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Yes, I’m Still Here

April 14, 2016

Aside from my other blogs, I am still around, and I’m still working on languages.  And eagerly, eagerly awaiting the debut of Hebrew on Duolingo, since every self-study on my part has failed.

But places where the self-study helps…

For those who don’t know, I’m a gabbai at my synagogue.  That is, I’m one of the people who stands up beside the reader’s lectern during the Torah reading to help correct the reader when there is a mistake, a role dating back thousands of years to when most folks were not literate, and only learned the portions through listening to someone who read to them (a person called ba’al kriyat haTorah, literally meaning ‘master of reading the Torah’).  It’s been a long while since I’ve read Torah myself, but…

I’m reading this weekend.  Actually, I’m doing double-duty as reader and gabbai, but they’re short on readers, so I volunteered to read the first portion and then slide back over to where I belong. 😉

But I have a wealth of mailing lists and online resources that I’ve been using in the interim, from courses on Memrise, to Your Daily Dose of Hebrew… and so I’ve been slowly building my vocabulary, which is my weak spot.

Why is this funny/important?

This week’s portion is Metzora, which talks about “leprosy” (fun fact – two of my siblings had Tazria-Metzora as their bna’i mitzvah portions).  I’m reading a segment about a fungal/mold infestation of a house.  And I only know basically what I’m reading because last week, Your Daily Dose of Hebrew had ‘reddish’ and ‘greenish’ as their word of the day.  And it’s always easier to read something in another language if you know what you’re actually reading, which is already harder when you think about the fact that the Torah has neither vowels nor punctuation…

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