Chashmal

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s