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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Mishpatim (January 25, 2014)
by Robyn Weinstein Cimbol

NA-A-SEH V-NISH-MAH. Two deceptively simple words, six brief syllables floating easily off the tongue.

Na-a-sheh, with the root of ayin, shin and heh, refers to a physical action, doing an activity. A version of this root (o-seh) is recited during the Kaddish prayer and also at the conclusion of Birkat HaMazon (Grace after Meals) when we recite Oseh Shalom.

V-nish-mah literally means “and we will hear.” This root — shin, mem, ayin — also is found in the familiar Sh’ma prayer.

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