Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Hafach et Hakearah al Pihah

Literally: Turned the bowl over
Idiomatically: Turned the tables / Upset the apple cart

"Kearah," meaning bowl, is found listed in the utensils of the Tabernacle (Exodus 37:16), and the word "pihah" comes from the word "peh," meaning an opening or mouth. The phrase itself is taken directly from the Book of Kings (II 21:13) describing the punishment that God will bring on Jerusalem due to the idol worship of the King Menashe. "And I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish… and turning it upside down." There is may be referring to destruction, but in the modern usage of the phrase, it refers to any radical change in a situation: "Hamifal tichnen lehasig ovdim nosafim aval ba’aya babank hafach et hakearah al pihah vesamu et hatochinit batzad" - The factory planned on hiring new workers but a problem with the bank upset the applecart and they had to shelve the plan. Now if the factory was making apple carts….

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