Passing Phrase -

Nichnas BaOvi Hakorah

Literally: Went under the thickest part of the beam
Idiomatically: Come to grips with / go deep into details

When looking at the source, this Talmudic phrase is a bit hard to get your head around. The phrase itself is found in Berachot (64a) referring to a sentence in Psalms 20 regarding prayer. Yet in our usage the phrase alludes to looking seriously into details and coming to a decision. The word "Kora" refers to a beam (Song of Songs 1:17). The word "Nichnas" could mean to go "into" (details or into a room) or to go under/to lift. Now for the explanation: In the old days when you built a house you would use heavy beams to hold up the ceiling. Naturally the beams weren’t uniform; one side was usually thicker and therefore heavier than the other. The one building the house is commanded to check carefully which is the thicker/heavier part, and he himself should lift that part, leaving the lighter part for his helpers. Originally the phrase meant looking into a situation and accepting responsibility. Today the word "nichnas" in our phrase is stressed, meaning to “go into details.” One who "Nichnas beOvi hakorah" is one who checks over all the details, and accepts the responsibility for his decision. "Hu bikesh meiHamenahel lehicanes baOvi hakora veleHashlit sham seder" - He requested from the manager to look into all the details and make some order.

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