Why ‘Ebola Czar’ may not be a good term in Hebrew

Obama has named an Ebola Czar for the outbreak of the Ebola virus.  Czar or Tzar in Hebrew means adversary, foe, enemy, or oppressor.  It gives a picture of distress–not exactly the image that Obama may be trying to project.

Tzar is first used in Genesis when Abraham (known as Abram then) wins a battle against warlords of the Middle East in Canaan.  Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, known as the priest of The High God and blessed Abraham with this blessing:

Blessed be Abram by The High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. And blessed be The High God, who handed your enemies over to you.

The Hebrew word for enemies here is tzar.  Although certainly ebola is our enemy, may we have the same blessing as Abram had from King Melchitzedek and have an end to the distress that this enemy brings.

By the way, Melchizedek means King of Righteousness (Melech=king) (righteousness=tzedek).  Notice that righteousness has that same Tz sound.

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