Gender is a smoking hot topic right now. Depending on your world-view, you’ll either be offended or relieved to hear that for the purposes of this Thought Tool, there is no gender confusion. The defining axiom is found as early as the 27th verse of the Bible—“…male and female He created them.”
Ancient Jewish wisdom explains that the implications of this verse go way beyond the creation of Adam and Eve. Not only does biological reproduction of humans, animals and vegetables depend upon the collaboration of male and female, but all creativity springs from the engagement of those two complementary opposites. In trying to understand how the world REALLY works, this sexual insight is so foundational that God even gave every noun in His language a gender.
The chief difference between a feminine noun and a masculine one is that typically the feminine noun describes something capable of ‘giving birth’. For instance, the word for a minor argument, RIV, is masculine while the word for an ongoing feud in which every disagreement gives birth to yet another, MeRiVaH, is, not surprisingly, a feminine word.
The Hebrew words for a cup, KoS, or ball, KaDuR, are both masculine because neither gives birth to anything else, however the Hebrew word for a thought, MaCHSHaVaH is feminine since every thought can give birth to another thought. Similarly, the Hebrew word for an investment, HaSHKaaH, is feminine for the same reason.