In honor of Valentine’s Day, we now inspect the word “Romance“. Aside from shedding light on this special manifestation of LOVE, our investigation will demonstrate how the Language of ‘ELOHIM applies to all languages, modern and ancient.
Romance is the “feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.” Its etymology derives from the word “Romantic” referring to the Greco-Roman-rooted languages and vernaculars in which these romantic stories and poems celebrating love were first expressed.
Our idea of romance evolved from the ‘courtly love’ ceremonies of Middle Age Europe, as well as the chivalrous literature idealizing knights and noble ladies reflective of said rituals of courtship exhibited by the aristocratic ‘court’ or castle society of those times.
Keep this historical context in mind as we apply the Method. The value and accuracy of the interpretation depends on faithfulness to context.
As noted above, “Romance” is a good example of how the Messianic Method can unlock all languages, not just Hebrew. The Hebrew equivalent of “romance” is romantiqah (רומנטיקה) | eqytnmwr – a direct transliteration of the English.
All alphabetic writing comes from the Canaanite-Hebrew script (thanks largely to the Greeks, who first adopted it from the Canaanite-Phoenicians). And the spiritual power within Canaanite unlocks the hidden energies in all other languages and alphabets. The Method.
Forward ‘Romance’ <<————————————-
Moving right-to-left, we can begin by prefixing an ever-present ‘ahleph (אלף) | pla | to the first couple letters in romantiqah (רומנטיקה), yielding the following definitions:
‘Ahr_mwon (ארמון) is a “palace, castle, citadel.” Immediately the Language confirms the historical context by placing the origin of “romance” squarely in the courts of the European Middle Ages, the chivalrous “castle culture” of the nobility.
Ramah (רמה) means “to cast down, to shoot.” As a participle, it’s a “shooter” or an “archer.” What comes to mind is Cupid, or Eros, the angel who shoots arrows into the hearts of his “victims”. The metaphor alludes to the pain that often accompanies romantic love, especially when its not reciprocated.
Cupid / Eros is traditionally considered a “cherub”, itself a Canaanite word k_ruv (כרוב) stemming from the verb kahrah (כרה), “to pierce, dig, excavate; to devise.” Love’s arrows pierce our hardened hearts, digging deep into our souls, softening our defenses and exposing our vulnerabilities before the Beloved. The homonym kahrah (כרה) means “to prepare a banquet, prepare a feast“, carrying marital overtones. The related term k_riythuth (כריתת), on the other hand, means “divorce, separation“, perhaps warning of the double-edged potential that comes with love’s arrows.
Rimah (רמה) also means “to cast down”, but with more sinister secondary meanings, “to deceive, to betray.” The story of Cupid and Psyche is about a beautiful woman named Psyche (Soul) who is magically lifted to a magnificent castle, where she falls in love with the love-god, Cupid / Eros. But the story takes a tragic twist when Psyche, fed with jealousy by her malicious sisters, demonstrates a moment of distrust towards Eros one night, causing the angel to separate from her. Heartbroken, Psyche cries: “Love can not live without trust. He was my husband and I did not trust him”
For her transgression, the gods put Psyche through a series of trials, yet Cupid secretly helps her survive the tests. At last, Cupid forgives his wife, bestowing upon her immortality in the embrace of their healed love. The happy ending points to a truth about life: even the most negative situations can be transformed into positives through the power of LOVE.
Ramah (רמה) means “height, elevation” especially in a sacred sense. Hills and mountains were considered to be holy by the ancient people, certainly by the Canaanites who conducted most of their daily lives in the low valleys of the Levant. In the Bible, these “high places” are often condemned by the Yahwistic priesthood. The Yahwists falsely accused these high-places as being “pagan” because they were linked with the old faith in ‘EL and ‘ASHERAH. In this context, its a metaphor for the natural high and spiritual elevation we experience in romantic love.
Rimmwo’n (רמון) is a “pomegranate (the tree and the fruit).” The fruit has a wide range of symbolic meanings, but especially takes on erotic overtones in Canaanite-Hebrew literature because of its fertile, seed-filled, juicy nature. The Song of Solomon, that most erotic of Bible stories, tells how the woman seduces her lover “into my mother’s house– she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar of my pomegranates.”
Ra’ah (ראה) means “to see, to look, to look at, to view, to inspect, regard, perceive; to feel, understand, learn; to live to see, to enjoy.” In its receptive form, “to be seen; to show oneself, to appear, to reveal oneself; to be shown.” In the causative form, “to make one feel or know; to cause to enjoy.” In the reflexive form, “to look at one another.” All these definitions have important implications for what makes true romance.
We proceed right-to-left through romantiqah (רומנטיקה), “romance”, utilizing ‘ahleph as our primary key in unlocking the hidden spaces between the letters: ‘aht (אט) means “low, noiseless speaking, whispers.” It produces ‘itiym (אטים) – “whisperers, sorcerers, necromancers” and the adverb l’aht (לאט), “noiselessly, in a whisper, secretly, slowly by degrees.” Herein the Language of ‘ELOHIM speaks of the mystery and magic involved with romantic seduction, which, like foreplay, often occurs gradually, heightening anticipation of what’s to come.
‘Ahtam (אתם) means “to shut, close; to grate-up, to lattice.” To allow attraction to blossom, we need to learn how to shut our lips, and instead listen to the other. For example, this verb appears in Proverbs : “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes ‘(ahtam) his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” Going deeper, however, this verb speaks of closing or concealing something under latticework, i.e. interwoven patterns such as lace. Lace (which stems from the same root as lattice) is romantic because it hides as much as it shows, teasing the imagination of the beloved.
Reverse ‘Romance’ ————————————->>
Having reached the end of our initial Forward thrust through romantiqah (רומנטיקה), we now ‘spin around’ and continue in Reverse (left-to-right), yielding the word qaw (קו), “line, measuring-line; chord, string; rule, norm, order.” This Messianic Method, like Romance, is like a dance, moving back and forth in harmony with our Beloved, ‘ELOHIM. Romance, like dance itself, steps to certain lines, moves to a particular tune. There are flexible but important rules to follow for success.
But when lines are crossed and rules get broken, so do our hearts. Whether in the game of seduction, or in the comfort of a relationship – if we allow ourselves to become qahah (קהה), “blunted, dull” or insensitive to each other’s feelings, resentment leads to us qwu’ (קו)”vomit out, reject” each other.
But when we shut up, listen, and open up to the other, we facilitate feelings of qahwah (קוה), “to hope, to be confident, to trust.” In its receptive form: “to be gathered together, to be joined, to meet.” In its intensive form, “to wait for, to hope, to expect, to lie in wait for.” The Language is clear: romance requires trust, confidence, and hope. These are what bring us together.
At this point, the writer (Erik) notes a coincidence that happened as he was unlocking this part of “romance.” I looked up from my pad out the window of the Starbucks where I was working, and saw two lovers kissing each other goodbye, demonstrating in real-time the above message of romance as “waiting for” the beloved during times of separation. We in Messiah call these moments of synchronicity coincidentals, and they happen consistently when we work with the Method. They serve as encouraging confirmations along the journey of spiritual discovery.
Proceeding left-to-right in Reverse, we glean qwum (קום) – “to rise up, to arise, to stand up, to appear, to rise against; to exist, subsist, endure, remain.” In its intensive form, “to establish, to confirm, to preserve in life; to fulfill, to rebuild, to rise up against.”
Romantic love, like the flame of passion that sustains it, is enduring. Its the building of erotic tension, its release, and re-creation. Its the uplifting to new emotional heights, the fulfillment of hopes, the intimate revealing of secrets to one another while in embrace.
We yield qahtar (קטר), “to kindle, to burn incense; to sacrifice.” In its receptive form, “to be censed, to give fragrance.” Both literally and metaphorically (as in passionate sacrifice), the kindling of sweet perfumes suggests the sensual pleasure of romance.
The Geometry of Romance
We’ve briefly plowed the topsoil of romance by digging into its meaning forward and reverse, and now the dirt is prepared for the planting of conceptualizations and interpretations.
We can briefly note first though that the numerical value of romantiqah (רומנטיקה) is 200+6+40+50+9+10+100+5 which equals 420. What other words in Hebrew shares this value?
One such word that shares 420 with romance is m_shahshaliym (משלים), meaning “comparisons, similitudes, parables, proverbs, sayings, gnomic songs, satires, bywords.” It stems from mahshahl (משל), “to propose or use a proverb, a parable.” In its causative form, it means “to liken, to compare.” As a participle, its the noun for a type of poet.
What is romance if not a form of poetry in motion? Historically speaking, “romantic love” issued from the Middle Age literature, verses, songs, and stories of courtship and chivalry. The Language of ‘ELOHIM points to this historical context, while also hinting that romance is indeed, a process of different people “likening” or “liking” each other, noting their similarities and differences, and becoming excited by the contrast.
Happy Love Day!
As our first blog post (Love is Imperative) emphasized, love is the highest spiritual principle by which to abide. And love is rooted in the act of giving. Romance, as a special form of love, is likewise a form of giving. To cultivate romance, we give our attention to the other in the gaze of understanding and empathy. In return, we’re rewarded with trust and confidence, expectation and anticipation towards that moment when we can glimpse their secrets, and taste the sweetness of their fruits in the sweet garden of pomegranates.