27 of the First Month 5772
Is it me, or are others a bit irritated by the misuse of Hebrew words in conversation? Here are a few. Please leave a comment with your pet peeve misuses.
Shomer (שומר) – to guard, to watch over
During a conversation, a woman would ask me if I'm "shomer."
"Shomer what?" I ask in response.
"You know, 'shomer.'"
"Shomer Shabbath? Shomer kashruth? Are you asking me if I would be an appropriate roommate for one of your friends?"
The woman storms away in a huff, mostly likely thinking how stupid I am, or how frei I am, for not knowing what "shomer" means.
What she most likely wanted to ask me was if I am shomer negi'ah, if I "guard over" who I touch, or who I allow to touch me. In other words, one who is shomer or shomeret negi'ah refrains from having physical contact with the opposite gender. Shemirat negi'ah would be the gerund form.
Gush (גוש) – block
"The Gush" referring to the area of Gush Etzion is just silly. Even sillier, and actually quite embarrassingly painful to hear, is the Har Etzion Yeshivah being referred to as "Yeshivat HaGush." The greater Tel-Aviv Area is referred to as Gush Dan. The towns in and around Shiloh are referred to as being in Gush Shiloh. The same goes for Gush Shchem. And, who can forget Gush Katif? This referred not to all of the Jewish towns in Gaza, but to those in the area of,…Katif.
Tahanah (תחנה) – station or stop, as in bus station or bus stop, as well as radio station
A lot of young men and women from abroad, studying for the year, or just visiting, will often say "The Tahanah" to refer to the Central Bus Station. Even though there are countless bus stops and transfer stations around town. I tend to give these young people a break when they apply this term in this way. After all, they are at least trying to increase their Hebrew vocabulary, and actually use it.
Moshav (מושב) – a town, traditionally cooperative, and related to agriculture
I was at THE Moshav, pronounced MO-shav, during Pesah. What? You don't know what the MO-shav is? There is, after all, ONE MO-shav,...Moshav Mevo Modi'in, sometimes referred to as the "Carlebach Moshav." Apparently, there are those Jews out there who are unaware of any other moshavim.
Schtiebelach (שטיבעלאך) – a multi-room, prayer and study facility, from the Yiddish word "schtieb" (room)
Silly Anglos (AND native Hebrew speakers) of Qatamon! I hate to disappoint you, but there is more than one "schtiebelach," in Jerusalem alone. Me'ah She'arim, Zichron Moshe, Kokhav HaTzafon, the GR"A Schul in Sha'arei Chesed, and Giv'ath Sha'ul (Zupnik). I believe that there is also one in Har-Nof.