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Re: Biblical Hebrew Immersion

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:10 am
by kwrandolph
Mark Lightman wrote:Some people (like myself) learned to read Biblical Hebrew as adults after having memorized some Hebrew prayers as kids or teenagers.
ברוך אתה ה' אלוהינו, מלך העולם, המוציא לחם מן הארץ

You quote that prayer, and not only do I recognize it, but the tune to which it is sung popped into my head.

The problem with memorizing prayers is that not all of them are Biblical Hebrew. The above one-liner is Biblical Hebrew, but others (which I never learned well) are medieval to modern Hebrews, and some, like Kol Nidre, are Aramaic, not Hebrew at all.

The advantage is that it helped you get used to the sounds and cadences of modern Hebrew pronunciation. Since that’s the pronunciation that everybody uses when reading Tanakh, it’s a help. But I don’t see it being much of a help in learning vocabulary and grammar.

Just my 2¢.

Karl W. Randolph.