\ Passing Phrase: Chof Mivtachim ::: A safe harbor

Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Chof Mivtachim

Literally: A safe beach
Idiomatically: A safe harbor

This phrase can be explained in two ways, the first being literal: It could mean a safe beach for swimming where there are lifeguards or a protected area for boats. The other interpretation takes it one step further and refers to anywhere that we can feel safe. In the following sentence, it actually may mean both:

הפליטים הגיעו לחוף מִבטחים.

"Hapelitim higiyu lechof mivtachim." The refugees reached a safe harbor.

The word "chof" can be found in the Bible (Joshua 10:1) and "mivtachim" comes from the word "batuach" (Psalms 112:7) meaning secure. "Ben adam batuach" is one who is sure of (secure within) himself. For some strange reason "bituach" means insurance, with the idea being that you are paying to be (feel?) secure in the fact that you are covered in case of…. Please don’t get me started.

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