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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Modern Hebrew Words


By Jeff A. Benner

A common departing greeting in Israel today is the word להתראות (l'hitra'ot). This word is derived from the verb ראה (R.A.H, Strong's #7200) meaning to "see." The prefix הת (hit) makes the verb "reflexive," which directs the action of the verb being performed by the one speaking. The suffix ות (ot) makes the verb "infinitive" meaning that the action is not being directed toward anyone or anything specific (Note that when this suffix is added to the verb, the letter ה (h) drops from the end of the verb). The prefix ל (l) means "to." When all of this is put together we have the literal meaning of "to be seeing" for the Hebrew word להתראות and is equivalent to our expression, "I'll be seeing you" and "see you later."

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