Just recently I have started teaching my youngest son to start learning Hebrew reading. It is his Bar Mitzvah in 18 months’ time, and he needs to learn to read Hebrew before then. Interestingly enough he was really resisting my attempts to engage him in learning Hebrew reading. I have a feeling it is because I am his mother, and simply doesn’t want to learn with me.
Many Jewish kids around age 12 need to go through this rite of passage of learning Hebrew reading for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Some start earlier by attending Hebrew lessons at Hebrew and Religion school, which is usually on a Sunday morning. But lots of other kids start just months before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony.
A Jewish rite of passage
It is important to realise that it is not just 12-year-old children that need to start learning Hebrew reading, but it extends to adults too. There are many adults want to start learning Hebrew reading. Some adults are Christian, and want to start learning Hebrew reading to be able to read the original text of the bible.
Other people who want to learn Hebrew reading
There are two other main groups of people who start learning Hebrew reading. One group are adults who are Jewish, who may have attended Hebrew and Religion School, completed the Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony, and completely forgot how to read Hebrew. The other group are adults who want to convert to Judaism and need to start learning Hebrew reading.
Whatever the reason to start learning Hebrew reading, it is important to have a goal, as it can be a challenging process. It is also important to have a good resource, be it a face to face teacher or an online Hebrew reading program. One such program is Easy Learn Hebrew, an Hebrew reading website for beginners.