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Charif

Charif means hot and spicy, not for the faint-hearted. It also means intelligent and insightful.

    “How charif is your charif?: you would be wise to ask this of the felafel vendor before agreeing to have some of the spicy sauce added to your pitta. Charif means hot and spicy, not for the faint-hearted. It also means intelligent and insightful. A great sage is said to possess charifut, spiciness.

    In the Bible, the word charaf means to defy or affront, as in Proverbs 17:5, “He who mocks the poor, affronts [charaf] his Maker.”

    Cherpah means disgrace. Upon the birth of Joseph, Rachel exclaimed, “God has taken away my cherpah.” Her infertility had caused Rachel great shame.

    Choref, from the same root, refers to the winter season.

    The common denominator among winter, disgrace, defiance, intellectual brilliance and spiciness is a sharpness of feeling and the ability to subdue another.

    That we call acumen charifut reflects the role we assign to the intellect in our culture — it has the power to amaze others. People come to learn from a sage to have their presumptions defied, to add some spice to their perception of the world.

Jewish words

Darchei Shalom

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Darchei Shalom
Jewish words

Chizuk

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Chizuk
Jewish words

Harat Olam

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Harat Olam
Jewish words

Ga'agua

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Ga'agua
Jewish words

Nafka Mina

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Nafka Mina
Jewish words

Machzor

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Machzor
Jewish words

Geshmack

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Geshmack
Jewish words

Neilah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Neilah
Jewish words

Taharah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Taharah