Read in Hebrew
Why is it that a person wants to read in Hebrew? How will they use this skill? How long does it take to learn to read in Hebrew?
All these questions, and more are asked by people all around the world who come across Hebrew reading students. For some people, who have no idea of the importance of Hebrew in Jewish life or Christian theology, learning to read in Hebrew is an unusual activity to undertake.
People are interested in Hebrew
I have two interesting encounters in my local shopping centre. The first was with in my local pharmacy. I walked in to buy some medicine, and I was a wearing a t-shirt that had “Sesame Street” embossed in Hebrew on the front. The pharmacist, asked me does that say “Shabbat Shalom” (a common greeting on the Jewish Sabbath). I explained what it was said, and we both had a giggle.
The other encounter was at my local butcher. He noticed that my shopping list was on a piece of paper that had some Hebrew writing on the back. He asked if that was Hebrew. I was extremely surprised. I asked him if he knew how to read in Hebrew. He replied no, but he is extremely interested in languages, and recognised the text.
Hebrew can be for everyone
So, even though these two people did not know how to read in Hebrew, they certainly showed an interest in the language. It goes to show that Hebrew is just not for Jewish people, or people who are converting to Judaism. Or for those who want to read in Hebrew. Many people are fascinated with the Hebrew language and the Hebrew text.
Sometimes, the above questions are not relevant to everyone who is interested in Hebrew, sometimes they are just interested in Hebrew history or text, but to not necessarily to know how to read in Hebrew.