Passing Phrase -

Nichsei Tson Barzel

Literally: Iron sheep assets
Idiomatically: Inalienable assets (assets of permanent value)

There are two versions of the original meaning of this phrase: In one place in the Talmud (Baba Kama 89a), this refers to property that a woman brought into a marriage. Talmud Baba Metzia (72a) claims that it refers to a flock of sheep which someone would give a shepherd to watch. In return, any profits would be divided, but the flock naturally remained in the possession of the original owner.

In those days, agriculture was of major importance to society. Today, the phrase still relates to anything which is of great importance to society such as art or literature, and the ethics which govern its usage. The word "neches," meaning assets is found both in the Bible (Joshua 22:7) and of course the in the Talmud.

השירים של יהודה עמיחי הם מנכסי צאן ברזל של המדינה.

"Hashirim shel Yehudah Amichai heim menichsie tson barzel shel hamedina/" The poems of Yehudah Amichai are inalienable assets of the country

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