Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hebrew Hovers at the Doorway of Symphonic Metal CDs

It is funny the unexpected places where one runs into Hebrew. For example the first time I read through Dune I paid little heed to the title used for Paul Muad'Dib, Kwisatz Haderach. In the novel, the Kwisatz Haderach is meant to refer to a theoretical superhuman messiah figure that the Bene Gesserit sisterhood has been working towards for thousands of years through their breeding program. It was only after I finished that a friend of mine pointed me to the index and the fact that Kwisatz Haderach is the Hebrew phrase קְפִיצַת הַדֶּרֶך meaning shortening of the way.

Today I had downloaded and was listening to the Dutch symphonic metal band Epica and their album Divine Conspiracy when I noticed the title to one of their songs "La‘fetach Chatat Rovetz." I first thought it was French until it hit me that it was the Hebrew לפתח חטאת רובץ, sin hovers at the doorway. If I were of a more Haredi disposition I might think that this was a heavenly sign warning me away from non-Jewish music.

1 comment:

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

I assume that since then you've noticed that Dune contains several other Hebrew and Arabic terms and notions? I haven't read it since college ('76 or so) in Israel; but my friend Dov and I noticed a number of such borrowed terms.

So, what's the Gesserit in Bene Gesserit? Is it from גזירה, maybe? Or is it something else?