As we approach Shavuot, the first thing that comes to mind is cheesecake and blintzes! After all, Shavuot is the festival where dairy is the primary food to eat, because it is also a harvest festival.
But, there is indeed a more serious reason for celebrating Shavuot, and that it is z’man matan torateinoo, the time of the giving of the Torah. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word Shavuot means “weeks”, and because there are 7 weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, it is given that name. The Torah is the Jewish law written in Hebrew.
What a lot of people do not know, the Torah is written without vowels, which, indeed, does not make for easy Hebrew reading, unless a person is familiar with the pronunciation of the text of the Torah, it is difficult text to read. It begs the question, if a person cannot read the Hebrew without vowels, how is Hebrew read by a lay person? The good news is, a person can definitely learn the art of reading Hebrew without vowels, it is just a matter of practice.
I think the trick is, master Hebrew reading by attending a “how to read Hebrew” course, which will teach you to read Hebrew with vowels, and then you can move on to reading Hebrew without vowels.
I hope this will encourage people to go and learn to read Hebrew.