, , , , ,

Because it was so much fun last time, here another word derivation field:

Seemingly disparate words with the letters ches lamed חל, almost always refer to that which lacks firmness. In English, there is no word connection between a hole, dead body, an ill person, rust, sand, fat, milk, the beginning of something, a window, to switch, separation, weakness, removal of something, or a dream. But in Hebrew, these disparate words all have the same root of ches lamed because they all describe things which lack firmness and a basis: A hole – ches lamed lamed, dead body – ches lamed lamed, an ill person – ches lamed hey, rust – ches vav lamed daled, sand – ches vav lamed, fat – ches lamed vais, milk – ches lamed vais, the beginning of something – hey tav ches lamed hey, a window (in old times there was no glass, just a hole in the wall) – ches lamed vav nun, to switch – ches lamed fay, separation – ches lamed koof, weakness – ches lamed shin, removal of something – ches lamed tzadi, a dream (something fleeting) – ches lamed vav mem.

To put it in a more readable form, sorted alphabetically by three-letter root, the listed words for the two-letter root חל are:

חול — chet vav lamed — chol — sand
חלב — chet lamed bet — chelev — fat
חלב — chet lamed bet — chalav — milk
חולד — chet vav lamed daled — choled — rust [* see below]
חולה — chet lamed he — choleh — ill person
התחלה — hey tav chet lamed hey — hatchala — beginning
חלל — chet lamed lamed — chalal — hole [*see below]
חלל — chet lamed lamed — chalal — dead body
חלום — chet lamed vav mem — chalom — dream
חלון — chet lamed vav nun — chalon — window
חלף — chet lamed fe — chelef — to switch [*see below]
חלץ — chet lamed tzade — chalatz — removal
חלק — chet lamed kuf — chelek — separation [* see below]
חלש — chet lamed shin — chalash — weakness

I won’t go into the underlying problems with word derivation fields in general, using two-letter roots, and not proving that the same field doesn’t exist in another language, read the other post for that. I’ll just concentrate on errors, omissions and semantic coherence for now.

Errors (as far as I can tell with my dictionary, I’m not a native speaker):

  • "choled" means "mole", rust is "cheled" or "chaludah" [minor error, this still contains the same two-letter root].
  • "chalal" means "cavity" in an anatomical sense or "space", but "hole" in a more general sense is "chor" [no lamed].
  • "chelef" is a literary expression for "instead", "chalaf" is to pass time. "to switch" would be "hachlif" [minor error, still same two-letter root].
  • "chelek" means "part", "chalak" means "to share", "chilek" to "divide", "separation" is "hafradah" [no chet, no lamed]. We could go with "chalukah", division [same two-letter root].

Omissions, i.e., other words with chet lamed not on the list:
חל — chet lamed — chal — to occur
חל — chet lamed — chol — secular; weekday
חיל — chet yud lamed — chayal — soldier
חלל — chet lamed lamed — chilel — to desecrate
חלה — chet lamed he — chalah — shabat bread
חלת — chet lamed tet — chalat — to put boiling water on
חלת — chet lamed tet — chilet — to confiscate

Semantic coherence: Ok. So what do we have? We have some things connected to a hole or something missing (window, cavity, removal, mole?), things "lacking firmness" (weak, ill person, dead body, sand, fleeting/changing (dream, beginning, to pass time, to occur, to switch), and objects changing ownership (to divide, part, to confiscate). So far so good.

Problems begin with "to put boiling water on", "milk" and "fat". Yes, they are liquid, but so are many more things, e.g., water, rain, wine and oil. Why should only these three be included. And then we also have the soldier, more connected with strength than weakness. We could explain that away by staying true to the charedi mindset, they lack faith in G-d and try to settle things with arms instead of prayer. We have "secular&qout; and "to desecrate" which might fit nicely into this train of thought, secular people and heretics lack belief and a basis in life. But what to do with "challah&qout;, the Jewish bread for the shabat?

In summary – again, not very convincing, and if only for "challah".