About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

What Is The Hebrew Word For Sparrow?

The Hebrew word for a sparrow is דרור Dror which also means freedom. In Leviticus 25:10 the word Dror דרור is mentioned in the context of freeing the land of humans holding and returning it to the creator.

“וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ לְכָל יֹשְׁבֶיהָ יוֹבֵל הִוא תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם”

ויקרא כ”ה י

In this manner everybody is free: a) The landlord is no longer holding the land. b) The farmer who leases the land is free because he does not have to pay the leasing fee to the landlord. c) The land itself is free from ownership or leasing and can just be and rest. In this way, both humans and nature are free by just being and existing with no interests.

To hear the pronunciation of the word Dror in Hebrew click on the following link, and inside click on the blue triangle.

All the best 🙂

What is the Hebrew word for Autumn?

The Hebrew word for Autumn is Stav סתיו.

The Letters סתיו Stav remind us the letters שתו Shin-Tav-Vav which is the imperative plural form of the verb to drink, in Hebrew לשתות. And as we know in the autumn we meat the first rain of the year.

But the letters שת Shin and Tav are also implying to the name Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, that from him humanity started developing (because his brother Abel was killed by his brother Cain, and Cain died in the flood) so humanity got a second chance in Seth.

Moreover, in Hebrew, we write Seth like this שת with the letters Shin and Tav which are also the two letters that appear in the first word in the bible, בראשית.

The word Bereshit בראשית we can divide into two words: Bara – Shit (ברא שית) which means to take out or to actualize the six (in Hebrew [Shit] = שית) or the foundations.


Bible Stories As Blueprints Of The Soul: The Secret Of Cain & Abel – an essay

Shalom, and Boker Tov 🙂

We are happy to share with you a recording of the introduction and the first chapter of the essay  – Bible Stories As Blueprints Of The Soul: The Secret Of Cain & Abel. The essay was published on the Amazon platform, and these days we are working on a free pdf version of it. We wish you a fruitful and enjoyable listening, feel free to comment or ask questions.

All the best 🙂

The Metaphysics Of The Binding of Isaac

Which kind of a father would sacrifice his son? Which thought will send a father for such a mission, and how spiritually can always hide behind to most obscure deeds?

But before answering these questions, first a few remarks about the Bible: Some people relate to the Bible like a mythological text, others see it as a collection of beautiful literature, while yet others look at the bible as a codex of ancient moral laws.

There is, however, a totally different way, which is not in conflict with the other ways, but simply goes above, below or beyond which invites us to relate to the Bible as a dream. For a dream describes a higher form of reality but also speaks to us by using symbols that appear in our lives. In other words, it’s here but also comes from there. In a way, the Bible is a dynamic text which reflects the state of mind we are in.

So if the Bible is a dream, and we are the active dreamers, what do we see behind the words, the names, the figures, the mountains, the oceans, the animals, and if it is not just a collection of beautiful stories, what is the Bible really about?

The Zohar offers us an interesting scope in which we can see the Biblical story. The Zohar offers us to look at the biblical story like if it was a magnetic field in which different powers and qualities reveal their abilities.

For example, the Zohar offers us to see the binding story slightly different. Throughout the Zohar’s lens Abraham is not just a father of Isaac, but also a reflection of the infinite grace, in which the world was created, While Isaac, is not just the son of his father Abraham, but also a reflection of the laws of nature, (In Hebrew we see a direct correlation between the letters of his name, ישחק  – in English there is a low)

And according to the Zohar, through the binding of Isaac, we can see an inner spiritual picture in which the laws of nature submit themselves to the infinite grace. In other words, the laws of nature binding together serve one universe

We wish you all Shana Tova, a happy good sweet year, and if you have questions, remarks thoughts and wonders please feel free to write and comment.

The Lion And The Fox As Types Of Human Behavior

Lion – Ar-ye, Fox – Shu-al

The ancient sages made already a clear distinction between a lion and a fox. While the lion is considered to be king of the animals, a Nobel animal that has a main and most of the time rests, but in cases, it needs to hunt, the fox is busy all time scheming and plotting.

According to the sages, a person who has a peace and knows his place lives like a king because in his heart he lives with the king of kings, the higher, with the Providence, while a person who does not his place schemes all the time and hangs out in ruins just to make the next little shameful profit.


What Do The Ocean And The Whale Reflect In Our Lives

Whale – Liv-ya-tan

The oceans and the seas of the world are a reflection of the hidden aspects of our lives, while the life on land reflects the revealed aspects of our lives.

Jonah – Yona, was requested by Providence to go to the ancient city of Nineveh and ask its residents to repent.

Jonah escapes from the mission and runs to Jaffa port, where he takes a ship that heads the most west destination a person could think of. Jonah immediately pays the whole fee for the journey and goes to sleep at the cabinet.

The ocean becomes stormy, and the captain comes to look for Jonah, to ask him, for what reason the ocean is stormy because according to the sailor’s belief the==== ocean behavior is just a reflection of a human one.

Jonah confesses and asked to be thrown into the waters. The ocean becomes tranquil and a big fish is swallowing Jonah. The Bible uses the term A Big Fish – Dag Gadol דג גדול To tell us what kind of an ocean creature swallowed Jonah.

The Big Fish is a terminology the Bible uses to describe, a bigger dimension of existence. The big fish, the whale is the biggest mammal, and it lives under the water, and that is to imply that the greatest things in our lives are hidden, this is why the big fish swallows Jonah, to tell him, life is not what you think it is, it is much bigger. So Providence takes Jonah for a little tour to show him, how different it is to be conceived in a much bigger dimension of oneself.

It is that in the belly of fish after three days, Jonah is finally praying for the help of the higher, noticing he is in a great darkness recognizing his disability to rescue himself from such a situation. The higher listens to his prayers, and as a result of the listening, the fish pukes Jonah into the land, into his awareness.

So what did we learn today? The ocean is a symbol of our subconscious, and the big fish in it, the greatest living mammal, is a symbol of the subconscious that nourishes and are awakened lives.