Archive for November, 2013

Chashmal

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Some insight into the Hebrew word “chashmal,” a biblical word that has been translated in Modern Hebrew as “electricity.”

“I saw and behold a stormwind comes from the north, a great cloud with flaming fire, and illumination around it, and from within it, the appearance of chashmal from within the fire.”

      -Ezekiel 1:4

Rashi:

“chashmal” – “Chashmal” is an angel with that name, and [Ezekiel] saw something looking like it from within the fire… And [our Sages]… taught that it is a compound word, as they said: ‘What is chashmal? Rabbi Yehudah said: Fiery beasts that speak (chayoth esh memaleloth’). In a beraytha (oral tradition) it was taught: At times they are silent (chashoth) and at times they speak (memaleloth). While speech comes forth from the mouth of Holy One Blessed is He, they are silent. While speech does not come forth from the mouth of the Holy One Blessed is He, they speak,’ i.e. they praise and extoll the Almighty.