Monday, January 5, 2009

Hebrew for Chanukah

By Neal Walters

Its Chanukah Time! Have you figured out what youre going to give during each night of Chanukah? Maybe, youre just going to give a gift on the First and Eighth day of the Holiday, but even then, what are you going to give? WellWhy not Hebrew?

Hebrew..!? Yes, Hebrew! I have spoken to many people, men and women, who have become very rusty in their Hebrew. For some, the last time they read anything in Hebrew was for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah: in some cases, going back 40 or 50 years " Oy! Its time for a refresher course " AndI have the programs for you

Several products from help children and adults to learn Hebrew, either for the first time, or to refresh their prior skills. The series of programs typically begins with "At Home with Hebrew", their most beginner level program, that teaches a person how to read and write the Hebrew Alef-Bet (alphabet). After learning basic reading skills, the students go on to learn some basic grammar and vocabulary.

"Hebrew Kindergarten", despite the name, is not just for young children. It's called Kinergarten, because it starts at the very beginning with the basics of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

Recently, HebrewResources released its newest product "Shirei Ha-Shabbat (Songs of the Sabbath). This set includes a hip audio-CD with professionally sung music accompanied by guitar and band that covers many of the basic prayers. Then, the software program in the package teaches the more traditional synagogue tunes for the same Sabbath prayers. This package is a great way to get a person back into the Hebrew of the Siddur.

I cant convey to you how beautiful the canting really is, but the cantors voices are absolutely amazing! You will be blessed. Here, you have it " three great programs for studying and learning Hebrew.

Children are often the focus of Hanukah. Jewish parents usually require their children to learn some basic Hebrew, even if their own skills have become rusty. The tutorials above, can be used by inividuals. But how much better, if parents and children learn Hebrew together?

Andyou dont have to be Jewish to appreciate Hebrew. Regardless of religious affiliation, whether you home-school or not, more and more people are learning Hebrew so that they know for themselves what the Bible has to say. After all, as a friend of mine has said, Reading a translation of Hebrew, is like kissing your bride through the veil.

Some years like this one (2008), Chanukah and Christmas overlap. So consider giving the "gift of Hebrew" for either Holiday. Unlike many toys, it's a gift that will be remembered for years to come.

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