fbpx

Hebrew word of the week: Pras/Prize

The Hebrew and English words sound similar, but they are not related at all. The English “prize” is a variant of price, related to praise, appraise. The Hebrew pras had a very humble beginning, originally meaning “half” of anything, particularly the half mina coin given to a slave as a reward for working hard to please his master, as in Mishnah Avot 1:3: “Do not be like slaves who serve their master to receive a little fare (pras).” Hence, “a premium, reward, prize.”

Related to p-r-s, “to split, divide; break bread (sharing it with the poor)” (Isaiah 58:7); parsah, “divided hoof”; prusah, “slice (of bread)”; and peres, “vulture”* (“breaks the bones of its prey”).

*Also connected is the last name of Shimon Peres, the former president of Israel, Hebraized from the Polish name Perski. Peres was also a cousin of the late American film star Lauren Bacall (born Betty Joan Perske).

Yona Sabar is a professor of Hebrew and Aramaic in the department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at UCLA.

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Culture

Latest Articles
Latest

This is Not Your Parents’ Hebrew School

By Rabbi Joshua Knobel This is Not Your Parents’ Hebrew School: Wise CYE and Leo Baeck Are Reinventing Jewish Education On Sunday May 1, 2022, families...

Reflecting on 10 Years in Los Angeles

Ten years ago, my husband Daniel and I packed up our 2000 Toyota Camry, put our dogs in the backseat and started our journey from Bushwick, Brooklyn, to Pico-Robertson, Los Angeles.

Israeli Police Clash With Palestinians During Al Jazeera Reporter Funeral Procession

Israeli police forces clashed with Palestinians during the May 13 funeral procession for Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an...

The Three D’s and the Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

It is painfully clear to anyone paying attention how much of the mainstream media, social media, and those who wish to destroy Israel are using the death of Abu Akleh to attack Israel.

Gimpel the Fool, Don Quixote and the Haggadah

Bashevis Singer’s Gimpel, unlike Cervantes’ Don Quixote, is Ashkenazi, not Sephardi. Both were rather weird, Don Quixote, windmills facing, wears a gentile goatee, Gimpel, fooled by facts...

Hollywood

Podcasts

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x