Hebraism is the identification of a usage, trait, or characteristic of the Hebrew language. By successive extension it is often applied to the Jewish people, their faith, national ideology, or culture.
1 Idiomatic Hebrew 2 Hebrew etymologies 3 Distinctive language 4 Systematic Hebraisms 5 See also 6 Notes 7 Further reading
There exist in the Hebrew language numerous idiomatic terms that don't
translate easily to more widely used languages. To the extent those
broader cultures rely for cultural meaning on Hebrew-language-based
scriptures, those idioms sometimes prove puzzling.
Writer David Bivin gives examples of some difficult Hebrew idioms:
"be'arba enayim, literally 'with four eyes,' means face to face
without the presence of a third person, as in, 'The two men met with
four eyes.' [The term] lo dubim ve lo ya'ar is literally '[There are]
neither bears nor forest,' but means that something is completely
false. And taman et yado batsalahat, 'buried his hand in the dish,'
means that someone idles away his time."
The word "hebraism" may also describe a word in another language that
has Hebrew etymology. Several common-place phrases in English have
Hebrew origins. Some examples are "The way of women," "Flowing with
milk and honey," and "stiff-necked."
Beyond simple etymology, both spoken and written Hebrew is marked by
peculiar linguistic elements that distinguish its semitic roots. These
hebraisms include word order, chiasmus, compound prepositions, and
numerous other distinctive features.
Finally, the word "hebraism" describes a quality, character, nature,
or method of thought, or system of religion attributed to the Hebrew
people. It is in this sense that
Christian Hebraist Hebraist List of English words of Hebrew origin
^ Bivin, David. "Hebrew Idioms in the Gospels," Jerusalem Perspective Online. Archived 2007-05-26 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Hebraism," Merriam-Webster online. ^ Arnold, Matthew. " Hebraism and Hellenism". From Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism. ^ Feldman, Louis H., " Hebraism and Hellenism reconsidered," Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought, March 1994.
Hartz, Louis (2001). The Liberal Tradition in America. Princeton University Press. ISBN