The Word

You are probably thinking I am going to write something about the bible or the Torah or G-d’s word. That’s what I would think if I saw a post in a blog about being Jewish that has the title “The Word.”

I’m not. Instead, I am going to introduce weekly feature #2.

The first feature I introduced this week is “Book of the Week.”  Every Tuesday (G-d willing) I am going to share about a  book that I have read and attempt some sort of review. That turned out so cool  that I thought I’d expand.

I enjoy finding the connection between values expressed through Hawaiian words that correlate with Hebrew words. Thus the title “The Word.” Maybe I should call it “The Word(s).”

Last week I used the example of Kahiau and Tzedakkah, both about giving from the heart without the expectation of anything in return. Totally Righteous. I am inspired to continue.

A few years ago I embraced the opportunity to give a speech at my  daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. I talked about her blessing of being Jewish and Hawaiian and mentioned some of the values that both cultures share. So to kick off this regular  feature,  I thought I’d choose a set of words from that speech:

Imua and Kadima: Move forward, make progress, work together for a common goal.

Those of you who live in Hawaii, know Hawaiian, are Jewish or know Hebrew know which one is which.  But for the others: Imua is Hawaiian and Kadima is Hebrew. Both have prevalent use in their respective cultures.

Imua is the motto for many organizations, Kadima the name of Jewish schools and camps.

When local sports teams huddle before a game and all put their hands together in the middle for a cheer, they clap and grunt “Imua.”

Jewish kids at day camp sing in loud joyous voices, “Kadima, Hey, Kadima, Hey,” clapping their hands  in enthusiastic accompaniment.

Both  are strong, evoking a sense community, of power and of engagement.

A great start for this new feature in my blog: Let’s move forward together.

Imua: Kadima

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robert Spiller
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 16:01:32

    How cool is that!! I remember watching a sports thingee on TV and kids breaking a huddle at the Univ of Hawaii shouting Imua. Nice piece.

    Listen, in order to send you the link for downloading Radical Equations, I need your e-mail address. Here is mine: I can’t tell you how tickled I am getting to know you and your writing.


  2. lauriehanan
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 17:14:22

    What a wonderful feature for your blog. I loved your bat mitzvah speech. I love the tie-in between Jewish values and Hawaiian values, because I am both.


  3. Being Jewish in Hawaii
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 19:05:27

    Hi Laurie. Mahalo-Todah Rabah-Thanks. I think maybe that’s why I adapted to life in Hawaii so fast after I moved here. The local culture reflects many of the values that I grew up with. Not to mention, I can wear shorts year round and go to the beach in a nano second. Aloha.


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