One of the first basic phrases a person will learn, is to say “how are you” in Hebrew. This seems simple enough. After all, when learning this language, by asking a person “how are you” in Hebrew, is a way to make a human connection with a person from another country, another culture. When you ask a person (or group of people) this question, they feel important and valued.
Is it simple to ask a person “how are you” in Hebrew?
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as it seems to ask a person this question. It depends who you are talking to; a male or a female. The grammar changes for the gender you are addressing. It also depends on if you are talking to one person, or to a group of people. Again, the grammar changes to singular to plural. Something to think about when asking “how are you” in Hebrew.
Let us have a look at the word “how are you” in Hebrew. This phrase has three parts. The question word, the noun and the suffix. However, a person only reads the phrases in two words only: Mah Sh’lomkha. Note: I have used the singular male suffix. Mah means “what” and Shlom’kha literally means “your peace”. Shalom means “peace” and the suffix kha is the masculine singular for “your”.
The importance of asking this question
As I mentioned in the beginning, asking a person “how are you” in Hebrew is the first step to making a human connection. Whether you are meeting a person for the first time, or seeing a family member who you only saw yesterday. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and asked if how they are. Not just in Hebrew, but in any language. This question brings people together. It makes a person (or people) feel valued, that they matter.