Hebrew Highlights 002 - Heart


Shalom, Today is April 30th, and this is Yuval Shomron, live from Jerusalem.   


DEU 6:5 says "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

          The word “heart” is used 565 times in the Old Testament in English, and in its various Hebrew forms 590 times.

          In contrast, the word “mind” is used 84 times in the Old Testament in English, and in its various Hebrew forms, believe it or not, never.  Some words translated as mind are lev, which means, again, “heart”, nefesh, meaning “soul”, ruach, or “spirit”, beten, or “belly”, kilyah, or “kidney”, and finally nefesh, meaning “soul”.

          Hebrew is a language of the heart, not of the mind.  Let me give you an example:  In English, we use the phrase: “Pay attention” when we want someone, perhaps our children, to look at us, or listen to us.  By implication, we are asking them to focus their mind.  But in Hebrew, we say “sim lev!”, which means literally, put heart.  In other words, “Put your heart into this.”  An Israeli teacher in school says to the children in the class; “simu lev yeladim!”  “Put your hearts into this, children!”  Also, the police constantly remind the Israeli public to “sim lev” to any suspicious objects lying around.

          Indeed, one of the secrets of success of the El Al airport security team, is that they are trained to use their hearts, and their gut feelings, when screening travelers.

          It is said that “the heart of the Jew is Jerusalem”.  You may have seen more than one headline which reads, “terror strikes in the heart of Jerusalem”.  It could just as easily read “terror strikes in the heart of every Jew”.

PSA 73:26  says “My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”   We may not remember everything we’ve learned about God, because our flesh is weak, and our memory eventually fails.  However, when we’ve had an experience with God in the area of our heart, it remains for eternity.

The theme of the heart is carried on in the new testament.  COL 3:23  commands us, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men”.

It’s no wonder that God is interested in our heart obedience, not in our great ideas.


Shalom, Shalom mi lev Yerushalayim, Shalom, Shalom from the heart of Jerusalem!