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 son and how to introduce our own son to others.
The Hebrew word for ‘son’ is ‘ben’. It is one of the most common words in the Bible. It appears with its declensions about 1700 times in the Old Testament alone.
Unlike father and mother, son ‘ben’ is the same word both in modern and biblical Hebrew. The word ‘b’ni’, my son, is the word ‘ben’ connected to the pronominal suffix ‘ee’ (or ‘i’) which means my. Therefore ‘b’ni’ means ‘my son’. Another derivative of the word ‘ben’ which is very common in the Bible is the name ‘b’ney’, ‘the children of’. For example, ‘the children of Israel’ are called: ‘b’ney Israel’.
Old Testament example of ‘b’ni’:
‘And Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this your voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king’.
New Testament example of ‘b’ni’:
‘Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’.
Note: just like in English, the word son is also a term of endearment and not necessarily a reference to a biological offspring.
‘Na le•ha•kir’ literally means ‘please meet’, and after saying this you pause, present your son before the people who are present, and then say: ‘b’ni’, ‘my son’.
The reply to this, and to any other introduction is: ‘na•eem me•od’, ‘nice to meet you’.