Word of the Week: Hineini

hineini / he-nay-nee / #hereIam

Following up from the last word of the week, it was only appropriate with the High Holidays and the most recent season of Transparent to feature hineni; the word Abraham said when God called to him mid Akedah. Hineini (biblical Hebrew for “here I am”), it is more than just a word. It is a Jewish concept that has been discussed and debated for thousands of years. While in modern Hebrew, most would say “ani poh” to say “I’m here,” hineini carries a deeper connotation of physical, mental, and emotional presence.
In the current season of Amazon’s Transparent, Idit calls out hineini to tell her father where she is in the synagogue – sparking this moment between Sarah Pfefferman and Rabbi Raquel.

Aside from the gender and identity conversations that Transparent so eloquently deals with all the time, this hineini exchange is a powerful Jewish TV moment.