and having the experience visually covered. However, the most intimidating statement is that God will appear in a cloud (ענן \aNaN). This word evolved from a root that literally means “to impose oneself,” \aNaH (ענה),2 and is understood to mean “to afflict, overwhelm, humiliate, rape, and oppress.” It is the same word used at the end of this section to remind the reader that the instructions that follow apply to Yom Kippur (יום כיפור the day of atonement) – a day of afflicting one’s soul. However, whenever a person endeavors to approach God’s bringing forth of existence (Y-H-W-H) in order to bring things to light (Aharon), by threshing over the innumerable details of experience (פרכת) and in having a scene completely covered (כפרת), the imposing and overwhelming presence of HaShem (ענן) will inevitably be encountered.

Aharon, representing our ability to bring things to light, is instructed to enter into what is brought forward in experience (qodesh – holy),3b’Zo/T (בזאת), with or through “this” and then proceeds to list some offerings and specific clothing. But the words b’Zo/T (בזאת) literally mean “into what is clearly (overbearingly) apparent;”4therefore, the offerings and clothing that follow are the means to achieve this. They are: an act of scattering about (פר bull),5 a behavior of making an investigation (בקר cattle)6 for veering about a scene (חטאת sin offering);7 an act of fervently advancing forward with initiative (איל ram)8 for an act of mentally busying oneself with particular things (עלה olah);9 an act of consolidating (כתנת coat)10 what can be extracted (בד linen)11of what is brought forward in experience (קודש holy);3 acts of drawing inward (מכנסי breeches)12 what can be extracted (בד linen) from experience upon driving in with confidence (בשר flesh);13an act of pushing oneself into (אבנט girdle)14 what can be extracted from experience (בד linen); and an act of compiling, sorting and classifying (מצנפת mitre)15 what can be extracted from experience (בד linen). Although washing should be the first step prior to getting dressed, allegorically it is the final step of “moving oneself back and forth (רחץ wash)16 through the many things in experience stirred up (מים water)17 by confidently driving in (בשר flesh).”13

In contrast to Aharon’s very purposeful and deliberate behavior of bringing things to light, the children of Israel represent the aimless yet equally comprehensive act of making a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience.18Their respective offerings symbolize the particular behaviors utilized to them to achieve their purposes. By bringing a bull from the cattle, Aharon represents our deliberately scattering about a scene (פר bull) and searching experience (בקר cattle) for something to bring to light. In contrast, our means of making a sustained survey of the things advancing forward in experience (Israel) entails aimless acts of taking notice of things in becoming mentally stirred by them (שעירים goats). The Arabic verb Sha\aR, cognate with the Hebrew word for hair (Sae\aR שער) and goat (שעיר Sa\iR), means “to take notice of something (in becoming mentally stirred).”19 Even though these two processes have different methods of becoming aware of something in experience, both then approach those things by contributing a ram for an olah – by fervently advancing forward with initiative (ram)8so as to be (mentally) busy with those particular things (olah).9 Since the purpose of both methods is to bring things to light, Aharon (the mental faculty bringing things to light)1 performs the rituals for himself, his household, and on behalf of the Israelites. Nevertheless, all of these rituals represent the activity of one person – utilizing the mental processes symbolized by Aharon and Israel. Therefore, the different offerings are interwoven with one another. It is for this reason that the text says that Aharon brings his offering for atonement twice – first in line 6 and then in line 11.

Aharon then draws lots for the two goats (שעיר) – for the two acts of taking notice of things in becoming mentally stirred up.19 Because in any given experience, there is too much information to be serially processed by the human mind, one of them will be for an act of veering about experience (sin offering),7 for the purpose of whatever is brought forth of God’s bringing forth of existence. Meanwhile, the other act of taking notice of things in becoming mentally stirred up will remain active (alive), and designated for azazel (עזאזל). The word /azal (אזל) means “what is disregarded and left behind,” while the word \az (עז) meaning goat, literally means “a thing of intensity.” In other words, when there is too much information to take in, a person making a sustained survey must divide their attention - designating one component for what is brought forward of God’s bringing forth of existence, while the other component of their attention is for the things of intensity that are (temporarily) disregarded (azazel).

Now that his attention has been compartmentalized, Aharon leans into (slaughters)20the act of scattering about experience (bull). He takes a fill of the scooping of many acts of thrusting forth of being mentally persistent (גחלי אש coals of fire)21,22and of his grasp – an act of investigating (קטרת incense)23 of acts of applying oneself (סמים applications)24 of careful examination (דקה beaten).25He then puts the investigation (קטרת incense) upon the act of being mentally persistent (אש fire)22 before God’s bringing forth of existence such that an overwhelmingly imposing amount of information (ענן cloud) covers over and makes many impressions (כסה)26 upon the act of having the scene covered visually (כפרת). The Kaporet (כפרת) which is draped over the testimony (עדות) symbolizes having the many things in evidence (עדות)visually covered (כפרת). Of this, that which flows forth (דם blood)27 is dealt with – extracting what bubbles up of many startling things (שבע פעמים seven times).28,29 A similar procedure is performed with the act of taking notice of things in becoming mentally stirred up (שעיר goat). Utilizing the blood, Aharon makes atonement for the Holies (קודש), the tent of meeting and the altar. As mentioned before the word for atonement (כפר KiPaeR) evolved from the word KaPaH (כפה) meaning to palm. Like a playful lion (כפיר) who energetically pounces about with his paws, so too are we to engage experience. Allegorically, atoning represents an act of energetically pouncing upon what is brought forward in experience (קודש holy), the act of becoming familiar with things in being enduringly mentally present (אהל מועד tent of meeting),30 and the act of flowing forth into experience (מזבח altar).31

Having processed what had been brought forward by experience (Holy)3 by both scattering about (bull)5 and by taking notice of things in becoming mentally stirred by them (goat),19 Aharon is then ready to acknowledge the things in experience that were missed represented by the sins of Israel (the act of making a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience). To do this, Aharon (the mental faculty bringing things to light) brings close the remaining goat. In order to scan what had been missed of the scene, he maintains the power of his reach (hands)32 upon the act of seeing (head)33 associated with the act of taking notice of things in becoming stirred by them (שעיר goat). The fact that this goat is alive (החי) and that it is sent forth by the hand of a timely (עתי) man ensure that the process of becoming aware of things remains both lively and dynamic (החי) and ever observant in turning this way and that (ענה > עת).34 This goat, representing a process of becoming aware of things, is sent into the midbar (מדבר wilderness)35 representing what barrels down and drives forward of experience, toward a disposing of oneself to (ארץ land)36 what in experience had been cut off (גזרה).

By sheer coincidence, the Hebrew word BeGeD (בגד) means both clothing and to deliver up and reveal information (traitor).37 Having acquired the details from experience by leaning into (slaughtering) the previously described procedures (offerings of animals), both Aharon (our ability to bring things to light) and the timely man (symbolizing our mental focus,38 turning this way and that) deal with their clothing. This symbolizes our making the information discovered, available for mental processing. This is then followed by a washing of their flesh. Since the word for flesh (בשר BaSaR) also means “to confidently drive into something” and the word for water (מים MaYim) means “what is stirred up” – this represents an act of becoming immersed and engaged with the information. Because the olah offering represents an act of mentally busying oneself with particular things discovered through the process of veering about (sin offering), it is performed at this point. Finally, the remnants of the offerings – representing whatever information remains to be processed with greater mental diligence – are dealt with outside of the place of mentally attending to what is common and prosaic (outside the camp).39 There the remaining details are extracted and overseen (שרף burned)40 with mental persistence (אש fire) – what is exposed of them (ערות skin),41 what is confidently driven into of them (בשר flesh), and what is made clear of them (פרש dung).42 To fully process even this information, the mental faculty performing this act must press into the acts of revealing the information (wash his clothes) and confidently engage the information (wash his body). Once this is complete and all the details of the experience have been extracted and mentally processed, one can return to mentally attending to the common and prosaic, represented by returning to the camp.39

It is at this point that the text indicates that the above procedure is intended to be performed by the priest on the tenth day of the seventh month, on yom kippur. However, all of the chagim delineated in the Torah are metaphors for how to deal with every day experience. Yom ha-kippurim, the day of many acts of pouncing on experience, must occur when the experiences of life bear down (עשור tenth),43 when one is satiated by the many things that bubble up in experience (שביעי seventh). Every day in our lives of similar intensity is a day when one must afflict their souls with the experience at hand. On such a day, it is imperative not to allow one’s mind to go off to do an unrelated task (מלאכה).44 It is a day of ensuring that one’s mind is perfectly clear (טהור ritually pure).45 It is a day of assuredly settling in with experience (שבת שבתון Shabbat Shabbaton).46 It is a day when our giving experience precise and mindful attention (kohaen)47 makes atonement for all of the mistakes and missteps in our attempts to make a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience (Israel). It represents our striving for perfection in the face of every day’s over-steppings (פשעים transgressions),48acts of veering off (חטאת sins), and acts of turning away(עונות iniquities); in our attempt to get close to the overwhelmingly imposing nature (cloud) of God’s bringing forth of existence.


1 – Aharon (אהרן) “the mental faculty bringing things to light;” from the verb HaRaH (הרה – to conceive), but like the related verb HaRHaeR (הרהר), it refers to one’s ability to conceive of something in mind (not in the womb). Also related to these words is the noun HaR (mountain – הר) which literally means “the place of bringing things to light,” a place where one can see and conceive of what is coming due to its elevated perspective.

2 – cloud (ענן – \aNaN) is derived from \aNaH (ענה) to afflict, overwhelm, humiliate, rape, oppress. This root evolved from /aNaH (אנה to impose oneself).

3 – Holy (קדש – QoDeSh, QaDoSh) Related to the roots meaning to put the head forward - QaDaD (קדד – to bow), QaDQaD (קדקד - crown of head) and QaDaM (קדם to proceed, advance forward); QaDaR (קדר – to drop the head > to duck under, gloomy, potter), QaDaHh (קדח – (drop the head) > to bore into, pierce), ShaQaD (שקד - watch intently, be watchful of, be vigilant, be determined), \aQaD (עקד – to draw the head toward the feet; fix the eyes on, be deter-mined to do (Arb)) The root QaDaSh (קדש) fundamentally means to advance something forward (so as to dedicate for sanctified use)

4 – From unattested ZaHaH (זהה - exude light), see Syriac cognate ZaHa/ (זהא - shining, glorious, splendid, resplendent) and in Arabic (radiant, shine brightly, be haughty)

5 –bull (פר PaR) Allegorically: to scatter about. The unattested root PaRaH (פרה) means to divide off from or disengage from. Thus PaRa/ (פרא) wildly (disengaged) being > to go wild; PaRaR (פרר) as seen in Akkadian: dissolved-broken up-powerless-confused-disperse-scatter-smash-distributed-roam around; PeRy (פרי) fruit (that disengages from the tree); PaRPaR (פרפר) to crumble, throw about, convulse; PaRa\ (פרע) to be-make disorderly, chaotic; PaRaKh (פרך) to divide > crush > rub; PaRaQ (פרק) to break off, loose; PaRaM (פרם) to shred; PaRaSh (פרש) to separate, scatter; PaRaS (פרס) to split, tear apart; PaRaZ (פרז) to set apart, detach (Arb) > open village; PaRaD (פרד) to divide, separate, set apart, dislocate; PaRaTs (פרץ) to scatter, burst forth > breach; PaRaT (פרט) to break off from > pluck. A bull or cow are described as PaR(aH) because it is disengaged from the rest of the herd.

6 – cattle (בקר – BaQaR, one who investigates) or morning (בוקר – BoQaeR, time of investigation). From the root meaning “to investigate, search.”

7 – sin offering (חטאת ChaTa/T) Allegorically: an act of veering about experience. From HhaTaH (חטה – to incline, lean into)> ChaTa/ (חטא – to veer off, sin). See also HhiTaH (חטה) wheat = what leans, inclines; and ChiTae\ (חטא) to re-aim, rectify from veering off-going astray

8 – ram (איל ayil) Literally: one who rams forward; allegorically: one’s fervently advancing forward with initiative. Originally from the root /aWaL (אול) from which are derived: El (אל) G-d, meaning “one initiating or advancing forward experience;” el (אל) to, toward; Ya/aL (יאל) to endeavor to advance forward

9 – elevation offering, burnt-offering (עלה - \oLaH) Allegorically: meander about and busy oneself with particular things. The verb comes from the root \aLaH (עלה to rise, ascend). There is however a root \aLaL (עלל to meander, perform, busy oneself) and another related word \oLaL (עולל to glean).

10 – felt-coat (כתנת k’tonet) is specifically a coat made out of felt, one that is compressed and matted together.All KaTa* verbs essentially mean to press-impress-compress; such as KaTaBh (כתב – to write), KaTaL (כתל wall; Arabic - to press into, compact, mass),KaTaR (כתר – huddle, crowd in on), KaTaPh (כתף – shoulder joint), KaTaSh (כתש – crush, compress);KaTaT (כתת – to pound, smash together)

11 – linen(בד BaD) Allegorically: “what is extracted > unique.” It comes from the verb BaDaD (בדד) meaning “to extract something and make separate.” The roots derived from BaDaH (בדה) evolved from BaZaH (בזה to plunder), but literally meaning to dig into and throw out > rifle through. Therefore, BaDaH (בדה invent, fabricate, concoct) literally means “to throw out an idea,” and the related BaD (בד fabrications, boastings). BaDaL (בדל piece, a thing separated > to separate); Likewise BaD (בד) also means “piece” and therefore branch (a piece torn off), but also from the related BaDaD (בדד), alone. From there /aBaD (אבד lost) is one who is alone.

12 – breeches (מכנסי miKhN’Say) Allegorically: acts of drawing inward. Many K.N. (כנ) roots mean “to draw in” - KaNa\ (כנע) meaning to subdue or oppress. KaNaS (כנס to enter), KaNaPh (כנף wing, (what is drawn in)), KaNaN (כנן to wind around), and KineReT (כנרת the lake, ?drawn into) suggest that literally it means to draw in upon.

13 – flesh(בשר – BaSaR). The word almost always means flesh, but literally “what is driven into with confidence,” probably alluding to removing meat from a bone. The Arabic cognate means “to peel, scrape / shave off, grate, shred, come in contact, sexual intercourse, apply oneself.” Also note probable mis-translation of (Ec2:3) תרתי בלבי למשוך ביין את בשרי Conventionally translated as: I sought in my heart to draw out with wine, my flesh. But more correctly translated as: I sought in my heart to draw out with wine, my confidence.

14 – sash, cummerbund, girdle (אבנט abhnaet) represents “one’s pushing completely intosomething and fully penetrating it.” This word is related to the Arabic BaNaT (בּנט - drill bit) and it may be related to BNTL (בּנטל ,בּנטלון- pants, trousers; pantolon) (although this may be a coincidence and a loan word from another language). The root BaNaT evolved from BaNaH (בנה – to push between > through > to buld) from which evolved BeN (בן – son, one squeezed through), having evolved from BuN (בון) giving “to squeeze between” (BayN – בין) and haBhyN (הבין – squeeze inside > to understand). Likewise, Arabic’s BaNaT (בּנט - drill bit) literally means to squeeze inside > to penetrate.

15 –mitre, headband (מצנפת miTsNePhet) represents “one’s sifting and sorting through a scene so as to characterize things.” It is related to the verb TsaNaPh (צנף) which in Arabic means “to sort, assort, classify, categorize, compile, compose, author.”

16 – to wash (רחץ RaHhaTs) Allegorically: to move back and forth. Roots with R.Hh. (רח) essentially mean “to move back and forth on the horizontal plain > wide. RaWaHh (רוח – wide) > RuWaHh (רוח) wind > breath > spirit. RaHhaM (רחם) womb,compassion, intestines - means facilitatingwidth-expansiveness for someone or something; RaHhaBh (רחב) wide; RaHhaPh (רחף) to move back and forth, hover; RaHhaL (רחל) Arabic - to roam, wander about, set out from a place, without direction; ewe (one who wanders off when pregnant); RaHhaQ (רחק) to be-go far; RaHhaSh (רחש) to move, stir, flutter (heart); frying pan; Akk- to move, to set in motion; /aRaHh (ארח) to travel > YaRaeHh (ירח) (traveler) > moon.

17 – water (מים – maYiM) from YaM (ים - sea, what is stirred up) from HaMaH (המה – to stir up)

18 – Yisrael (ישראל) from the verb Sarah (שרה) said to mean to wrestle, with its associated noun meaning princess. Actually, it means “to fix on something either visually or physically.” When to fix on something physically, it could be used to mean wrestle. When to fix on something visually, its male counterpart, Sar (שר), means an overseer, a member of the court. Additionally,El(אל) G-d, meaning one advancing forward with initiative such as in el (אל) to, toward; ayil (איל) ram forward; Ya/aL (יאל) to endeavor to advance forward allegorically can be used to mean “what advances forward” and “one’s advancing forward.”

19 – goat (hairy one) (שעיר), related to the roots Sh\R (שער), S\R (סער), and Sae\aR (שער - hair) which all mean “to stir up” in one way or another. Also related to a similar Arabic root meaning to take notice of things (in being stirred up)

20 – slaughter (people or animals) (שחט – ShaChaT) from HhaTaH (חטה – to incline, lean into)> ChaTa/ (חטא – to veer off, sin). Compare cognates: Ugaritic: butcher, slaughterer; Arabic: be annoyed / displeased / angry, to resent, wrath; exasperation; Syriac: to harm, mar, abuse, impair, vitiate, infringe, violate (law / woman)

21 – thrusting flames (גחל GahhaL) Allegorically: acts of thrusting. Related to GyaHh (גיח) to thrust forward / forth (Mi4:10)(Jb38:8); GaHhaN (גחן) (thing upon which one thrusts) belly (Gn3:14)(Lv11:42)

22 – Fire /aeSh (אש, fire, persistent existence) from /uSh (אוש – to make persistent, to go on and on, be lengthy, make a steady noise (Jastro)).Allegorically, it can be used to mean persistence or “mental persistence.”

23 – incense (קטרת QaToReT) Allegorically: to engage with and inspect. From the verb QaTaR (קטר) to shrivel (from QuT קוט to shrivel, be disgusted), but also means to tie a knot, interlace, couple together, stiffen; In Amharic: tie a knot, keep secret, engage a worker, encircle; engagement > appointment, to rank > number, count >> encircle, regard, consider, supervise, inspect, oversee and reckon

24 – SaMim (סמים) means application. This root evolved from SYM SuM (שים שום to put, place, label, impose, arrange). The root SuM (סום) means to bind, mark, to serve as a mark for / indication of, (bind up, wrap up) to finish, end with. The derived noun SaM (סם) means “(something applied, an application) spice, paint, drug, medicine, poison.”

25 – thin (דק DaQ) Allegorically: particularly examined. It is derived from the verb DaQaQ (דקק to beat into particles > to crush > be-make thin) which in turn evolved from the root DaQ (דק to pound, beat, powder, particulate, particular, punctilious, examine carefully).

26 – to cover (כסה KaSaH)means “to make marks, cuts, impressions and to cover over.” Consider: throne (KiSae/ - כסא)literally means what is marked up with many impressions > covered. Which also evolved into (KaSaS – כסס) tomark > count > consider; K.S.Ph. (כסף) Silver, literally means “that which is marked up (tarnished).”

27 – blood (דם – DaM) allegorically means “what flows,” evolved from DaWaH (דוה – to flow). Incidentally, not related to DuM (דום – still, silent) which evolved from DaMaH (דמה – to cease, be still) < ZaMaH (זמה – to muzzle)

28 – Sheva/ (שבע). Although with a shin, this word appears to have been derived from the similar root with a letter sin, SaBha\ understood as satiated, it derives from either NaBha\ (נבע – to swell or well up) or Ba\aH (בעה - to bubble up, boil). Perhaps it means the number seven because it fulfills a period of one week, although this too is not completely clear. Metaphorically, from context and this etymology it means “being satiated by what bubbles up” or just “a bubbling up of something”

29 –once or (a number of) times(פעם Pa\aM), its verb means “to startle / be startled.” The root Pa\aM (פעם) literally means “a single puff of air” from PW\ (פוע) and Pa\aH (פעה) to pant; haPhya\ (הפיע) to resuscitate. Hence Pa\aMon (פעמון) bell; (פעם Pa\aM) anvil; (פעמים Pa\aMim) hoof beats.

30 – tent of meeting (אהל מועד /oHeL Mo\aeD) Allegorically: the act of becoming familiar of being enduringly (mentally) present. In Arabic, the root /aHaL (אהל tent) means “take a wife, be familiar, inhabited; enable, qualify, competence, aptitude).” The following roots all mean: “to endure in place or time.”testimony (עדות - \aeduT); enduring (עד - \aD); evident-witness(עד - \aeD); endure, meet, appoint (יעד Ya\aD) > meeting (מועד Mo\eD);

31 – altar (מזבח – miZBae’aHh) Allegorically refers to the way in which a person flows forth. The verb ZaBhaHh (זבח – make an offering, sacrifice) evolved from ZaBhaH (זבה – to flow), perhaps due to the flowing of blood that occurs with ritual offering.

32 – hand (יד YaD)Allegorically: the power of one’s reach. The noun evolved from /aDaH (אדה)which literally means to extend outward (from DaWaH (דוה) to flow) hence: /aeD (אד extending mist) and /UD (אוד poker, firebrand). Therefore: YaD (יד hand) literally means “what extends outward.”

33 – head (ראש – Ro/Sh) possibly derived from Ra/aH (ראה – to see) which explains the vestigial aleph. Contextually, this always works allegorically as well.

34 – timely (עתי \iTy) Allegorically: ever observant in turning this way and that. Scholars believe that the word for time (עת \aeT) evolved from \aNaH (ענה) to turn. Furthermore, the words \oN (עון to eye > observe) and \ayin (עין eye) also related to \aNaH (ענה) to turn.

35 – miDBaR (מדבר) In most Semitic languages the root DaBaR (דבר) means to drive at and to direct. Even in Hebrew, the same piel form of the verb that usually means to speak means “to drive over, barrel down, to kill” (CrII22:10). The word DeBheR (דבר) means plague for this reason. Although miDBar may simply mean “a place requiring direction or guidance,” the fact of geography and the frequent occurrence of flash floods suggests to me otherwise. Another thing to consider is that Akkadian has a cognate for midbar without an associated verb form. In Akkadian, it means Steppe, a plain devoid of tall plant life. So perhaps it means “barreled over.”

36 – land (ארץ – /eReTs) evolved from RaTsaTs (רצץ to run upon / crush), which evolved from RuTs (רוץ to run) > RaTsaH (רצה to run toward, show favor). The allegory comes from a related noun /aRTsuT (ארצות one’s disposition, how a person runs-shows favor)

37 – clothing (בגד BeGeD) Allegorically: to deliver up basic facts and information. From the (probably unrelated) root BaGaD (בגד) meaning “root, source, what is real, basic fact in Arabic; to betray, give up information, be a traitor, unfaithful, faithless, in Hebrew.

38 – husband > man(איש - /eySh) from /uSh (אוש – to make persistent, to go on and on, be lengthy, make a steady noise (Jastro)). Initially meaning husband (one who persists with a wife), it later came to mean man. Allegorically, it is always used to mean “mental persistence.”

39 – outside the camp (מחוץ למחנה)Allegorically: outside of the being mindful of what is prosaic and (חנה – HhaNaH), essentially meaning “to establish a presence” and allegorically “a mental presence.”It evolved from HoN (הון – substantial > wealth) and its hiphil (ההין to make/be present, make/be ready; (Dt1:41)), HaeN (חן – here) and HiNaeH (הנה – see here (be present)). Evolved from (חנה – HhaNaH) is HhaNaN (חנן – presence > grace).

40 – to burn (שרף SaRaPh) Allegorically: to extract and oversee. This root literally means “what is released > to make dissipate, to cause to secrete and draw out resin, to coat with resin.” It evolved from the root RaPhaH (רפה) to loosen and release. In Arabic the two related roots mean: (release>) (SaRaPh) to dissipate, squander, exceed all bounds, immodest, overdo, to be extravagant > (ShaRaPh) be highborn, noble, look down upon, oversee, supervision

41 – skin (עור - \uR) what can be exposed of it; related to \aRaH(ערה (bring out into the light > expose) uncover (shield) (Is22:6); to make naked (Is32:11); to lay bare (Is3:17)(Tz2:14)(Ps141:8)

42 – waste (פרש – PeReSh), “what can be spread out and made clear of it” from PaRaSh (פרש – to separate, spread out, expose, clarify)

43 – ten (עשרה - \aSaRaH) metaphorically means “what bears down (upon a person).” This Semitic root consists of two etymologically unrelated homonyms. The number ten evolved from the root that means “to be well supported.” But the other homonym means to urge, force, compel, bear down, plight, and predicament in Arabic; and to put pressure on, demand, exact payment, constrict, enclose, and confine in Akkadian.

44 – task (מלאכה m’lakhah)-angel (מלאך – mal’akh) from the verb La/aKh (לאך) Ugaritic and Syriac - to send a messenger, a message. Related to Hebrew HaLaKh (הלך – to go, advance).

45 – ritually pure (טהור TaHoR). Allegorically: “mentally clear.” It evolved from the root Ts.H.R (צהר) meaning “so narrow as to be visually clear.” From this idea come the words TsoHaR (צוהר window), YiTsHaR (יצהר clear oil), and TsoHaRayiM (צהרים afternoon (time of visual clarity)).

46 – Sabbath (שבת – Shabbat). This verb evolved from ShaBhaH (שבה – to settle back a captive) which evolved from ShuBh (שוב – to settle back > return, do again, stay, remain). It is related to YaShaBh (ישב – to settle back > sit, settle) and ShaBhaHh (שבח – to settle down, still). So the root (שבת – ShaBhaT) means (to settle down) > cease, rest, but allegorically also has a meaning of settling in.

47 – priest (כהן –KoHaeN) related to the noun KaWaNaH (כונה – mindful intention); used as a verb not related to priestly duties (piel) to set / fix in place precisely (Is61:10).

48 – transgressions (פשעים P’Sha\im). Allegorically: over-steppings. This root evolved from PuSh (פוש) to spread out and is intermediary between it and PaSa\ (פשע) to pass through, a step.

49 – iniquities (עונות \aWaNot). Allegorically: acts of turning away. From \aWaH (עוה) to twist, curve, turn away > do perversely > \aWaN (עון) to turn away > iniquity.

A.F.L Beeston, M.A. Ghul, W.W. Muller, J. Ryckmans (1982) Sabaic Dictionary. Publication of the University of Sanaa, Yar

Ernest Klein (1987) A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company

Hans Wehr. Ed by J Milton Cowan (1979) Hans Wehr A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Ithaca, NY: Published in the United States by Spoken Languages Services, Inc with permission of Otto Harrassowitz

Jeremy Black, Andrew George, Nicholas Postgate, eds., A Concise Dictionary ofAkkadian, 2nd corrected printing (Santag Arbeiten und Untersuchungen Zur Keilschriftkunde, 5; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2000)

Marcus Jastrow (1996) A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushlami, and the Midrashic Literature.New York: The Judaica Press

J. Payne Smith's (1999) A Compendious Syriac Dictionary. Published by Wipf and Stock

G. del Olmo Lete & J. Sanmartin (2003) A Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition. Leiden: Brill. Translated by Wilfred G.E. Watson

Wolf Leslau (1976) Concise Amharic Dictionary. University of California Press. Berkeley and Los Angeles.

H.W.F. Gesenius (1979) Gesenius’ Hebrew – Chaldee Lexicon. Baker Books. Grand Rapids.

Judaic Classics by David Kantrowitz version 3.4, 1991 – 2009. Institute for computers in Jewish Life. Davka Corp and /or Judaica Press Inc.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

נֹחַ - No’aHh

The Curse of Canaan From an allegorical point of view, No'aHh is an archetype, a representation of our desire to take a rest from the challenges of life. When his father Lamekh names him, he says “Thi


bottom of page