The Hebrew root (shoresh) – ידה means ‘thank’. From this root comes הודָה (hodah) – ‘thanked’; תודָה – (todah) – ‘thanks’; מודִים (modim) – ‘we thank you’; להודות (l’hodot) – to thank (the infinitive); and we can’t leave out – חַג הַהודָיָה (chag hah-ho-dah-yah) – ‘Happy Thanksgiving’! Most Americans don’t realize that a Hebrew lesson is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey, yams and pumpkin pie! Why? Well, the story goes something like this … (more…)
The year was 73 AD and the Roman general Titus was determined to stamp out all efforts by the Jews of reclaiming their land and sovereignty. He had marched the infamous Tenth legion from Rome to Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the Temple in 70 AD. Determined to eradicate the last vestige of Jewish resistance he was now marching the Tenth Legion towards Masada to destroy the Jewish zealots there. As Titus marched down from Jerusalem towards the Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea (Hebrew: יָם־הַמֶּ֖לַח – yam HaMelach), he discovered a small enclave of Essenes (Hebrew: אִסִּיִים – Eisi-im), living in a compound in the old City of Salt (Hebrew: עִיר־הַמֶּ֖לַח – Ere HaMelach) [ref. Joshua 15:62 – the Arabic name is Qumran] The Essenes were scribes (Hebrew: sofer – סופר from the root meaning ‘to count’) and lived a monastic life at Qumran. They had a very large Scriptorium of scrolls (Hebrew – מגיללות – megillot) that they had copied of the T’nakh. Knowing the Romans were approaching and would destroy anything in their path, the Essenes hid the precious scrolls inside of clay jars and placed them into the caves of the marl hills along the shore of the Dead Sea. Most of the Essenes of Qumran were no doubt killed by the Romans, but they ensured the precious scrolls were safely hidden in secret until the time when the prophecies they contained would be fulfilled.