[b-hebrew] Collecting Wow stories

Rochelle Altman willaa at netvision.net.il
Tue Jun 13 04:34:01 EDT 2006

>On 6/13/06, bowick at idirect.com <bowick at idirect.com> wrote:
Hi, James,

The WOW moment that has had the most influence was the hot day I walked 
around a large rock jutting out from the mountainside while on a dusty 
mountain road -- with deep ravines and dangerous, sheer rocky falls to one 
side -- and walked into middle of Psalm 23. There it all was: the oasis of 
low-lying greenery of the na'ot deshe; the refreshing waters of the mei 
menuchot; the peace and the protected feeling...with outside the dangers of 
falling off the winding way of the right path of the galei tzadek.

Talk about a WOW moment! Suddenly, I understood the layers of  imagery of 
the psalm. (It only took ten more years to get it all down on paper -- but, 
without that WOW... that sudden illumination of the Hebrew text...)


> > Hi folks:
> >
> > I was wondering if you would be willing to share stories or places where
> > your knowledge of Hebrew has let you see something in the text, or have an
> > insight that made you say 'wow'.  I am not thinking of advanced studies,
> > and the cutting edge insights you have made so much as I am asking us to
> > reflect back on our early experiences with the language.  In some cases,
> > later reflection may have led us to discard aspects of those insights, but
> > their emotional impact remains.
> >
> > My purpose is to collect stories to motivate beginning students.  We know
> > that learning Hebrew is a lot of work, and it can get discouraging.  These
> > stories can give students, perhaps some even lurking on this list, a
> > reminder of why they are doing it.
> >
> > A couple come to my mind just to get the ball rolling.
> >
> > First, I remember when I was first reviewing the declension of the pronoun
> > MIN, and saw the Hebrew of Emmanuel.
> >
> > Another one was from Psalm 27:4 which reads ACHAT SHALTI ME'ET Y''H.
> > (Typing from memory).  When I first read that the vowels of ME'ET slit to
> > MA'AT and I read it not as the preposition MIN withe the direct object
> > marker, but rather as a construct state with the Egyptian noun MAAT.  "One
> > thing I ask - the MAAT (Order) of the LORD."  Now I have had enough
> > eyebrows raised telling people about this to think the proposal is a bit of
> > a reach, but for me it has become a significant part of my reading of that
> > prayer, as I seek the divine order of the LORD in my life.
> >
> > My guess is many of you have much better stories and insights.  Lets
> > collect them to motivate the novices on the list, and also to help one
> > another encourage our students.
> >
> > James Bowick

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