Salt Water, Pillars and Covenants: A Hebrew Lesson

Hebrew expression


Literal translation/
literary sources

Modern usage

"Can what is tasteless be eaten without salt? Does mallow juice have any flavor? I refuse to touch them; They are like food when I am sick." (Job 6:6-7) salt
salt pouring from shaker
In their fright, the sailors cried out, each to his own god; and they flung the shipís cargo overboard to make it lighter for them. (Jonah 1:5) sailor
"The good cognac and choice savory morsels..." Berkowitz

savory or spicy food


Our ancestors ate maluah while they were building the Temple. (Talmud Kidushin 66a)

"On the Jordan's banks, nothing has changed ... the same Eucalyptus grove, bridge, boat and the scent of the maluah over the water. Naomi Shemer (from the modern Israeli song The Eucalyptus Grove)

Wild bush with gray leaves and small green flowers. Most varieties grow in brackish swampy areas.
pickled fish (more on salt herring)
"He makes salt water and dips his bread in it. (Talmud, Shabbat 14:2) salt water, brine (Talmudic thoughts on salt)
"The blue Dead Sea moves slowly and small cloud floats above it." Eitan Peretz (from the modern Israeli song Ein Gedi) The Dead Sea (see also Salt production at the Dead Sea )
pat bamelah
bread in salt a poor meal
"It shall be an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for you and for your offspring as well." (Numbers 18:19) eternal covenant (see also A covenant of salt)
n'tziv melah
"Lotís wife looked back, and she thereupon turned into a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:26) column of salt (Lot's wife speaks in The Salt of My Bones)
melah s'domit
Salt mined from the area of Sodom, south-west of the Dead Sea
Sodom landscape
zara adamah melah
Avimeleh fought against the city all that day. He captured the city and massacred the people in it; he razed the town and sowed it with salt. (Judges 9:45) destroyed a place and made uninhabitable (more on Salt as blessing and curse)
melah mamon ha'seir (heser)
"Wealth has no salt." (Talmud, Ketubot 66b) Wealth cannot be preserved.

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