Posted on January 22, 2012 by Andrea Wiese
I had ulpan today at Pardes for the educators. We have Hebrew classes for the next four weeks before we go for our student teaching. I am really motivated! I want to be fluent in Hebrew so much!!!!!!!!!! These are the words I learned today: להפליץ – to fart להפציץ – to bomb לנצל – Continue Reading »
Posted on November 3, 2011 by Suzi
Interesting experience a couple weeks ago. As some of you know, I’m exploring Jerusalem’s various shuls and traditions. Carlebach, Sephardic, traditional, Modern Orthodox, egalitarian so far. Since I’m in a city with a minyan on every corner, why not! A friend had told me that Kol Haneshama, a Reform kehillah, was holding Simchat Torah services Continue Reading »
Posted on October 29, 2011 by Andrea Wiese
So….today I learned the alef bet! Although I should have learned it a long long time ago, and despite that I “speak” Hebrew…I had never learned the order of the letters. Today, I thought, enough, it’s time. And Roi helped me learn the letters in order. It’s awesome! Have you ever felt like there is Continue Reading »
Posted on October 3, 2011 by Suzi
I wrote these impressions in early September (more than a month ago) after arriving in Israel… The end of a very long journey, and a long but very exciting day. I arrived in Israel this morning, via a 12-hour stopover in London (I’ll write about that later, when I wake up). Found my apartment, just Continue Reading »
Posted on September 20, 2011 by Naomi Zaslow
For the last two weeks I’ve been adjusting to my new life in Jerusalem. After two years in Korea (South, not North) I’m suffering from culture shock of the radical sort. Take for example: Hummus instead of Kimchi with every meal- Hebrew and Arabic replace Korean and Konglish- Sticky sweet wine with no Soju in Continue Reading »
Posted on February 26, 2011 by Shibley
No, not the barrier you’re likely thinking of. Rather, the language barrier that exists for anybody who is praying in a language that is not their native tongue. I remember during my religious school days that we struggled to simply pronounce the words well enough to be able to recite them in public. Eventually, we Continue Reading »
Posted on December 13, 2010 by Barer
I’d like to focus on something I mentioned very briefly in my overview of Chanukkah which has been coming up in my mind as I consider life back home: namely, Hityavnut or Hellenization, or what would today be called assimilation.
The word gives varied messages manifested in different languages. Hityavnut is an example of a word that I find to have a different and deeper feel to it in Hebrew than its counterpart in English. “Greekify” hardly implies assimilation, and yet that is what Hityavnut would mean, on an extremely literal level. But that is not the most noteworthy part of this Hebrew word. Rather the fact that, as far as I could tell being around Israelis discussing issues of modern assimilation, Hityavnut is a word that means not only Hellenization (only meaningful in the context of discussing the Chanukkah story) but its modern meaning is also assimilation. I guess this could just be me falling for the allure of a language whose words encapsulate the history I learned growing up in Jewish day school, but which had no connection to the language I was speaking. I find it fascinating that I can understand the meaning of Hityavnut without understanding what the denotation of the word ‘assimilation’ as long as I know the Chanukkah story; English has nothing like it.
Returning to the content of this appealing Hebrew term, I have what amounts to a simple concern about living in a Jewish and a secular world simultaneously. Can one live in both worlds without being swayed ‘too much’ by either? What is ‘too much’? Can one have purely secular, non-Jewish interactions as well as purely religious, Jewish interactions and still keep all the varying world-views and lenses together in one’s head? While such questions have undoubtedly been asked endlessly by anyone who is not content to live in exclusively Jewish surroundings their entire lives, each time, and for each individual, it is slightly different based on each individual’s circumstances.
What should one’s goals be in living simultaneously in both worlds? The discussion with Israeli teenagers mentioned the Westernization of Israel in ways exemplified by the prevalence of Gap stores and other Americanized companies, and the fact that they are in English for the most part. No doubt language is more than the sum of its parts, and losing a language means so much more than losing the words, as the example of Hityavnut shows. But if recent news is any indication, we need more people that are deeply aware of more than one culture’s needs and concerns.
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Eryn
It was my first class with Rav Levi Cooper and my study partner and I were moving slowly, looking up nearly every word in our Hebrew-English dictionaries when the thrill of the moment overtook me as I realized that I was actually reading and translating RAMBAM – Maimonides, the great Jewish scholar – from Hebrew. Continue Reading »
Posted on November 3, 2009 by Lauren
On Tuesday afternoons a number of Pardes students volunteer with organizations throughout the Jerusalem area, and I’m working with a community called Yotzer Or. Yotzer Or is composed of mostly immigrant families, many from Ethiopia, who are living in housing projects in the neighborhood of Talpiot directly across from the wealthy neighborhood. They come to Continue Reading »