Why did Hamas choose its name?
They used the positive Arabic word ḥamās (حماس) to gain financial, political, and popular support. In Arabic, it means zeal, strength, and bravery. But by a stroke of God’s providence, in Hebrew it means the opposite!
Every Monday, Thursday, and Shabbat, a portion of the Torah is read in Jewish synagogues. The Torah readings are divided into 54 parsha - weekly portions read in a yearly cycle beginning on the holiday of Simchat Torah.
In this week’s Torah reading, Genesis 6:11, God told Noah that He was going to destroy the world by flood. He gives this reason: “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence." (6:11)
The word used for “violence” is חמס (hamas). The translation is simply "violence", but the Hebrew word has deeper meaning. In Jewish tradition, it is used to describe a brutal act, as well as aggression, falsehood, and even manipulation.
This is just one fascinating example of the captivating world of the Hebrew Bible, which is open to you to discover the profound links between ancient wisdom and modern life!
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