Wednesday, June 14, 2006


What does a tourist do in Israel? Go on a טיול tiyul, of course. Tiyul can be translated as "hike, journey, trip". Stahl points out that the original sense of לטייל l'tayel was a short stroll, walking around. This can be seen in the description of the righteous in Gan Eden (Sanhedrin 102b, Sifrei 357), and in Sukkah 28b where one is commanded to "אוכל שותה ומטייל בסוכה" - eat, drink and m'tayel in the sukkah. From tiyul we get the word טיילת tayelet, meaning promenade, as in the famous Haas Promenade in Jerusalem.

Tiyul is related to the root טול, meaning "to cast, to throw". From here we find that a hen "מטילה ביצים" - lays eggs, and casting doubt is "הטלת ספק". And the Hebrew word for missile - טיל til - also derives from טול. (Does anyone remember the Gulf war bumper sticker "Tehilim Neged Tilim" תהילים נגד טילים?)

Another connected root is טלטל, which also means "to throw", but also can mean "to move, to cause to move". Something movable or portable is considered metaltalin מטלטלין.

And lastly, טול is related to the root נטל, which means "to take, to lift".

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