DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Land Mines and Hebrew

Written by: on May 17, 2014

In May of 2008 I was able to take my first tour of Israel, I was hooked.  From the biblical sites to the modern culture, I loved everything about traveling and experiencing the Middle East.  Not long into the trip I realized there was much to learn.  Culture, contexts, foods and most of all the language.  I remember saying to myself, “I need to learn Hebrew.”  Well, six years later and multiple trips under my belt I have still not learned Hebrew.  I know a few words but overall am still fairly ignorant of the language.  This past week while traveling through the Galilee, I decided to learn 20 new words in Hebrew in accordance to The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman.  The First word I learned was land mine, as you can see.

Throughout the following day I was able to learn 20 new words in Hebrew.  Here is a list of the words I learned and am now using in Jerusalem.  Rosetta Stone will be next…

  1. afikomen… a small piece of matzo that is hidden by adults and hunted by children at the Passover seder.
  2. aliyah… the Jewish word used for the act of returning or making immigration to the land of Israel.
  3. arabah…desert region in the Rift Valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Elath/Aqaba.
  4. bas mitzvah… ceremony that ushers a Jewish girl into adult religious responsibilities.
  5. beer… well or cistern.
  6. beth… house or temple.
  7. boker tov… good morning.
  8. challah… braided, sweet bread served on the Sabbath and some festivals.
  9. diaspora… the Jews living outside the land of Israel, especially applied to those scattered after the exile.
  10. har… mount, or mountain.
  11. havdala… the short but meaningful service that brings Sabbath to a close.
  12. kefar… village.
  13. kreplach… a pastry pocket stuffed with meat.
  14. lox… smoked salmon.
  15. narthex… a hall in the church which leads to the naive.
  16. pesach… the term used for the festival of the passover.
  17. sabra… the word for the fruit of the prickly pear.
  18. shouk… the Jewish marketplace.
  19. sukkot… word for the one week Feast of the Tabernacles.
  20. todah… thanks.

Since using these words, I have found even more connection to the special people of Israel and more specifically Jerusalem.  Here is a picture of me sitting under our bus, having tea with our Jewish bus driver Nissan.  Three cups of tea and an hour later, I am now more nimble in the Hebrew language.

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Richard Rhoads

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