Monday, March 31, 2008


We've discussed some of the other spices in the incense - today we'll discuss נרד - nerd (no, not the cousin of geek). As with kinamon - it also appears in Shir HaShirim, originates in India and gave its name to the same spice in English - in this case "nard" or "spikenard". Klein's entry:

Together with Aramaic נרדא and Akkadian lardu (of same meaning), Hebrew נרד probably derives from Indo-Iranian narda, in Old Latin nadah, nalah ( = reed). Old Latin naladam (= nard), is possibly Sanskritization of Greek nardos. However, according to Manfred Mayrhofer the above Semitic words probably derive from Old Indian naladam.
He writes that the word nartik נרתיק - "sheath" is related:

From narthex, genitive narthekos, which is of uncertain origin. It derives perhaps from Old Indian narda (= reed).

A narthex is also the lobby of a church.

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