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Your Daily Dose of Hebrew

how to party… in Hebrew. http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

לחגוג You probably know the word חַג (hahg) – holiday, in the religious sense. To celebrate is לַחְגּוֹג (lah-GOHG). Here’s a video שחוגג sixty years of Israel’s independence (two years dated). In my mind, it celebrates the diversity of Jews in Israeli society, that, after thousands of years of separation and the widest possible variety of […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 19, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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independence… in Hebrew – http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

עצמאות The Hebrew word עַצְמָאוּת (ahts-mah-OOT) comes from the root ע.צ.מ (a.ts.m.), which carries the basic meaning of essence or that which stands out. An independent political entity stands out as unique in the world; it waves a flag of its own: Incidentally, these are the colors on the Ulpan La-Inyan website. Some other words that […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 18, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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memories… in honor of Israeli soldiers who fell defending our homeland – http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

זיכרון Tomorrow is יוֹם הַזִּכָּרוֹן (yohm hah-zee-kah-ROHN), Israel’s Memorial Day (literally, Day of Remembrance). In the States, some people have a somber Memorial Day, but the vast majority see it as an excuse for a getaway, a barbecue, or a shopping spree.Not so in Israel. יום הזיכרון (the root ז.כ.ר., in this context, is the core […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 17, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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as Shabbat draws near… the Hebrew (and Arabic) connection between “west” and “evening” – http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

.ע.ר.ב I’m again in the Ethiopian-Jewish absorption center Beit Alpha, and it’s right before Shabbat. In Hebrew, Sabbath Eve or the day right before the Sabbath, is called עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת (EH-rev shah-BAHT) – the eve of Sabbath. How do you say west in Hebrew? מַעֲרָב (mah-ah-RAHV). If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s got the same three-letter […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 16, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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“yom” means more than “day” – http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

יום You probably know that יוֹם (yohm) means day.  You also probably know that the Book of Genesis (סֵפֶר בְּרֵאשִׁית – SEH-fehr beh-reh-SHEET) presents the story of creation in a six-day sequence – and that this contradicts modern science… at least on an initial reading. On top of that, the second chapter of Genesis speaks […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 16, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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“the” in Hebrew and its relationship to the Arab world – http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

ה If you know a bit of Hebrew, you probably know the Hebrew equivalent of the English definite article, the. It’s הַ (hah), and at times הָ (also “hah”, but pronounced a bit differently by some speakers) or הֶ (heh). What you may not have noticed is that almost always in the letter following the […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 14, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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change can take place in an instant… what would you call “a change” in Hebrew? The answer: http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

שינוי Aside from being the name of a short-lived left-of-center Israeli political party, the word שִׁנּוּי (shee-NOO-ee) means a change. Sometimes it takes a long time for a שינוי to appear. However, sometimes, שינוי takes place in an instant. Where in English you might say, it’s warm today, for a change, in Hebrew you’d say, […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 13, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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apathy – what’s the Hebrew word? http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

אדישות Apathy can be dangerous, especially regarding things like the Holocaust and people like Gilad Shalit (גִּלְעַד שָׁלִיט). Apathy tends to go against the basic human need/function of love. The Hebrew word for apathy is אֲדִישׁוּת (ah-dee-SHOOT). You might describe a man as אָדִיש (ah-DEESH) or a woman as אֲדִישָׁה (ah-dee-SHAH). See if you can get […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 12, 2010 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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for Holocaust Day – “pain” – http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

כאב In Level 1 of Ulpan La-Inyan we teach the verb, it hurts (זֶה כּוֹאֵב – zeh koh-EHV).  The word for ache or pain is כְּאֵב (keh-EHV). Holocaust Day (today), or יוֹם הַשּׁוֹאָה (yohm hah-shoh-AH) in Hebrew (means literally, the day of the disaster or conflagration), is a יוֹם כְּאֵב לְאוּמִי (yohm keh-EHV le-oo-MEE) – a national day of […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 11, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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putting it all together… in Hebrew: http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

שילוב The fourth principle of Pimsleur’s method (on which Ulpan La-Inyan is based) is that of organic learning. That is, students learn to speak accurately while understanding the grammar principles intuitively, without the need for boring charts and tons of homework (though at ulpan.com, we have charts for those who like them). The method integrates the faculties of […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 10, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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one of the secrets of the Pimsleur method’s success – the principle of anticipation. In Hebrew? http://ktzat-ivrit.ulpan.com

ציפייה If you’ve been to Jerusalem, you’re bound to have heard of הַר הַצּוֹפִים (hahr hah-tsoh-FEEM), or Mount Scopus. Why Scopus? Because צופים are people who scout out vistas, looking out for visitors… or predators.  The Hebrew root צ.פ.ה. (ts.p.h.) carries the core meaning of looking out. So לִצְפּוֹת, a simple verb, is to look out. […]

By Ami Steinberger | April 9, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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