With the all-too-hyped Thanksgivukkah just a day away, you may be fielding multiple hazmanot, or invitations, for menurkey lighting or a latkes-and-cranberry-sauce feast.
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The word lehazmin, which means “to invite” and comes from zman, or “time,” is broader in Hebrew than it is in English and incorporates summoning, reserving and ordering as well as inviting.
As in English, you can lehazmin your friends for cranberry cocktails while the turkey gets its goose cooked. But with the Hebrew infinitive, you have to hope the police don’t lehazmin you for questioning if you send out your 16-year-old cousin to pick up some more vodka for you.
And if your Uncle Al has a few too many to drive home, you might have to lehazmin a taxi to pick him up. On a busy day like Thanksgiving, though, you might find that the cab companies are not answering the phone, meaning they’re lo zminim, or not available.
If spending four hours cooking a turkey isn’t for you, you can lehazmin takeout or, if you’re feeling fancy, lehazmin a table at a restaurant. Or you can skip the whole binge-eating thing and lehazmin tickets to a movie instead.
Even if you think paper money is passe, it would still be a good idea to take some cash, or mezuman, called so because it’s readily available for use. Because whether your Thanksgivukkah feast is an invitation to disaster or you gobble up turkey-basting instructions faster than you can say the “kh” in Hanukkah, it always pays to remember that cranberry cocktails are not the only liquid assets you should have.
To contact Shoshana Kordova with column suggestions or other word-related comments, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For previous Word of the Day columns, go to: www.haaretz.com/news/features/word-of-the-day.