Why is a Bee called “Devorah” in Hebrew?

The bee is the only creature that has the word “Dabar” in its Hebrew name and very essence.  In Hebrew “Davar” means “a word, or a thing, or an object”, and “DABAR” is the word for “speak” (L’DABER is infinitive “to speak”).  [The “V” and “D” are the same letter in Hebrew (VET/BET), the accents and grammar determine which way it is pronounced).  There’s a whole lesson in itself on the relationship of “word”, “speaking” and “thing”, but back to the bee for now…

At first glance, someone might say a bee speaks with it’s buzzing sound.  Bee’s buzz,  snakes hiss, and cat’s meoowww – but that is not language and not speaking.   Onomatopoeia describes words like “buzz” that actually sounds somewhat like the sound the animal (or nature) makes.   So what is the real relationship between “bee” and “DABAR”?

The lips are the only part of the human body where the inside of the skin turns outwards.  Why, because your insides come out through your lips.   “PEH” (mouth) is the word “POH” which means here.  Thus every-time you are speaking, you are saying “here I am”.

The bee itself is “treif” (not kosher), but the honey is kosher.   According to Wikipedia, “Honey bees form nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation.” The honey is basically the inside (essence) of the bee coming out.

Likewise the prophetess Devorah (perhaps better known to you as Deborah in English, but in Hebrew prounounced “devoRAH”) knew how to sing, i.e. let her inside come out. She knew how to take her insides or internals, and let them come out, and is known for the “Song of Deborah”, the sixth of the ten “true” songs mentioned in the Tanach.  [According to http://www.angelfire.com/pa2/passover/10-shirot.html The 10 Shirot (or Ten Shirot, where “Shirot” means “Songs” in Hebrew) are the Songs above all other songs in the Hebrew Bible according to Jewish tradition and above any song that has ever been created in the world since Creation.The 10 Shirot mark historical events in Jewish history and in the history of the world. The 10 Shirot are not mere melodies, but are the only true Songs in the world in that they express the harmony of Creation as well as marking the aforementioned historical events in human history. ]

This actually reminds me of a Ghandi quote: “My life is my message”.  (Saw this on a statue in San Francisco – here’s the photo: http://biztalk-training.com/about-2/).  I include the quote on my BizTalk site, because BizTalk is a software product that deals with “message processing”.  So what message are you sending?

Inspired by: A wonderful drash (lecture) on Jewish Music from Rabbi Eytan Feiner from Aish Audio .

 

 

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