[b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew

wattswestmaas wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Thu Nov 25 13:40:04 EST 2004

Hallo All,

I am wondering whether anybody would like to comment on an awkward issue
that I am facing, and I do not really know from what perspective I should
base continued learning on.

Am receiving help with my studies from an Israeli who is doing a PHD at Cork
University.  Having chatted to him about how he reads and how he was taught
biblical grammar at school over a period of 12 years his perspective was
somewhat surprising BUT very understandable.  We chatted for some time about
imperfect and perfect and he told me to forget about it, putting it shortly.
He sees a simple past present and future tense.  I understand that there are
issues of Mother-tongue here and the need for grammarians to dissect and for
the native person to just simply read unaware of his own grammatical
formulas and all the fuss that foreigners make.  However I am wondering what
comments you could make that would help me to continue on the right

I did mention that the general idea behind the perfect was a 'completed
action' and imperfect 'incomplete action' but he did not even agree with
this.  Is this a native speaker's personal view or do you think that it is
really how the bible is taught to Jewish children and on into adult hood? Is
this how they really understand it.

Thanking you, Chris from Ireland.

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