Work, Slaves, and Laboratories

Work, Slaves, and Laboratories

The word עוֹבֵד (oved) worker.


In this column, we’ll discuss the root of the word, ע-ב-ד, which is also the root of the word עֲבוֹדָה (avoda) work, job, as well as several other words.

(avoda) is any activity which has a specific effort. Slaves, for examples, are called עֲבָדִים (avadim) because they do a lot of work and it is their whole definition.

Anybody who does any sort of עֲבוֹדָה in order to earn a living is called an עוֹבֵד (oved) worker, employee.
If something works properly, we can say that is עוֹבֵד (oved) working.

The root is also connected to a specific workplace, מַעְבָּדָה (ma’abada) laboratory.
The person who is in charge of a workplace is called a מַעֲבִיד (ma’avid) employer, boss.

Something that is a product of human work, rather than a product of nature, is called מְעוּבָּד (me’ubad) processed.
A farmer who works the land can be called an עוֹבֵד אֲדָמָה (oved adama) worker of the land.

A computer program such as Word is called a מְעַבֵּד תַמְלִילִים (me’abed tamlilim) word processor because it works with words.
The common kitchen appliance that works with food is called a מְעַבֵּד מָזוֹן (me’abed mazon), food processor.


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