Italian Word of the Week ATTENTATI

italicsBy Daniela Gross

Unluckily, the Italian word of the day is “attentato”. The Treccani Encyclopedia, one of the most authoritative linguistic Italian sources, explains that the word derives from the Latin verb “attemptare”, that means “to attempt”. At this point, one would imagine that “attentato” indicates any attempt, either positive or negative. However, in Italian, an “attentato” is specifically the attempt to cause damage to people’s life or properties: by harming their rights, their reputation, their freedom, their home. More practically, when we talk about an “attentato”, usually we are talking about a terroristic attack. In the last weeks, the news from Israel have led us to repeat that word several times a day, with horror, sadness and worry.
Many times, in these months, Pagine Ebraiche International has highlighted the close connection between Israel and Italy. Geography certainly plays a role in it, since the two countries are separated only by a short airplane ride, but this proximity is not an empty concept. Most of the Italian Jews have relatives, friends or colleagues who live in Israel; most of them have lived there, at least for a short period of time; most of them spend holidays or vacation there. Thus, it is heartbreaking to experience once again that terrible feeling of anguish in realizing how the peace is still far away, and how much our dear ones are still in danger.