Post 334: Simple Hebrew Medical terms, trip to Binyamin’s Solar Garden and vegggie burgers for the 9 no meat days (excluding Shabat)

This post starts with a description of the period before Tasha B’Av- the 9th of the month of Av. No Prohibition about learning Hebrew in a fun way and that will follow.

The “Three Weeks” between the 17th of Tammuz and the Tisha B’Av have historically been days of misfortune and calamity for the Jewish people. During this time, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed, amongst other terrible tragedies.

These days are referred to as the period “within the straits” (bein hametzarim), in accordance with the verse: “all her oppressors have overtaken her within the straits” (Lamentations 1:3).

On Shabbat during the Three Weeks, the Haftorahs are taken from chapters in Isaiah and Jeremiah dealing with the Temple’s destruction and the exile of the Jewish people.

During this time, various aspects of mourning are observed by the entire nation. We minimize joy and celebration. And, since the attribute of Divine judgement (“din”) is acutely felt, we avoid potentially dangerous or risky endeavors.


  1. No weddings are held. (However, engagement ceremonies are permitted.)
  2. We do not listen to music.
  3. We avoid all public celebrations — especially those which involve dancing and musical accompaniment.
  4. We avoid exciting and entertaining trips and activities. (Kaf HaChaim – OC 551:41)
  5. No haircuts or shaving. (Fingernails may be clipped up until the week in which Tisha B’Av falls.)
  6. We do not say the blessing She-hechianu on new food or clothes, except on Shabbat.


The period commencing with Rosh Chodesh Av is called the “Nine Days.” During this time, a stricter level of mourning is observed, in accordance with the Talmudic dictum (Ta’anit 26): “When the month of Av begins, we reduce our joy.”

(1) We avoid purchasing any items that bring great joy.

(2) We suspend home improvements, or the planting of trees and flowers.

(3) We avoid litigation with non-Jews, since fortune is inauspicious at this time.

(4) We abstain from the consumption of meat (including poultry) and wine. These foods are symbolic of the Temple service, and are generally expressions of celebration and joy.

  • On Shabbat, meat and wine are permitted. This applies also to any other seuduat mitzvah — for example, at a Brit Milah or at the completion of a tractate of Talmud.
  • Wine from Havdallah should be given to a child to drink.

(5) We refrain from wearing newly laundered garments, or laundering any clothes.

  • If the “freshness” has been taken out of a garment prior to the Nine Days, it may be worn.
  • Fresh clothes may be worn for Shabbat.
  • The clothing of small children, which gets soiled frequently, may be laundered during the Nine Days.
  • Clothes may not be laundered even if done in preparation for after Tisha B’Av, or even if done by a non-Jew.

(6) We do not bathe for pleasure.

  • It is permitted to bathe in order to remove dirt or perspiration, or for medical reasons. This may be done only in cool water.
  • Furthermore, the body should be washed in parts, rather than all at one time.
  • Bathing in warm water is permitted on Friday in honor of Shabbat.

with thanks to Rabbi Moshe Lazerus Aishe Ha Torah

I was requested to compile Hebrew terms to help friends on their doctor’s visits. Seems funny because I have not met a doctor in Israel who doesn’t speak English. However, communicating with support staff-there Hebrew is required.

These funny associations from a medical student should help you keep Hebrew medical terminology in your head (at least for a day or so. . .): from

 Medical Anatomy:

אנטומיה רפואית

Elbow – Marpek – “mar” in Hebrew means “bitter” and elbows look similar to bird beaks.  It would be bitter to bepecked in the face by a bird. I would probably elbow that bird.  Marpek.

I told you this is a little crazy.

Heel – Akev – “kelev” is “dog” in Hebrew. Shorten that and you end up with “kev.”  A common command for dogs is “heel!”Akev.


Okay, so I realize this probably isn’t helpful for those of you who don’t know any Hebrew at all.  So here are some dedicated to you.

Eyebrow – Gaba – Yo GabbaGabba! is a disturbing children’s show that makes me raise my eyebrows. Gaba.


Jaw – Leset – You set your jaw when you’re upset. Leset.

Nostrils – Nakhir – Where should I put my finger? Not here . . . *points to nostrils* Nakhir.

Spine – Khuliya – Someone comes up and tells you, “She was in a car accident and broke her spine.” You reply, “Who, Leah?” Khuliya.

Lip – Safa – Sara has soft lips, therefore, we shall call her Safa.

Hair – Se’ar – Creepy dude to a girl with long, beautiful hair, “Say, are you beautiful!” Se’ar.


Chin – Santer – Sounds like a man’s name (maybe a variant of the Spanish “Santos?”), and that he would have a prominent chin.  He probably saunters, too. Santer.

Testis – Ashakh – Like a shack that houses sperm. Ashakh.

Scrotum – Sak ha’ashakhim –The sack that holds the shack that houses the sperm. (the suffix -im makes it plural; Hebrew for “the” is ha). Sak ha’ashakhim

Bottom – Yashvan, from the shoresh, to sit  yashav

Buttocks – Akuz –  Yesh (There is) a van.  You sit on your bottom in a van. Inside that van is also a cuz (akuz). Yashvan, akuz.

Cheek – Lekhi – You turn your cheek to someone – (which means to) he (ambiguous male). Lekhi.

Tooth – Shen – Glistening white teeth “shine.”

Face – Panim – A common Hebrew phrase translated to English is “all on the face.” “Pan” means “all,” so it’s all on the face. Panim.

Ankle – KarsulSul broke her ankle getting out of the car.  Wow, she’s a klutz. Karsul.

Big toe – Bohen – Hebrew for test is “bohan,” and when you stub your big toe, it’s a test of whether you’re going to shout expletives to the world. Bohen.

Pupil – Ishon – (My Hebrew TA gave me this one.) Ish means “man” in Hebrew. When you look into someone’s pupil, you see yourself in the form of a little (wo)man. (I’m pretty sure Hebrew did this intentionally) Ishon.

Hip – Agan – Broken hips are a common problem with the elderly, and sometimes it happens more than once. When someone tells you Uncle Alf broke his hip, you might respond, “Again?!” Agan.

Thigh – Yarekh – Girls, you see your girlfriend stuffing her face with a donut, you shake your head in disgust, “Girl, ya’ wreckin’ your thighs.” Yarekh.

A friend has been been volunteering this summer at HaGan HaSolari in Binyamina and informed me of the tours which are are fun educational and “green!” The Solar Garden is a blooming ecological oasis in the middle of the city! You do cool activities and there is plenty of shade so don’t let the hot sun keep you indoors. Come and experience this amazing place for yourselves! It’s a unique adventure for the whole family. Here are some examples of what you do on a tour:

* get electrocuted through your finger tips (only for the brave!!!)
* use the scorching heat of the sun to make a personal sign or drawing!
* run an obstacle course and race against the clock using a solar bug!
* do a creative workshop to turn waste into a quality, useful product to take home!
* find and name the 24 (!) different fruit-bearing trees at the center!
* get INSPIRED to go home and turn your own walls into a living, blooming “green wall!”

Suitable for kids aged 4 and up, as well as teenagers and adults. The tour can be in English or in Hebrew.
You can get more info on their website: call 072-2612211.


Smoked Cheddar and Lentil Burgers

Smoked Cheddar and Lentil Burgers

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup dried lentils
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded smoked cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs or wheat sprouts
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
8 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
8 (2-ounce) whole wheat sandwich buns, toasted
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
2 cups trimmed arugula

Place first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender; drain. Discard bay leaves. Place lentils in a large bowl; partially mash with a potato masher. Cool slightly.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.

Add onion mixture, cheese, and next 8 ingredients (cheese through egg whites) to lentils; stir well to combine. Cover and chill 45 minutes. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add half of patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining patties. Spread 1 teaspoon mustard on top half of each bun. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun, and top each serving with 1 tomato slice, 1/4 cup arugula, and top half of bun.



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