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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Hebrew Lessons over Chicken Pot Pie

Yesterday was the first time I’ve taken my Hebrew Skills public. Other than reading for Cathy one afternoon, I haven’t read Hebrew for anyone. And Cathy doesn’t really count, cause she doesn’t have any idea if I’m making it all up or not. “Yeah, this is totally a Z. and this is an A.” No idea.

During my meeting with my rabbi yesterday, I read him a line or to and he showed me how to properly spell my name. He thought I was doing well and lent me a couple more books written for children. Oh well, I’m a child of the language.

Last night was the real test. Chicken Pot Pie with Ronnie and my beginner’s guide to Hebrew. Ronnie is fluent in Modern Hebrew and offered to help me out. Since I’ve been convinced I was making up pronunciations, I wanted to sit down and sound out words with him.

Turns out I haven’t been making up as much as I thought I was. It is painful to listen to, but I can get through all the words in the first five chapters with some degree of speed. Once it gets above three syllables, I tend to forget the beginning before I’ve sounded out the end.

Then there is learning to use the other parts of my mouth and throat. And then not to overuse it, just cause I think Hebrew should sound a little more flemmy.

I think we drove our waitress and waitress in training a little up the wall. First of all, we were same-side-sitting. This was a combination of a HOT fireplace and having to share a book. But same-side-sitting puts the staff on edge, because they are never certain they won’t have to interrupt a make-out session to clear the table or drop the check. Then we drank gallons of water each, but I only had one glass of wine… that I’d ordered at the bar when I first arrived–so she wasn’t getting the tip off of it. She wasn’t certain we would pay “rent” on the table after camping so long.

In the end, I had learned a few things about syllable accenting, chet, vowel symbols, and pronunciation. And as always, Ronnie made me laugh till my sides hurt and offered sage advice… this time about dating, last time about renting.

Now I have to eat the other half of my chicken pot pie.

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