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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Modern Hebrew Words


By Jeff A. Benner

The Biblical and modern Hebrew word for "army" is צבא (tsava, Strong's #6635) and is derived from the verbal root צבא (Ts-B-A, Strong's #6633) meaning "to fight" or "wage war." The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is the English translation of the Hebrew צבא ההגנה לישראל (tsava hahaganah l'yisrael), which literally means "Army for the defense of Israel," which is usually written with its acronym צה"ל (when the " is placed before the last letter in a word, it indicates that the word is an acronym).

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