Venting… B’Ivrit

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Sukkot at Harvard Div

Chag sameach tribe! I’ve stopped and started a million + 1 posts to share with you the wonderful world of divinity school yet…here we are.  I’ve decided instead of trying to recount everything up until this point I’m just going to throw you into my mad world –head first.

I need to vent.

The bane of my linguistic existence is baaaaaaack. This time in the form of biblical Hebrew (vs. modern), which feels like I’m starting from the beginning (???ההתחלה???)

First—VOWELS suddenly count. I went from only acknowledging them during Shabbat services to having to know that “gutturals” and “shwas” are not simpatico and that vowels have categories כמו….short and irreducibly long. Did you know that there are rules for “vav” me neither or that a “patakh” changes to a “qamats” under certain conditions,  despite sounding the same in my opinion.  Ffffffff!!!!

The midterm is next Wednesday and I need to memorize the following passage from Genesis. It took me an hour to copy what you see in the photo below… how am I going to recall the entire verse from memory?

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Genesis… a good place to start

This is my life now.


Upside (and there are MANY despite my complaints)– during Yom Kippur services, I was able to read from the Hebrew side of my siddur. A few years ago it looked like alien writing that immediately catapulted me into a teary existential sojourn. Now apparently I am giddy over recognizing a furtive patakh on the page. Tribe, we mispronounce A LOT of Hebrew. I’m a month into my course work and suddenly I think I’m an expert. I apologize. Back to figuring out how to translate a construct sentence…I’m not even sure what that means.

Layla Tov!


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