The difference between staring at a page of the Bible and becoming engaged by its content generally comes down to … More Proverbs 10:1-6
On their first night of freedom, the Israelites saw a cloud from the ground up that was between them and … More Words of Torah: But It Lit the Night
“Your maxims are proverbs of ashes,” said a man being unjustly judged by his friends. “Your arguments are clay pots.” … More IHBPOM: How Not to Use Wisdom
We’re discussing wisdom literature and specifically Proverbs 10:1-6 this month in our new “Interesting Hebrew Bible Passage of the Month” … More IHBPOM February: Getting Started with Proverbs 10:1-6
Occasionally something as mundane as a verb tense brings a surprise with it. It can even open a door for … More Words of Torah: How Long Has Pharaoh Refused?
Rabbi Sacks tells the story of Jews in the Kovno ghetto during WWII who realized they were bound to die. … More Words of Torah: Moses Hears the Triple Name
The Nerd loves to provide Hebrew learners fun ways to see the rules of Hebrew grammar in action. Many readers … More Unit 4, Nouns in Isaiah 2:2-4
Something is wrong with Elimelech. He doesn’t sense it. The rabbis grasp the logic of Torah in a way that … More Ruth 1:2-7
The Nerd needs to teach you how syllables work in Hebrew. He plans to keep it simple and skip over … More 3 Syllables and Schwa
From our tiny corner the vastness looks incomprehensible and tragic. Cruel events pass before our eyes. But moments of good … More Words of Torah: Joseph Sees the Scheme of Things
Students of Hebrew will be delighted to know that the rabbis felt their pain in advance. Hebrew is an ambiguous … More Ambiguity and Translation: The “Judging of the Judges” in Ruth 1:1
Ruth 1:1 וַיְהִי בִּימֵי שְׁפֹט הַשֹּׁפְטִים וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה לָגוּר בִּשְׂדֵי מוֹאָב הוּא וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּשְׁנֵי … More Ruth 1:1
The Nerd has known many students who studied Hebrew in other programs and did not learn the names of the … More 2 Vowels
The Nerd congratulates you on your decision to start learning the rules of Hebrew, beginning with the consonants of the … More 1 Consonants
Most of the time we are blind to the grandeur, unaware of the mystery, dumb to the glory which has … More Words of Torah: Jacob Feels Small
When the Israelites found themselves a forgotten people, making bricks in Egypt, they had long ago lost the light. Enslaved, … More Words of Torah: God in Exile with Us
The book of Ruth seems to be a nice tale, perhaps a love story. But why is it included in … More Introduction to Ruth as a Book of Chesed
The Hebrew text surprises us with unusual, sometimes deeply meaningful, phrases. Consider the story of Joseph. His brothers did not … More Words of Torah: Joseph Feels Deeply
The Nerd doesn’t mean to be critical. But it’s technically true that Hebrew vowels are “diacritical marks” (Google it). You see, Hebrew originally had no vowels (and modern Hebrew doesn’t use them either). Rabbinic scribes (Masoretes) in the early Middle Ages worried people would forget how to pronounce Hebrew. But they did not want to add letters to the sacred text. So they used markings below and above the letters instead. Now, here are some flashcards and the Nerd will try and make it easy for you.
People tell the Nerd they wish Hebrew didn’t have unusual letters. Why can’t the Hebrew alphabet be simple, they ask? The Nerd reminds students all the time that English is one of the most difficult languages on earth and Hebrew is simple by comparison. This video covers the consonants that make some students cringe. Watch how easy it is and don’t be worried. You’ll get it.
A student, to whom I am much indebted and who has been a friend now for years, asked me for … More SHALOM, WHOLENESS, WELL-BEING, PEACE, WELFARE, RECOMPENSE, REWARD
People learning to read Hebrew want to read inspiring verses from the Hebrew Bible. The Nerd thinks Isaiah 12 is … More Learning to Read Hebrew from Isaiah, Unit 3
The Nerd loves flashcards. He is always telling his online students to make or buy them. People who want to learn Hebrew should learn, in the early days, to love flashcards as much as the Nerd does. You won’t need them forever. But plan on having them in your life a good six months or so.
For now, you can use the Nerd’s flashcards via this video. But when we start learning Hebrew vocabulary, you’ll either buy a pre-made set or (better) make your own with index cards and a Sharpie. Here are the consonants of the Hebrew alefbet in order:
The Nerd wants you to get past the first part of learning to read Hebrew: memorizing your letters. The Hebrew alefbet (alphabet) is the first hurdle to being a dork like the Nerd. In this pep talk the Nerd tells you you’re a winner, you can do it, and I tell a quick story. Then we take a first look at the Hebrew letters using flashcards.
Trying to learn to read Hebrew. The Nerd feels your pain. When he was in college, the professor held the … More Learning to Read Hebrew from Isaiah, Unit 2
For people who have memorized their letters and vowels, this unit is a great way to practice reading some words. … More Learning to Read Hebrew From Isaiah, Unit 1
The Hebrew Bible is some seriously verbal literature. Its essential nature is largely narrative and that requires verbs. We enter … More Hebrew Verbs 1 (The Perfect)