Joy, Rejoice – simchah, giyl
by Brad Scott
There are a number of Hebrew words behind this word. The one most used is simchah from samach. Although translated as to shout, be excited or to demonstrate, in its concrete form it means to express on the outside what is taking place on the inside. It is the combination of shem, or source of, and chet or outside of. Its direct cognate is tzamach as in branch or to grow out of. The branch of a tree reveals what the tree is, it shows off all the leaves, flowers and fruit. Joy in Old English stems from to leap or jump with delight.
Vayiqera (Leviticus) 23:40[it may be noteworthy that we are to take branches] - “And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before YHVH your God seven days.
Romans 15:10And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
Another well known Hebrew word behind our joy is giyl.
Mizemor (Psalm) 13:5But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
Luke 10:21In that hour Yeshua’ rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
The word giyl is from a root that means to make a cycle. In this case it means to leap up and spin around.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊