Friday, April 17, 2009

P'ri hagafen

Another guest at my girlfriend's seder asked about something that's puzzled me, too: Why is it that the brachah/blessing over wine or grape juice "borei p'ri hagefen,who creates the fruit of the vine," but the brachah over grapes themselves is "borei p'ri ha-eitz," who creates the fruit of the tree"? How could grapes and grape juice not come from the same plant?

"It isn't that kind of fruit," my old friend explained. "It's more like 'p'ru u-r'vu, be fruitful and multiply.' It's about the fruit of our labor."

Oh. That makes sense.

So nu, maybe those of us who are parents should say a brachah like that over our child(ren). I mean, if anything is the fruit of our labor . . . :)


Anonymous Ari said...

Exactly right. God commanded Adam and Eve to "p'ru u'revu" -- to be "fruitful and multiply." (Pru and pree are basically the same word)

Tue Apr 21, 07:38:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

It's an interesting linguistic parallel between Hebrew and English that Hebrew uses "p'ri" and English uses "fruit," words with the same meaning, both literally and metaphorically.

Wed Apr 22, 08:39:00 AM 2009  
Anonymous Ari said...

Also find it interesting when Hebrew and Yiddish words make it into the English lexicon, like chutzpa, shiboleth, sabbatical, etc.

Did you also ever notice that A roughly corresponds to aleph, B to bet, C to gimmel, D to daled, E to hey, F to vuv, H to chet, etc?

Wed Apr 22, 10:40:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Is "klutz" consider English, yet?

To the best of my knowledge, the first four letters of the Greek alphabet are alpha, beta, gamma, delta. That the Hebrew and Greek alphabets would be similar is not so surprising. That the English alphabet--as spoken, not as written--would be similar is more so. English is not based primarily on either Hebrew- or Greek, but, nevertheless, uses at least some Mediterranean-alphabet names.

Wed Apr 22, 05:41:00 PM 2009  

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