Hebrew Dreams — a healthy habit

Posted: July 7, 2013 in Hebrew, Prophets, Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Hebrew Dreams -- a healthy habit

After King Hezekiah was miraculously restored to health by God, he composed a prayer of thanks, in which he declares:

“Regarding anything upon which my life depends, [declare], ‘They shall live,’ and grant me health, and grant me life!” (Isaiah 38:16)

The Hebrew word here for “grant me health,” is “tachalimeni,” from the Hebrew root “Ch-L-M.” While the usual word for health in Hebrew (“beriut”) derives from the root “B-R-A,” the root used here typically appears in relation to the word “chalom,” meaning “dream.” What is the connection between dreams and health that the Hebrew uses the same root to refer to both? Well, while the purpose of dreaming has never quite been fully understood, modern science is now proposing an essential connection between dreaming and health. Consider this passage from “Why Do We Dream,” by Kendra Cherry:

“Some researchers… believe that dreaming is essential to mental, emotional and physical well-being. Ernest Hoffman, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., suggests that ‘…a possible (though certainly not proven) function of a dream to be weaving new material into the memory system in a way that both reduces emotional arousal and is adaptive in helping us cope with further trauma or stressful events.'”

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