Passing Phrase -

Kol Milah Besela / Basela

Literally: Ever word a stone / In stone
Idiomatically: Carved in stone

Sometimes I find it amazing, how a phrase can develop and twist in time. In the Talmud (Megilah 18a) there is a phrase "Milah besela mishtoka betrain." The "Sela" was a coin in ancient times. As such this Talmudic phrase means speech is worth one coin but silence is worth two. BTW just note that the word "trei" means two in Aramaic not three even though it sounds like it may be. Over the years, the second half of the phrase was dropped just leaving "milah besela" to which the word "Kol" (every) was added, leaving "kol milah besela." But now, in modern Hebrew, "sela" is used to refer to a large stone, making the meaning similar to the English one, "carved in stone."

קראתי מה שהוא כתב בפייסבוק וכל מילה בסלע

“Krati mashehu katav beFacebook vekol milah basela!” I read what he wrote in Facebook and every word was carved in stone! Of course if he had used the phrase as it was intended he wouldn’t have written at all - which in most cases would have been better.

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