Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Likshor Ktarim

Literally: Tying crowns
Idiomatically: Heaping praise

This is a rather unusual phase, and you must be wondering about the connection between the literal meaning of the phrase and the idiomatic use and understanding: "Likshor" comes from the word "kesher" (Shabbat 15a) which means among many other things to make a connection, put together or tie (a knot). The phrase itself refers to markings similar to a crown above letters in a Torah scroll. The phrase therefore could probably be understood as "adorning a letter with a crown." By adorning the letters, we are beautify them and enhance their stature. Hence, in modern times we use this phrase to refer to heaping praise on something or someone in order to raise its or his/her standing.

The best example I can use is from Naomi Shemes's unforgettable song "Jersalem of Gold" – "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav":

אַךְ בְּבוֹאִי הַיּוֹם לָשִׁיר לָךְ וְלָךְ לִקְשֹׁר כְּתָרִים.

"Ach bevo'i hayom lashir lach velach likshor ktarim."

As I come to sing to you today to adorn you with crowns (to sing you your praise).

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