As we approach Thanksgiving, when families are gathered along with close friends and guests, when the spirit of this special holiday is filling us with relaxation and with sentiments of joy and love, we’ll introduce in this coming month words and phrases that concur with these fine sentiments of kindness, joy and love as we received requests to present such words for some time.
Today we’ll learn the word father and how to introduce our own father to others.
The Hebrew word for father is ‘av’. This is the only way it appears throughout the Old Testament. It comes of course, with pronominal suffixes to indicate ‘my father’, your father’, her father, etc. See yesterday’s Hebrew Word of the Day.
You may have heard the word ‘abba’ used for father. This word is considered modern since it does not appear in the Old Testament. ‘Abba’ appears several times in the Hebrew New Testament and it seems that the word was in use during the first AD years. It does appear much in literature recovered BCE. Besides the New Testament we see ‘abba’ in the writings of the Talmud (that was written mostly after the destruction of the Temple, some 30-50 years after Jesus era.
Although the Hebrew versions of the New Testament are based mainly on translations from Greek to Hebrew (some like to stress: ‘back to Hebrew), it is plausible to believe the ‘abba’ use in the New Testament is authentic. The word ‘av’ appears as well in the New Testament which further substantiates the authenticity of these source.
Old Testament example of ‘av’:
‘My lord asked his servants, saying, Have you a father, or a brother?’
New Testament example of ‘abba’:
‘He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Please remove this cup from me. However, not what I desire, but what you desire’.
The word ‘avi’, my father, is the word ‘av’ connected to the pronominal suffix ‘ee’ (or ‘i’) which means my. Therefore ‘avi’ means ‘my father’.
‘Na le•ha•kir’ literally means ‘please meet’, and after saying this you pause, present your father before the people who are present, and then say: ‘avi’, ‘my father’.
The reply to this, and to any other introduction is: ‘na•eem me•od’, ‘nice to meet you’.