Passing Phrase -

Siber (Lesaber) et Haozen

Literally: Unstuff your ear
Idiomatically: For your information (FYI) / to clarify

The phrase is referring to the coming down from Mount Sinai. The medieval commentator Rashi used it in trying to explain why the Torah used the word "Kivshan" or furnace, in describing Mount Sinai. This phrase can cause some confusion even for Israelis. The word is originally written לשבר (Lesaber) which can be read also as a shin (Leshaber) leaving the word to be shin-bet-resh which means to break. This could make sense, as to break the barrier of the ear (understanding). But according to the Academy of Hebrew Language, this has changed, and the word is pronounced as sin-bet-resh or Lesaber - to explain. Evidently the spelling itself was changed some time ago, and most major dictionaries use לסבר . Still others disagree. For example:

Bar Ilan University, in giving instruction for utilizing time in a test wrote:

רק כדי לשבר את האוזן כל עמוד נוסף....

"Rak kedei lesaber et haozen kol amud nosaf…"
Just for your information every additional page ….
So this is one of those happy times that you can’t really be wrong.

Back to this week's lesson