This morning the word I heard was Yada. More correctly it was 'Yada, yada, yada'. I immediately pictured Nancy Walker in my mind as she famously portrayed Rhoda Morgenstern's mother, Ida. I don't know why I immediately pictured this image, but there it was nonetheless. Yada, yada, yada. I see her saying these very words, hands flying through the air, with the clear understanding that it means 'you talk and you talk and you talk and you say nothing of consequence'. These words clearly mean something, but what? I decided to take a deep dive and find out. Wow! Was I astonished.
In Hebrew there are several versions of this word phrase. It all begins with Yad. Yad leads us to Yada, and Yada leads us Yadah with Judah being the crowning glory. This is so very, very cool.
Yad means hand. It denotes strength and power. A raised hand in praise. An uplifted hand in worship. The laying on of hands to anoint. Seeking God, worshipping God and acknowledging the power of the hand of God through sacrifice and salvation.
Yada speaks to knowledge. A knowing, to know intimately, to understand and experience this knowledge. In Genesis 18:19 God speaks about making Himself known (yada) to Abraham so that he can make God known (yada) to his children and his children and their children and, eventually, to us.
Yadah is the word for praise. The root meaning of the word Judah. Interestingly the root word for Yadah or praise is lifted hands. The raised hands of praise for our God. The root word for both of these is yada, an intimate knowledge of God. Judah is also a name, a tribe, a region and the place chosen by God for Jesus' birth and earthly lineage.
Matthew 2:5-6 MSG
"‘They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly: It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, no longer bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”
Yada. So much more than words can express. Yada. A deep and intimate relationship with the King of Kings. Yada. Our hands, hearts and voices lifted in Praises to our God. Yada. The hands on sacrifice of animals that applied and resolved sin, to the hands on sacrifice of Jesus that resolves our sin through salvation. Yada, Yada, Yadah. I'll never see it, hear it or recognize it the same way again. Yadah!