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Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 38


Free Hebrew lessons – September 2010 – Training – Day 38

Shalom ^averim (Hello friends),

Since you have learned some Hebrew during our Heblish course, I thought you might be interested in knowing a bit more about our tradition.

As you know, last Thursday was the first day in the Hebrew calendar, Rosh Ha’shana
Yom Kippur will be this Saturday.

The ten days between Rosh Ha’shana and Yom Kippur are called “The (Jewish) High Holidays,” – in Hebrew: Ha’yamim Ha’noraim. The literal meaning of “Ha’yamim Ha’noraim is “The Terrible Days.”  Why “terrible?”  Because, according to the Jewish faith, during these 10 days God decides who will live and who will die during the next year…

So, ten days after Rosh Ha’shana we have a fast day (25-26 hours) called Yom Kippur. It’s not just a fast day. It is the holiest day of the year.  On this day, the Jewish people are suppose to suffer, or afflict their souls and bodies, through prayer, fasting, and denial of some “comforts,” as they seek atonement and forgiveness for their sins of the past year.

Most modern Jews use the “fast” as a symbol of their suffering. I’m sure some of you can relate to this idea of “suffering” if you think about skipping your next lunch.

The meaning of Yom Kippur is “Forgiveness Day.” On this day we don’t eat, we don’t work, we don’t turn the lights on or off or use fire of any kind (to light a cigarette, fireplace, etc.), and we don’t drive… so we have a lot of time to pray to God and ask Him to “sign” us, to place His signature on us, that we may live through the coming year. Actually, in my family (and in a lot of other families I know) we play chess, monopoly, cards or maybe ride bicycles… but at the end of the day, before 3 stars have risen in the sky, we go to the synagogue to hear the sound of the Shofar (ram’s horn).

That’s it, in brief:  Rosh Ha’shana, Ha’yamim Ha’noraim and Yom Kippur.

Shana Tova and lehitraot for an important lesson next week, lesson 39 …

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Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 37


Free Hebrew lessons – September 2010 – Training – Day 37

Shana Tova (Happy New Year),

Yes, today is the first day in the Hebrew calendar.

Yesterday evening we celebrated our New Years Eve (Erev Rosh Ha-shana), but I can’t tell you how it was, since I wrote this lesson two days before…

In our previous lessons we learned the plural form in the present tense. Now that we have learned the singular form in the present, in lesson 34, and the plural form, last week, you can now begin to conjugate verbs yourself…

But we won’t try to do that until Lesson 39 (two weeks from now).

Today we’ll learn only a few words regarding the important holiday of Rosh Hashana.

Today’s menu: Happy New Year

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

For “happy” we say samea^ (masculine), and sme^a (feminine).


For “new” we say ^adash (masculine), and ^adasha (feminine).

Year is a feminine noun. So in Hebrew, year is shana.

Therefore, if “year” is feminine, we have to choose the feminine words for “happy” and “new” (sme^a & ^adasha) to create the blessing “Happy New Year”, right?

Logically, the answer is yes, but actually not… (don’t kill me!)

For “Happy New Year” we say “Good Year”. This is our blessing for the New Year.

Hopefully you will remember that “good” is tov (masculine) and tova (feminine).

Therefore, for “Good Year” we say Shana Tova.

The name of this holiday is Rosh Ha-shana.

New Year
We’ve just learned how to say “new” and “year”, but for the expression “New Year” we say “Head of The Year”.

In Hebrew the word “head” also symbolizes a beginning.
For “head” we say rosh, and for “Head of The Year” we simply say Rosh Ha-shana.

After this short lesson, we know that today, (Thursday, Sep 9th) is Rosh Ha-shana for the Jewish people, and the blessing you can say is Shana Tova.

Shana Tova and lehitraot in lesson 38 …

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