Showing posts with label Hebrew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hebrew. Show all posts

May 28, 2020

Chag Sameach - Happy Shavuot!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Shavuot and Chag Sameach!

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 11, 2020

Learning Hebrew: One Book at a Time

My daughter had a great idea for improving on our Hebrew language skills. 

Start small...as in children's books. 

She got a few of these from the library and it actually was fun to read these. 

Aside from taking me back a few years in parenthood and bonding as a family over these, I found it useful to solidify my learning.

Dr. Seuss definitely had the right idea. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal with attribution to book בּובי בוא בובי לך by אמי רובינגר)
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November 26, 2019

A Song of Saul and David


Great song: David and Shaul from Ehud Banay's third album, ”The Third/Hashlishi”

The song is about the "bipolar" feelings of King Saul toward David (then the next king of Israel). 

Here are the lyrics:

כולם מזמן הלכו לישון

רק שאול ער, קודר
מרים לדוד טלפון

A late-night hour
Everyone is long gone to sleep
Only Shaul is awake, cheerless
He calls David up over the phone

אולי תקפוץ אלי, יא דוד
נפשי אגם שחור
תביא איתך את הגיטרה
כי באצבעותיך אור

Maybe you should stop by, Ya David
My soul is a black lake
Bring the guitar with you
For you have light in your fingers

דוד בא מיד רגוע,
מתיישב ומכוון
את המלאכה היטב יודע
עוצם עיניים, מנגן

David comes right away and he is calm
Sit down and tunes (the guitar)
The job he well knows
Closes his eyes, he plays

עשר אצבעות לדוד
קצה כל אצבע - קרן אור
כשהוא פורט על המיתר
הזמן זורם לו לאחור

Ten fingers David has
The tip of each one - a ray of light 
When he port on the string
The time is flowing backwards

שאול מבפנים קרוע
קרבות בתוך בטנו
אוהב-שונא, ומקנא
מכור לחברו

Shaul is torn inside
Battles in his stomach he has
Love-hate, and jealous he is
Addicted to his friend

דבר מה אפל נופל
השד חוזר להשתולל
סכין נזרקת באוויר
פתאום יש בין השנים קיר

Something dark falls
The demon is back to a rage
A knife is thrown in the air
Suddenly there is a wall between the two

דוד מתחמק משאול
אבל שאול לא מוותר
דוד שוכח וסולח
כששאול מתקשר
David is avoiding Shaul
But Shaul is not giving up
David forget and forgives
When Shaul call up
בוא שוב לנגן לי דוד
קח אותי לכוכבים
בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים
Come again to play to me David
Take me to the stars
Come again to play tonight
A song of longing

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה...

Come again and play tonight..

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים...
Come again and play tonight..
A song of longing..

(Kudos to my Ulpan teacher, Rivka D. for sending me the video and to Izchak, my wonderful son-in-law, for providing the Hebrew/English lyrics)

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September 25, 2019

The Magical Letters Of Tishrei

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Magical Letters of Tishrei."
It is ingenious how the letters of the Aleph and Bet and Tishrei (the dates when Rosh Hashanah occurs) is exactly equivalent to the letters in the Hebrew word for Genesis (Bereshit), which is the event of creation that we celebrate on the Jewish New Year. 

Truly, this magical genius evident in the Torah can only be from one source and that is the one Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, Himself!

Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a truly magical Rosh Hashanah and one that is filled G-d’s mercy and blessings for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year!

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 12, 2019

Bookmarks From Israeli Stamps


So this guy in my Ulpan class brought in these bookmarks for us that he makes.

He takes these Israeli stamps like the one for Judges of Israel and Social Welfare for the people, laminates them, punches a hole and strings it. 

And voila, these cool bookmarks from Israel.

We had just learned the Hebrew word for bookmark and he thought to bring these in for the class.

He was so nice that even though he couldn't make the last classes before the Summer recess, he dropped these off with the teacher for us

Some people are real mensches, and these are the people I personally appreciate.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 15, 2019

OMG, What A Beautiful Song

And Even In Hiding
By Yaakov Shwekey & Kobi Peretz
Even though I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil
Because you are with me
Even behind the difficult things you are going through
I stand...I stand...I stand
Even in the place which is hidden, within that which is hidden
Surely, the blessed Hashem is found there too 

My heart and soul are uplifted by this beautiful song. ;-)
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July 3, 2019

Beautiful Tutim

Love these strawberries (i.e. Tutim) from Israel. 

(Hebrew classes are paying off...)

Large, red, and sweet to eat. 

They look so appealing and delicious. 

G-d's beautiful fruits (and vegetables).

What an amazing world He has created for us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 2, 2019

Beautiful Anne Frank


In Remembrance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Observance) today:

This is a beautiful Hebrew song about Anne Frank who at age 13 went into hiding in Amsterdam from the Nazis.

For two years, they stayed in the attic...not being able to make a sound or open a window.

But she kept an amazing diary that preserves for us the life and suffering they went through. 

After 761 days, they were discovered and Anne Frank was was sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. 

Anne and her sister Margot died in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.

This child was beautiful and her story lives to remind us of the evil that we face and the survival that we all must.  ;-)

___
Song:

Anne Frank's Diary

Lyrics:

A bookcase hides me. 
And what, what a fear.
My father, my mother and my sister,
With the neighbors together.
We are all in silence and quiet,
With only the heart whispering whispers.
Here they hide from the soldiers,
Which our soul seeks.
My diary, my precious,
Oh Kitty, my friend.
Will I ever see a sunrise?
Will I find my death?
In the tiny rooms, From a suffocating feeling.
Cold days and clouds.
Nights of terror and silence.
It's not true, it's not right,
I want to laugh out loud.
Dance, sing and play,
I'm a child, all in all.
My diary, my precious ...
There are terrible moments,
In our relations.
So crowded here in the apartment, Everything is closing in on us.
Food is also very lacking, The war within the city.
Will I live? Will I survive?
Do you still love and sing?
My diary, my precious ...

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January 16, 2019

Green Eggs and Ham - דוקטור סוס

So who would've thought that Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" comes in Hebrew. 

I watched this video, and loved it!

It is amazing that this can translate over.

One critique that I have is that the book should've said that the main character didn't want to eat the green eggs and ham, because he is kosher (instead of not being hungry or not loving the food).  

But then again, he would've had to stick to his guns and not have eaten it in the end! 

One other thing that I learned from this video/book, is that even though I am loving learning Hebrew in Ulpan class, I still have the vocabulary of a 9 year old.  LOL

But I'm learning... ;-)

(Thank you to my daughter, Rebecca for sharing this with me.)
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December 4, 2018

Celebrating Chanukah At Ulpan

It was so nice tonight at Ulpan. 

Morah Degani had a special night planned for us tonight to celebrate Chanukah. 

She called me up to light the candles for the 3rd night and recite the blessing. 

Then she played Chanukah songs and we sang along to the Hebrew words on the screen. 

We later read and talked about the story of Chanukah and all the meaning and significance of it for having freedom of religion/worship and to maintain our religion and not assimilate. 

It was a beautiful way to learn and practice our Hebrew. 

Happy 3rd night of Chanukah! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 13, 2018

Beautiful Song On Being A Jew


This was a beautiful song that we learned this week in Ulpan.

I love it--being Jewish and the song!  ;-)
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October 21, 2018

Awesome "Am Echad" by Ari Goldwag



When I am for myself
And you are not with me
What am I when I am separate?
For I am a Jew
I do not go alone
Just with you, my friend, hand in hand
One nation, one song
Come my brother and give me your hand
And we will rejoice and dance together
As one person, with one heart
I don't want want to be alone,
Just forever brothers sitting together
To be a family
Is the secret of joy
For everything is better together
And we sing
All Israel are friends
We won't give up on anyone
If we can successfully love
And sing 'how pleasant..'
The Moshiach will come soon
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July 22, 2018

Monopoly Yerushalmi

I am so excited to play this edition of Monopoly Jerusalem edition. 

The properties of obviously from famous places in the Holy City of Jerusalem, such as The Kenneset, Mount Olives, Mount Herzl, Hebrew University, Montefiore Windmill, Mahane Yehuda Market, The Biblical Zoo, The Israel Museum, Tower of David, and of course, The Western Wall, and more. 

The cards are in both Hebrew and English so I can continue to improve my Hebrew language skills. 

I think this is a perfect topic to be thinking about today, which is  Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av).

This is a perfect Shabbat game for after Shul and Kiddish, and I am looking forward to the family sitting down to play Monopoly Jerusalem style. 

I want to also note that Jerusalem along with the Holy Temple (may it be rebuilt speedily in our day) is a perfect topic to be thinking about today, because this is the day on the Hebrew calendar when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in both 586 BCE by the Babylonians as well as in 70 CE by the Romans after they had laid siege to the city--the exact same day of the calendar year over 650 years apart--and so this is a day of commemoration, mourning, and introspection for the Jewish people. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 3, 2018

Going Back To Ulpan

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)
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January 24, 2018

If G-d Is With Me

I love this photo and caption that I saw on Facebook. 

Basically it translates from Hebrew as:
"If G-d is with me
Who can stand against me."

And it's a picture of someone walking through the split sea like in the exodus from Egypt. 

G-d can truly make miracles. 

What G-d decrees no man can stand against it. 

We need to merit G-d's standing with us. 

You have to do right, speak right, and have the right intentions. 

Only G-d can judge whether we are there!

But how amazing things can be for us if we look to the Heavens and merit G-d being with us.

Then no man can stand against us! ;-)

(Source photo: Tali-Cohen Saban)
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July 29, 2015

Funnier In Yiddish

Yiddish is a language with words derived primarily from German, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

When someone wants to know if you speak Yiddish, sometimes, they just say, "Do you speak Jewish?" 

Many of the Yiddish words are popular and have become commonplace in our communications now-a-day. 

One of my friends used to say, "Jokes are always funnier in Yiddish."

And sure enough, there is something about Yiddish words, pronunciations, and nuances that make getting a point across very potent and at the same time, quite humorous. 

Take the words on this eduational Yiddish poster--it's like the Yiddish words just sound like and makes perfect sense for what it is (see how many you recognize):

- Bagel - Bagel 

- Chazar - Pig

- Chootspah (chutzpah) - Gall 

- Gonif - Thief

- Imglick - Luck

- Klutz - Clumsy

- Kvitch (kvetch)- Complainer

- Macher - Big shot

- Mishugina (mashugana) - Crazy

- Noodnik - Annoying

- Pipik - Belly Button

- Shlep - Lug 

- Shmootz - Dirt

- Shnops (schnapps) - Liquor

- Shvigger - Mother-in-law

- Trafe - Unkosher

- Tsooris - Problems

- Yenta - Talker

- Zoftig - Fat

There is one more word not on the list here that is probably recongizable and that is a "shmuck," which refers to a contemptable person, but literally refers to a man's private parts--ah, maybe that's why it's not on the picture poster. ;-)

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 20, 2015

Look How Great Magen David Is

The Magen David is the Star or Shield of David.

It is the symbol of the Jewish people and of Israel (it is center on the Israeli Flag, the Degel Yisrael), and dates back at least a 1,000 years. 


Magen David Sephardic Congregation is also the name of our wonderful new synagogue in Maryland.


As the amazing picture above shows, the Magen David actually can represent every single letter (24) of the Hebrew alphabet. 


As such, Magen David truly represents what a Jewish synagogue is and should be:


1) INCLUSIVE -- As every Hebrew letter is found in the Star of David, so too the synagogue is a place where every Jew, no matter Ashkenaz or Sephardic, Chasidim or Misnagdim, Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform--everyone is welcome and part of the greater family and community. The synagogue is a place we go to connect with our fellow Jews, where we respect and care for each other--our brothers and sisters, and where we Kibitz, laugh, and share of our selves and our heritage together. 


2) HOLY -- The Magen David is holy as the religious symbol of the Jewish people and representing all the hebrew letters as in the Torah and the Ten Commandments. Some also believe in a Kabbalistic or mystical symbolism to the points of the star. Similarly, the synagogue is a place of holiness, and the Mikdash Me'at or small Temple (until the Holy Temple is rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem).  It is the place we go to sacrifice to G-d and a central place where we can do good deeds for our fellow man. 


3) PRAYER AND LEARNING -- The Magen David represents the Jewish people, who are known as a people of the book.  And the Magen David with all the Hebrew letters can represent all the Bible, prayer book, and wisdom of our sages. Prayer and learning is central to our faith and service to G-d. Similarly, the synagogue (and Yeshiva or Jewish school) is the center of our religion where we go daily and on Shabbat and holidays to Pray and learn Torah.  


Magen David is an absolutely beautiful and meaningful symbol for who we are and what our synagogue ought to be. ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to eshevbooks)

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July 21, 2014

Shout It From The Rooftops

Awesome picture of the sacred Jewish prayer:

"Hear, O' Israel, The L-rd is our G-d, The L-rd is One."

In lights on Tel Aviv Mall in Israel. 

(One more from my Cousin Betty--thank you!)
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May 5, 2013

The Light of G-d is the Soul Of Man

Beautiful stained glass in the synagogue in Rockville, Maryland.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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