So yesterday, I started Ulpan classes to improve my Hebrew language skills (currently, I'm not very skillful with it).
It was 2.5 hours and it was such a joy for me and my wife and one of my daughter to have the wonderful opportunity to participate in this.
It wasn't like in Yeshiva where we focused on learning the Biblical and prayer book Hebrew, and on Aramaic from the Talmud, but was more focused on modern-day conversational Hebrew.
I loved learning and speaking the words, for example to describe a large cosmopolitan city like Tel Aviv.
We also listened to recordings of others speaking, read the text, and learned verbs.
It reminded me of my mom, who also used to love to take Ulpan, and carried around her notebook with the Hebrew words and their translation and the many descriptive verbs--she was so happy learning and practicing.
Given my horrible language skills, it was funny for me that I was asked if I wanted to join the advanced class...ah, no! (or at least not yet...)
While so many languages (and cultures) have died over the ages, Hebrew and the modern State of Israel is a complete revival--it's truly miraculous!
There were people in the class from Asia, South America, and all over the world!
And from all the people there, I felt a tremendous love not only for the language, but for the land of Israel, and the Jewish people.
I wish like this beautiful language we all embraced, everyone could love and not hate us anymore!
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)