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Jan 21, 2022
This week’s theme
Words borrowed from Hebrew

This week’s words
mitzvah
cherub
tzedakah
shekel
sabbath

sabbath
The music I play on my day of Sabbath
Image: Dolmetsch

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Sabbath

PRONUNCIATION:
(SAB-uhth)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A day of the week observed as a day of rest.
2. A period of rest.
3. A meeting of witches and sorcerers (typically spelled as sabbat).

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English sabat, from French sabbat, from Latin sabbatum, from Greek sabbaton, from Hebrew shabbath, from shavat (to rest). Earliest documented use: 950.

NOTES:
Typically, a Fri is considered a day of Sabbath by Muslims, Sat by Jews (and some Christians), and Sun by Christians. Why not convert to Islam, Judaism, and Christianity and take a three-day weekend off?

USAGE:
“He had been careful not to schedule anything for this day; a day of Sabbath.”
James T. Elder; Along the Road; WestBow Press; 2012.

“We find ourselves in a sabbath of barely clad witches with loosened hair and sharp bamboo canes that they thump loudly on the ground while they jab their toes into the floor like percussive instruments rhythmically beating against the music’s wailing.”
Jennifer Homans; Border Crossing; The New Yorker; Apr 22, 2019.

See more usage examples of sabbath in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue. -Ethan Allen, revolutionary (21 Jan 1738-1789)

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