Friday, October 22, 2004

Hebrew Word of the Day

I signed up a while ago for an email "A Word A Day" program, to help expand my vocabulary. Now, I still can't carry on a conversation, because I can't conjugate verbs, but that's a whole other matter.

Today's word was magash, which means tray. In explaining the root of the word, the email said that magash is derived from the word "to serve". Furthermore, the word for "to serve" really means "to bring closer". Hence the idea of a tray- it is an object that you use to serve others, by bringing stuff closer to them.

But this word "to serve" is also used in the context of "to serve a meal". Now we're no longer talking about inanimate objects, but about people. When we "serve" others, whether its a group of friends gathered around your shabbos table, or whether you're "serving" them through volunteer work or even through your career, what you're really doing is bringing people closer. Maybe it's just because I haven't fully woken up this morning, but it seemed like a really lovely perspective on what it means to serve others. All from a vocab email.

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