Learning Hebrew: One Book at a Time

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

Start small…as in children’s books.ย 

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

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal with attribution to book ๏ฌฑื•ื‘ื™ ื‘ื•ื ื‘ื•ื‘ื™ ืœืš byย ืืžื™ ืจื•ื‘ื™ื ื’ืจ)

A Song of Saul and David

Great song:ย David and Shaul from Ehud Banay’s third album, โ€The Third/Hashlishiโ€

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

Here are the lyrics:

ื›ื•ืœื ืžื–ืžืŸ ื”ืœื›ื• ืœื™ืฉื•ืŸ
ืจืง ืฉืื•ืœ ืขืจ, ืงื•ื“ืจ
ืžืจื™ื ืœื“ื•ื“ ื˜ืœืคื•ืŸ

A late-night hour

Everyone is long gone to sleep

Only Shaul is awake, cheerless

He calls David up over the phone

ืื•ืœื™ ืชืงืคื•ืฅ ืืœื™, ื™ื ื“ื•ื“
ื ืคืฉื™ ืื’ื ืฉื—ื•ืจ
ืชื‘ื™ื ืื™ืชืš ืืช ื”ื’ื™ื˜ืจื”
ื›ื™ ื‘ืืฆื‘ืขื•ืชื™ืš ืื•ืจ

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

ื“ื•ื“ ื‘ื ืžื™ื“ ืจื’ื•ืข,
ืžืชื™ื™ืฉื‘ ื•ืžื›ื•ื•ืŸ
ืืช ื”ืžืœืื›ื” ื”ื™ื˜ื‘ ื™ื•ื“ืข
ืขื•ืฆื ืขื™ื ื™ื™ื, ืžื ื’ืŸ

David comes right away and he is calm

Sit down and tunes (the guitar)

The job he well knows

Closes his eyes, he plays

ืขืฉืจ ืืฆื‘ืขื•ืช ืœื“ื•ื“
ืงืฆื” ื›ืœ ืืฆื‘ืข – ืงืจืŸ ืื•ืจ
ื›ืฉื”ื•ื ืคื•ืจื˜ ืขืœ ื”ืžื™ืชืจ
ื”ื–ืžืŸ ื–ื•ืจื ืœื• ืœืื—ื•ืจ

Ten fingers David has

The tip of each one – a ray of lightย 

When he port on the string

The time is flowing backwards

ืฉืื•ืœ ืžื‘ืคื ื™ื ืงืจื•ืข
ืงืจื‘ื•ืช ื‘ืชื•ืš ื‘ื˜ื ื•
ืื•ื”ื‘-ืฉื•ื ื, ื•ืžืงื ื
ืžื›ื•ืจ ืœื—ื‘ืจื•

Shaul is torn inside

Battles in his stomach he has

Love-hate, and jealous he is

Addicted to his friend

ื“ื‘ืจ ืžื” ืืคืœ ื ื•ืคืœ
ื”ืฉื“ ื—ื•ื–ืจ ืœื”ืฉืชื•ืœืœ
ืกื›ื™ืŸ ื ื–ืจืงืช ื‘ืื•ื•ื™ืจ
ืคืชืื•ื ื™ืฉ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื”ืฉื ื™ื ืงื™ืจ

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

ื“ื•ื“ ืžืชื—ืžืง ืžืฉืื•ืœ

ืื‘ืœ ืฉืื•ืœ ืœื ืžื•ื•ืชืจ
ื“ื•ื“ ืฉื•ื›ื— ื•ืกื•ืœื—
ื›ืฉืฉืื•ืœ ืžืชืงืฉืจ

David is avoiding Shaul

But Shaul is not giving up

David forget and forgives

When Shaul call up

ื‘ื•ื ืฉื•ื‘ ืœื ื’ืŸ ืœื™ ื“ื•ื“
ืงื— ืื•ืชื™ ืœื›ื•ื›ื‘ื™ื
ื‘ื•ื ืฉื•ื‘ ืœื ื’ืŸ ื”ืœื™ืœื”
ืฉื™ืจ ื’ืขื’ื•ืขื™ื

Come again to play to me David

Take me to the stars

Come again to play tonight

A song of longing

ื‘ื•ื ืฉื•ื‘ ืœื ื’ืŸ ื”ืœื™ืœื”…

Come again and play tonight..

ื‘ื•ื ืฉื•ื‘ ืœื ื’ืŸ ื”ืœื™ืœื”
ืฉื™ืจ ื’ืขื’ื•ืขื™ื…

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)

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.ย 

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-dโ€™s mercy and blessings for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year!

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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.ย 

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.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal

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 tooย ย 

My heart and soul are uplifted by this beautiful song.ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

Beautiful Tutim

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

(Hebrew classes are paying off…)

Large, red, and sweet to eat.ย 

They look so appealing and delicious.ย 

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

What an amazing world He has created for us. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beautiful Anne Frank

In Remembrance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Observance) today:

This is a beautiful Hebrew song aboutย Anne Frankย 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.ย 

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

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.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰



Anne Frank’s Diary


A book 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 …