Word of the Day Leshager: Is That a Rocket You’re Launching or Just an Envoy?

The same verb is used for firing the projectiles that constitute warfare and for sending a negotiator to try to end it.

Shoshana Kordova
Shoshana Kordova
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Leshager: A Hebrew word used for war and peace.
Leshager: A Hebrew word used for war and peace. Credit: Dreamstime
Shoshana Kordova
Shoshana Kordova

After a five-hour meeting of the inner cabinet Friday night, Israel decided it would no longer attempt to reach a negotiated cease-fire with Hamas and therefore does not intend to leshager a delegation to Cairo, Haaretz reported Saturday.

Leshager means both “to send” – as in what one might do with a delegation, envoy or ambassador when one wants to negotiate an end to warfare – and to launch, as in what one does with the projectiles that can constitute said warfare.

Shagrir, the Hebrew for “ambassador,” is thought (at least according to the theory that seems most straightforward) to come from the same root as leshager, just as the German word for ambassador or envoy, Gesandter, comes from senden, meaning “to send.”

Click here to get 'Word of the Day' sent directly to your inbox.

Some like to argue over whether the solution to the conflict ought to be military or political, but the fact that the same Hebrew verb can refer both to sending a negotiator and to launching a rocket can be seen as an indication that maybe the political and the military are not quite as distinct from one another as some would like to believe.

All the same, would that it were as simple to launch a lasting peace as it is to send explosives. Or envoys, for that matter.

To contact Shoshana Kordova with column suggestions or other word-related comments, email her at shoshanakordova@gmail.com. For previous Word of the Day columns, click here.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott