A good friend of mine has yet to have the opportunity to start learning Hebrew online. I am curious to see if she will start taking Hebrew classes. Especially after I took her to a Shabbat evening service last Friday. Although she was born Jewish she did not have a Jewish upbringing.
I was curious to see her reaction after the Shabbat service. I am interested to see if she has the interest to start learning Hebrew online. Or at least learn the Hebrew letters. The prayer book we used in the Shabbat evening service was not a ‘proper’ prayer book but a homemade one. It was a mixture of Hebrew words, transliteration, and translation to help understand.
The benefits of learning Hebrew online
After the service, she was so excited; the first thing she wanted to do once she got home was enroll in a Hebrew course. She wants to start learning the biblical Hebrew alphabet. I told her she can do this by taking weekly Hebrew lessons. I was also excited! But I cautioned her against enrolling in an unsustainable and time-consuming course.
I suggested that before she enrols in a face-to-face Hebrew language class she thinks of the pros and cons of learning Hebrew online versus learning Hebrew face-to-face. It is interesting what she came up with. She realised that if she enrols in a face-to-face course it involves more time. She would need to travel to the classroom (and then home again!) and could take a large chunk of her day!
She does not need to travel if she enrols in an online Hebrew course. She could complete the lessons independently if she took the online learning option. Most face-to-face classes are in the evenings, and given that she is an early riser, this would work well for her. She could learn the Hebrew language at a time that suited her schedule, early in the morning.
Using Hebrew in Israel
As I mentioned earlier, my friend was so excited after the Shabbat evening service. It was then that she decided to go to Israel to explore the country. She was curious if she could learn modern Hebrew vocabulary as part of her online learning. I reassured her that she could. I directed her to Easy Learn Hebrew. This website includes a section on Hebrew phrases to use in modern-day Israel.
I explained that the signs are in Hebrew, Arabic, and sometimes in English. For this reason it would be good to have the modern Hebrew vocabulary under her belt. After our conversation, I was so excited that I started planning a two-week itinerary . Since I lived in Jerusalem for a year, I had some excellent tips for her.
Travelling through Israel
After recuperating in Tel Aviv, I suggested she travel to the North of Israel. There is a fascinating place near the Lebanese border called Rosh Hanikra. It is a natural grotto that is cavernous tunnels formed by sea action on the soft chalk rock. Although she can’t swim there, it is a fantastic site to see.
After a long flight, I realised she would need to recuperate, so I suggested she spend a few days in Tel Aviv. It is a relatively westernised city, and she can ease her way into a new cultural, culinary, and linguistic experience. In addition, she can slowly start speaking Hebrew with the locals without worrying about seeing the ancient sites (that will come later!).
I then suggested that she goes to Acco for dinner and to spend the night. I told her that this is where her Israeli culinary experience will start! In my opinion and experience, the houmous there is the best in Israel! After eating through Acco, I suggested she travel to Jerusalem, the Holy City. Finally, I recommended that she uses Jerusalem as a base to travel the South of Israel.
She could then spend a week in Jerusalem exploring all the different cultural aspects. Using Jerusalem as a based she could travel to the Dead Sea, Masada, the Negev Desert and Eilat. Starting with a Shabbat evening service to travelling to Israel; it is a transformation! I know that she will have plenty of opportunities to use the Hebrew language in Israel.