In this week's Parashah, Lech Lecha, we are introduced to Abraham's nephew, Lot. Is there a meaning hinted to in his name, which may provide insight into his choices and actions? Our Sages interpreted many names as hints to their character (see e.g. Tanch. Haazinu 7), and indeed said this about Lot's name as well (Tanch. Vayeshev 6), but in this case the Midrash did not specify what the name alludes to (but see Etz Yosef commentary ad loc. for his suggestions). This article seeks to determine the underlying meaning of the name by comparing it to other words in the Holy Language containg the string לט, the consonant letters of the word. We hope our proposals help to unpack this enwrapped (לוּטָה) mystery and illuminate concepts shrouded in murkiness (עלטה).
The word טוב appears more times in Parashat Breishit than in any other – but what does the word actually mean? "Good" may suffice as an approximate translation, but there are varied and diverse nuances which become evident in various contexts, as found in the Targumim and commentators. This article seeks to determine the core underlying meaning of this ubiquitous word through various etymological techniques, such as comparing it to other words containing the two-letter string טב. By seeking to fathom the depths of the Holy Language, we hope to better appreciate the greatness of the Holy One's good world.
This week's article explores the depth of the root בטח (certainty, security), and its close association with the roots שכן (dwell) and ישב (reside). Along the way, we explore בטח's underlying two-letter string טח, bringing us to investigate such diverse entities as the kidney (טוחות) and the watermelon (אבטיח). Buckle up and enjoy the ride!