Ask the Rabbi


October 2018 QUESTION:

I am new to the congregation, and am impressed that so many people know how to read Hebrew. I never learned…but I’d like to try. Is it too late for me? (I am not a “spring chicken” anymore).

October 2018 ANSWER:

There aren’t many of us who are spring chickens! But no matter what your age, as long as you are willing to do some work, it is NOT too late for you to learn Hebrew. In fact, a new class for beginners will begin on Tuesday, October 9; it will meet regularly from 3:00 to 4:30 pm thereafter.

The first step will be to master the Hebrew alphabet. Then you work at combining the consonants and the vowels; from this come syllables…and then words! This is NOT rocket science, but it does take persistent work, especially between classes. And there are learning tools available free online to support your efforts.

The problem for many people is that one and a half hours per week is just not enough to learn a language. So I urge you to come to services and at least hear Hebrew being used; gradually you will be able to follow in the prayerbook without using the transliteration…and I can provide references to verify that this is true. Note: this is not a class for conversational Hebrew.

This new class is appropriate both for those who have never learned Hebrew at all, and for those who have forgotten most of what they learned long ago. Do join us!

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