The Trouble with Hebrew

J says that she is tired of hearing me complain about Hebrew….so I’ll do it here a bit instead.

I posted a couple of months ago that Hebrew was taking over my life, and it was, but I had no idea what that really meant, it has gotten worse!!! (or better depending on your perspective) Yes I realize that we are doing the work that normally would happen over eight months in three and a half, but I think the biggest problem is that I am over fifty and have never actually shown a real propensity for languages other than English.

I have to say, the prof that I am working with has been great.  So far he has patiently told me the same things (I think) over and over again as they go in one ear and leak continuously out the other. The one on one teaching has been beneficial, but has the disadvantage that you cannot just hide in class.  When it is time for a student to read, I don’t even get to put up my hand to volunteer.

A couple of weeks ago, Dr. D introduced me to Weingreen’s classic grammar text-book. Since then I have been valiantly doing exercises, wearing out pencil after pencil, never feeling like I’ve done enough, banging my head against the desk trying to figure out why the word that I knew just moments ago is now a complete, but familiar, stranger.

I keep needing to look back at the imaginary stake that I put in the ground back in April to realize that, yes, I have made progress. Dr. D reminded me today that it takes something like 10,000 hours to actually master a skill.  I don’t think I have 10,000 hours to spend on this project, but maybe a working knowledge can be achieved in less time.

It’s a little like going on a trip to a much-anticipated place.  It always seems like the journey there is longer than the journey home. The desire to “be there” makes the trip seem longer and progress seem slower.

A few more weeks and we will see if I am ready to go on to Hebrew Exegesis (your new word for the day: a critical interpretation or explication, especially of biblical and other religious texts.) I’m not sure that I will feel ready, so we will leave that for the experts to decide.

See…that wasn’t such bad complaining.



2 thoughts on “The Trouble with Hebrew

    • Thanks,

      Here is what the words actually look like:

      : חברים‎ שָׁלוֹם
      You need to read from right to left shalom chaverim
      Which means literally: peace friends….a good sentiment

      Thanks for giving me a “hook” for some hebrew words.

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