Hashomer - (Hebrew) ("The Guard") Jewish defense organization in Palestine organized 1909, ceased to operate after founding of the Haganah in 1920. The purpose of Hashomer was to provide guard services for Jewish settlements, freeing Jewish communities from dependence upon foreign consulates and Arab watchmen for their security. Hashomer was originated by socialist Zionists, mostly members of Poalei Tziyon, including Israel Shochat, Manya Shochat, Yitzhak Ben Zvi and Rachel Yanaait, who had earlier formed a small secret guard society called Bar Giora, which guarded only the Sejera commune (now Illanit) and Mesha (now Kfar Tavor). Bar Giora had been founded by Alexander Zeid and Yitzhak Ben Zvi among others. Hashomer was successful in providing defense for settlements throughout the country. It aroused the ire of Arab watchmen who lost their jobs and of pilferers, and antagonized the Arab population by retaliatory raids. During World War I many of its members were exiled by the Turkish government because they were enemy (Russian) nationals. When the Turks caught Yosef Lishanski of the NILI group he told all he knew, implicating 12 members of Hashomer. The group nonetheless survived. In 1920 it was decided to organize the Haganah, a much broader-based group, to cope with new defense challenges and needs of the growing community.
Synonyms and alternate spellings:
Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:
'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.
ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."
u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.
a- sounded like a in arm
ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.
'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.
o - close to the French o as in homme.
th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.
q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.
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