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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘ulpan’

Gavi’s Aliyah is a Success – with Help from eTeacherHebrew

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Gavi Hanssen (45) made Aliya with his wife (42) and four children (12, 10, 8, and 4) from Denver Colorado in July 2012. When he met his wife, she told him that she wanted to make Aliya and he was open to the idea. Gavi said, “I don’t necessarily believe that all Jews should live in Israel, but we wanted to be part of Israel, part of the history of Jews coming back to their land after 2000 years in the Diaspora. You live only once, and I wanted to experience it in my life.”

When Gavi’s wife’s job ended 18 months ago, they decided to take the opportunity to start something new in Israel. After the decision was made, everything fell into place:Gavi, his wife and the two older children started studying Hebrew with eTeacher; a house was found in a small community in the Galilee– exactly what the family was looking for.

Nefesh B’Nefesh helped them in their preparation by providing accurate information to create a realistic view of what was awaiting them in the Promised Land. After arriving in Israel,Nefesh B’Nefesh “offered more help than we could even take advantage of,” Gavi said with a smile.

Employment

In the States, Gavi was a consultant with non-profit organizations and his wife worked as a teacher. In Israel, his wife easily found a job as an English teacher and Gavi started looking for a job only two months ago after helping the kids settle in. He goes for regular interviews and feels confident that he will find a job soon.

Children’s education

Gavi said that a major motivator for moving to Israel was the children’s education. It was important for him and his wife to give their children a good Jewish education, so they enrolled them in an expensive Jewish day school in Denver. In Israel, they feel, their children get a good Jewish education almost for free.

Housing

Gavi feels happy with choosing Eshchar as their new home in Israel. Though they had never visited the house or neighborhood before making Aliya, as they took their first steps into their new home, neighbors were welcoming them with food and help, and children from the neighborhood came to play with their children. Although they are not a religious family, the Hanssens feel very comfortable in a mixed place where religious families live next to secular ones, where mixed couples (religious and secular) are accepted and where nobody judges you for the way you live your life.

Hebrew

Gavi’s wife spent a year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem during her college years, so her Hebrew was already very good; and she only needed some high-level Hebrew lessons with eTeacher to sharpen up her language before arrival. Gavi also studied Hebrew before and took online classes before and after making Aliya. He felt that his online teacher, Nili Gross, helped him not only with the language, but also with Israeli culture and perspective. Although Olim Chadashim are entitled to a free Ulpan (intensive Hebrew courses), Gavi decided instead to continue his studies online with his outstanding teacher, Nili. The most important thing, beyond the lessons, is speaking Hebrew everywhere: at the bank, the store, at his children’s school, in the street – not feeling embarrassed about mistakes, simply speaking Hebrew.

Children’s adjustment

Gavi has found that the adjustment is easier for his kids the younger they are. His four-year-old daughter already speaks Hebrew that she acquired in her preschool. His older boys have friends and participate in lots of after-school activities. They seem to be happy and well adjusted. Sometimes they do dream about their familiar environment back in Denver and sometimes they miss skiing, but overall, they don’t have many problems.

Gavi says that he sometimes experiences unique communication problems with his children when he tries to help them with homework. The children learn new terms in school in Hebrew and when he tries to help them, he finds that he lacks the words in Hebrew, while the kids lack the words in English.

Revelation

When asked about his greatest revelation about living in Israel, Gavi thought for a moment and said, “It’s a normal life in here. People think that living in the Holy land, surrounded by Jewish people is very special, but people here go around their business and have the same concerns that people all over the world have – mortgage, job, etc. I don’t worry about bombs here, but about rent, education, about normal things.”

Overall experience

Although it was probably easier to stay in their familiar environment in the USA, Gavi and his wife feel that their Aliya gave the family “opportunity for huge emotional and spiritual growth.”

Gavi sees Aliya from English-speaking counties as unique because their choice to live in Israel did not come from a need the way it does for others who may not be able to live freely as Jews in their countries of origin.

“I look from the back of my house at the Mediterranean Sea and I feel that I am part of history, I am part of Israel, and I am happy to be here. We are committed and we’re gonna make it!”

So come visit Israel and learn Hebrew online with eTeacherHebrew! Join Now!

In Hebrew: ‘Intelligence Agency’

Friday, May 31st, 2013

סוֹכְנוּת בִּיּוּן Yesterday we saw some information about הַמּוֹסָד- the Mossad.

Today we’ll look at the general term for intelligence agencyסוֹכְנוּת בִּיּוּן.

The Hebrew word for agency is סוכנות, most recognizably in the Hebrew name of The Jewish Agencyהַסּוֹכְנוּת הַיְּהוּדִית, or simply הסוכנות- The Agency. A סוֹכֵן(male) or סוֹכֶנֶת(female) is an agent, so סוכנותmeans agency. This term comes from Biblical Hebrew.

The word for intelligence in the context of an intelligence agency is בִּיּוּן. This word comes from the Biblical root ב.ו.נ (b.w.n) or ב.י.נ (b.y.n), internalization.

You may recognize this root in the word for to understandלְהָבִין. But whereas in להבין, the root is plugged into the active-causative הִפְעִיל verb form, in ביון, the root is plugged into the active-intensive פִּעֵל form yielding the verb לְבַיֵּןand its noun form ביון.

So what do לבייןand ביון mean, specifically? In mathematics there is a concept called interpolation, which involves estimating the location of various data points within a range – a precise, sophisticated game of connect the dots. Which is exactly what an intelligence agency – a סוכנות ביון- does – it “connects the dots” in a real-life political, often international scenario to create a plan of action.

You may be familiar with the word מוֹדִיעִין, also referring to intelligence (as well as to a city situated between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem), as in חֵיל הַמּוֹדִיעִין- the IDF’s Intelligence Corps. In that phrase, intelligence refers to gathering information rather than interpoling, so מודיעין, of the root י.ד.ע meaning knowledge, is used.

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In Hebrew: ‘Institution’

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

מוֹסָד

The Mossad – Israel’s premier intelligence agency – is famous for conducting some of the most daring and surprising undercover missions in the world.

The word Mossad in Hebrew - מוֹסָד- means institution or institute.

Referring to the intelligence agency, we say literally, The Institute - הַמּוֹסָד.

For example, educational institutions are מוֹסְדוֹת חִנּוּכִיִּם(though מוסד is a masculine noun, it takes on a feminine suffix when used in the plural).

מוסד comes from the root י.ס.ד (y.s.d) meaning foundation - an institution has been instituted or founded.

To institute is לְמַסֵּד, an active-intensive פִּעֵל verb.

For example:

בַּמֶּמֶשָׁלָה מִשְׁתַּדְּלִים לְמַסֵּד גִּיּוּס חוֹבָה לְכֻלָּם.

In the government (people are) trying to institute a mandatory draft for everyone.

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In Hebrew: The Many Ways to Say ‘Of Course’

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

בֶּטַח, בָּרוּר, כַּמּוּבָן! In monday’s dose of Hebrew, we touched on the Hebrew word for securityבִּטָּחוֹן. The root of בטחון is ב.ט.ח meaning sureness and security.

To say, for sure! or of course! in Hebrew, you’d use one of several terms. Here are three of them:

בטח! A less formal way of expressing of course or for sure is to say !בֶּטַח. This word means, literally, securely! To strengthen the tone of agreement, some say !בֶּטַח שֶׁכֵּן- literally, of course that yes!

Take this short dialogue for example:

אַתָּה בָּא אִתָּנוּ לַסֶּרֶט? בֶּטַח שֶׁכֵּן! Are you (a male) coming with us to the movie? Of course I am!

ברור! Another informal way of saying of course uses the word for clearlyבָּרוּר.

כמובן! The more formal word for of course is כַּמּוּבָן. It means, literally, as that which is understood, with כַּmeaning as that which or as the, and מוּבָןmeaning understood. מובן is an adjective deriving from the passive-causative הֻפְעַל verb form, the opposite of the active-causative verb,לְהָבִין- to understand.

Take another short dialogue for example:

הַאִם הֵם מֻזְמָנִים לַמְּסִבָּה?
כַּמּוּבָן!
Are they invited to the party?
Of course!
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In Hebrew: ‘To Carry’

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

לָשֵׂאת One Torah portion recently read on Shabbat by Jews around the world is called נָשֹא (nah-SOH), which, literally, means lift up or carry (in the Biblical context, it meanstake a census or lift up the heads of children of Gershon, so that they can be counted).

The infinitive form of that word is לָשֵׂאת (lah-SET). In Modern Hebrew, לשאת means to carry. However, unlike the word carry in English, a very common word, לשאת is most often used to refer to carrying in a non-literal sense.

For example:

הִיא נוֹשֵׂאת אֶת הַתִּינוֹק. She is carrying the baby. (hee noh-SET et hah-tee-NOHK).

הֵם נוֹשְׂאִים בְּאַחְרָיוּת הָאֵרוּעַ. They are taking responsibility (literally, carrying the responsibility) for the event. The more common, literal word in Hebrew for to carry is לִסְחוֹב (lees-KHOHV), meaning literally, to drag or to carry with difficulty… or just to schlep.
For example:

הוּא סוֹחֵב הַרְבֵּה דְּבָרִים בַּיָדָיו.
He is carrying lots of things in his hands.
(hoo soh-KHEV hahr-BEH deh-vah-REEM beh-yah-DAHV).
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In Hebrew: ‘Security Check’

Monday, May 27th, 2013

בִּדּוּק בִּטְחוֹנִי I’ve had guests visiting from Europe the last few days. For both of them it’s the first time in Israel, and therefore the first time encountering the psychologically-astute Israeli security team at the airport.

A security check is a בִּדּוּק בִּטְחוֹנִי.

Let’s break that down.

בידוק The verb for to check is לִבְדּוֹקof the active-simple פָּעַל form and the root ב.ד.ק (b.d.k). And a check or a checkup is a בְּדִיקָה.

But since a security check is a more involved process than a simple checkup, we invoke the noun form of an intensive verb, yielding the word בידוק.

בטחוני בטחוניcomes from the word בִּטָּחוֹן- security. בטחוני is an adjective, so we add a י (y) to the end of the word בטחון.

Putting these two pieces together, we get a security checkבידוק בטחוני.

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In Hebrew: ‘To Complain’

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

לְהִתְלוֹנֵן, לְקַטֵּר

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In Hebrew: ‘Background’

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

רֶקַע The word background in English might refer to the visual background of an image or the conceptual background of someone’s past.

So too in Hebrew.

The Hebrew word for background is רֶקַע.

For example:

כְּכָל הַנִּרְאֶה, נַחַל עוֹבֵר בָּרֶקַע שֶׁל הַמּוֹנָה לִיזָה. It appears that a riverbed passes through the background of the Mona Lisa. and

הִיא בָּאָה מֵרֶקַע דָּתִי. She comes from a religious background. רקע comes from the Biblical active-simple פָּעַל verb לִרְקֹעַ, meaning to stamp out or to spread out. It’s related to the word for firmamentרָקִיעַ.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/ktzat-ivrit/in-hebrew-background/2013/05/22/

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