[b-hebrew] Collecting Wow stories

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Jun 13 21:27:26 EDT 2006


I'm afraid that I don't really have any WOW stories 
from knowing Hebrew: after all, most of what I know 
of the Hebrew Bible, I read in Hebrew. It's sort of 
hard to have a WOW moment connected with Hebrew 
language when I have so little experience reading 
Tanakh outside of Hebrew language as a comparison.

Rather what you can tell your students that one 
does not have to have a great amount of classwork 
in order to read the Hebrew Bible. I had all of one 
year in class, followed by a couple of years where 
I hardly touched Hebrew, then I started in Genesis, 
reading slowly but steadily, until I reached the 
end of 2 Chronicles. That was interesting, so I did 
it again. And again. And again. Until I lost count. 
I read it using a card under the words to hide the 
vowel points. I read it using a font derived from 
the writing on the Gezar calendar. Most recently I 
have been reading using a program from the Sword 
project http://www.crosswire.org where the text is 
in unicode, reading it without points and accents.

So encourage your students. Of course they will 
make mistakes. I did. The first time through they 
will misunderstand portions. I did. But the Hebrew 
is within reach. It is not overwhelming. With a 
little bit of practice, the book will open.

The closest I have to WOW moments are in comparison 
with the New Testament, how even the terminology 
used is so similar in meaning despite being a 
different language.

Karl W. Randolph.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "bowick at idirect.com" <bowick at idirect.com>
> 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.
> 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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