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How to Say "Love" in Hebrew

Updated on February 22, 2017
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Randi was born and raised in the USA but she spent 12 years living, working and traveling in beautiful Israel.

The Hebrew word for "Love" is Ahava (Ah-ha-vah.) But, love is more than just a word. It is an emotion that involves action and in Israel, where Hebrew is the national language, love is also a way of life!

It spells love!
It spells love! | Source
The sculpture that Robert Indiana modeled his Hebrew one after.
The sculpture that Robert Indiana modeled his Hebrew one after. | Source

Faith and Compassion are also Love

Israeli people are generous by nature. Most of them would give you the shirt off their back. There are theolgists who would argue that the Hebrew word Chesed (Khe-said) also means love. The definition of chesed is faithful, merciful and kind. While I wouldn't personally define this word as love, I would most definitely define it as a loving action.

Hebrew Names that Mean Love

The female name Ahuva comes from the Hebrew word Ahava and means beloved. Chaviva means dearly loved. These are common names in Israel.

A Symbol of Love

American sculptor, Robert Indiana, created a love sculpture that would become world renowned. It was even used on the United State's Post Office's first in the series of "love stamps."

In 1977, he created a Hebrew version for the Israel Musuem in Jerusalem, Israel. It stands proudly in the garden of the musuem.

Root
Male
Female
Ahava
Ohev
Ohevit

In how many different languages can you say "love"?

See results

How to say "I love you" in Hebrew

Because Hebrew is not gender neutral, I will break this down.

The Hebrew letter khet has a gutteral sound. It almost sounds like you are clearing your throat when you say it. It is very hard to write in transliteration as there are no English equivalents. When you see a "Kh" or "Ch", I am referring to that sound.

Girl to boy: Ani ohevit o-tkha. (Ah knee oh hev it oat kha)

Girl to girl: Ani ohevit o-tach (Ah knee oh hev it oat tach)

Boy to girl: Ani ohev o-tach (Ah knee oh hev oat kha)

Boy to boy: Ani ohev o-tkha (Ah knee oh hev oat tach)

Girl to more than one person: Ani ohevit o-tchem

Boy to more than one person: Ani ohev o-tchem.

Israel: where you will find the highest concentration of Hebrew Speakers.

An Ahava promotion during New York City Fashion Week where the models are slathered in Dead Sea Mud.
An Ahava promotion during New York City Fashion Week where the models are slathered in Dead Sea Mud. | Source

Ahava Beauty Products

Ahava is the name of a beauty company that makes products from Dead Sea minerals. They have a wide line of products, including scrubs, lotions and soaps. They are sold all over the world and online. When you are in the shopping mall, you will probably see them in kiosks. They are also sold in many of the large department stores. The company began in 1988, when Ziva Gilad, a spa tech, came up with the idea of marketing Dead Sea mud. It started with one stand and generated into a million dollar business in its first year. It is a great product and highly recommended.

Many of the minerals from the dead Sea are thought to be beneficial to our health and have numerous restoratative powers. People visit far and wide to avail themselves of these powers.

You Don't Have to Speak a Language to be able to say a few Phrases

Your reason for learning another language will determine just how far you will go with it. If you are travelling to another country or have friends who speak a different language, you may just want to learn enough to say a few key things. You may just be on a mission to be able to say a particular word or phrase in as many languages as you can! Whatever your reason, you may be interested in a little bit of history as well. In my hub, Commonly Used Hebrew Words and How to Say Them, I go into a bit more detail on the Hebrew language.

I leave you with the most famed rendition of an already famous Israeli Love Song!

© 2013 Randi Benlulu

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    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Interesting hub, Btrbell! I discovered a new word (+ the way to say it depending to whom says it and to whom). I know little about Hebrew but I know it helps to know several languages. It helps to travel and discover new worlds but it also helps to understand other cultures as well. I think it just opens the mind.

      Thank you for sharing! The music was just lovely!

      Have a great weekend!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, what a lovely subject of which to write a hub. How very interesting and thank you for sharing.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Ahava, Faith Reaper

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I would love to know Hebrew, to be able to read it. I believe Israeli people are good people. I wish you would write about the Jews coming back to Israel. I support that and would love to know more about it, assuming you would know.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Fun read. thank you

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thgank you, Joelle! I so appreciate your kind comments! I always think its fun to know different words in different languages. Much appreciated! Randi

    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, Faith! It is a "love ly" subject! I appreciate your votes and share! Ahava, Randi!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Jackie! My next hub is about Hebrew also and I may take you up on the other idea! I don't know if you have read my hubs about my mother-in-law and her immigration to Israel, as well as mine. They are not too detailed but do talk about it. Hmmm, thank you for the idea!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Martin!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, since I consider love to be the most important thing in life, this hub was written for me. :) Beautiful message, Randi....and the greatest way to say "love" is through our actions.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Bill! I couldn't agree more! Have a LOVEly rest of the weekend!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for enlarging my education, Randi. Ahava you. :)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Aww, drbj, I ahava you, too and thank you! :)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I am truly sorry, maxoxam41 that my hub offends you. I think all languages and cultures are great. Because I choose to write about one particular one at the moment does not negate the validity of any other.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maxoxam.....I'm not sure where the vitriol is coming from, but how about giving it a break. This is a writer's site....if you want to spew political nonsense how about taking it to the forums where folks like you who have a bone to pick can pick each other clean.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed your hub btrbell it was excellent. Now I can say "love" in six languages. Please do not pay any attention to maxoxam41 his comments have nothing to do with him being "offended". His reasons are much more calculated than simple emotion. Your hub deserves note and I, for one, say well done!

      Maxoxam41 تأدَّبْ . كن لطيفاً [ I just told our friend to behave himself]

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      No I don't think I have read those and would love to; thanks for telling me. I will go look now.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      This author feels no need to defend herself but truly appreciates her "Knights in shining armour"

      Point2 make, nice to see you here on my hubs and thank you very much! Todah Rabah!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Jackie!

    • livewithrichard profile image

      Richard Bivins 4 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Well done and great topic. It's a word that I try to use often with my friends and family. Thank you for teaching me a new way to say it.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, livewithrichard, and welcome to my hub! You are very welcome! From a fellow Chicagoan (actually Northwest suburbs!)

    • livewithrichard profile image

      Richard Bivins 4 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Very cool... I grew up in the Northwest suburbs (Round Lake) but live in the city now.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I grew up in unincorporated DesPlaines, but have lived in Glenview, Skokie and Wheeling! I worked several summers at Camp Henry Horner in Round Lake! Small world!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Isn't it amazing how a hub about love can bring out the worst in some people? That being said, I think this is a wonderful topic for a hub and learning to say "I love you" in any language, in any way, is only another attribute you can be proud of . Oh, and that Dead Sea mud looks inviting! Maybe those minerals will pick up this old skin ;)

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I know, right?! Thank you, Mary! I haven't actually done a mid mask but I do use some of their lotions and cleaners and have been pleased. Unfortunately, I didn't get any younger! Thanks for the votes and the support!

    • everymom profile image

      Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Randi, I, too, am sorry that someone flamed you here on HubPages. I can't believe it! That's exactly what's wrong with the world...and your Hub is a great starting place: learning to say the word "love" but also the meaning of it. I definitely believe in that old 70s song: "What the world needs now is love, sweet love..."!

      What I love about this hub? You help your reader learn a little about deeper linguistics: that a word in use has a deeper semantic meaning than simply its dictionary definition. It gives your reader a window into the language and culture.

      Your Hub incorporates all the elements of a "stellar Hub:" well-researched, well-explained, evergreen content; a table; great pictures (and useful ones that are sourced); a map to help people visualize where in the world you are talking about; and a video! You also bring in a well-known commercial product (Ahava) to help people make connections to something they possibly already know about, which is great language teaching - I can tell you used to teach! My friend brought me my first Ahava products when he went to visit the Dead Sea, before they became widely available here in the US...and when I first saw the Hebrew word for love in your Hub, I had my "Aha"va moment! Great hub!!!

      BTW, your responses to the unwarranted vitriol were very classy and humane. I tip my hat to you, Dame Randi! (I'm not sure I could have been so loving, myself. You showed the "action" part of ahava towards fellow humans.)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow, Anahi!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I don't know where to begin. What generous words! I am flabbergasted! You are way too kind. As far as my heckler goes, my words may have been kind but not all my thoughts were! The beauty of a written response is that you have time to react before you open your mouth!

      I do truly love languages and sharing them. If there was a venue here, I'd teach Hebrew again.

      Love your punny aha va moment!

    • profile image

      mbuggieh 3 years ago

      The word "salam" means, basically, peace and is used with the greeting: "As-salamu alaykum".

      This hub refers to the word for love.

      In Arabic the phrase for an expression of love is gender specific:

      "Ana behibak" (if said to a male);

      "Ana behibek" (if said to a female).

      That said, we can all just try to ignore the cyber-bullies.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, mbuggieh! I know a little bit of your language and much appreciate learning more! Thank you for visiting!

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