Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Rabbi said "Jews by Choice"

The Rabbi,of the synagogue I attend,in reaction to Parshah Yitro, this morning riffed on how sometimes it takes new eyes, or an outsider to truly see. He then went on to talk about "Jews by choice", and he added the aside, "it isn't good to call them converts anymore" His message was that some how born Jews can get complacent, jaded and not fully engage in the wonder, joy and totality of the Jewish faith, even if they are observant.

It was funny, just prior to this talk, I had been slowly seething and deciding if I could get up the nerve to turn around and ask the three people behind me to please be quite. They were long time and involved members of the synagogue. We had a Bar Mitzvah today and this little boy was trying so hard and they were being so disrespectful. but I had gone by myself today, (I think my husband still finds it difficult to be in services with a celebration while he is still feeling the loss of his mother) and was feeling a bit too vulnerable. Added to this was that we had a low turn out due to snow and cold.

When the Rabbi started they were still talking, but as he went on they got quite! Did they see themselves in his talk? Myself, I became some what self conscious, he was saying lovely things about Jews by Choice, but because there were so few people there I felt like I couldn't hide in the crowd. Although he didn't mention me by name it was an odd feeling non the less!
Yet dispite some unease it was wonderful to hear him speak in such lovely terms about those of us who have chosen this path. Maybe next time I will turn around and ask them to please try and be more quite.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hebrew Student Slacker Club

I have found myself thinking like a hack comedian lately……. I say…”what’s up with this final letter stuff!” ....N Soffit - Phey-Soffit - Chaph-soffit!!

The website e-how puts it nicely:

“While there are only 22 letters in the aleph-bet, there are differing forms of certain letters when used at the end of a word---called the "soffit" form. The letters Mem (M), Nun, (N), Kaf (K), Peh (P) and Tsadik (TS) have soffit forms”

Well guess what, I do not think it is nice…no, not at all…it is frustrating, challenging and just plain hard! I had my weekly class last night. The good news is that I made my goal. I am no longer the worst student in the class; I am the second worst student in the class!

So now onward and upward!

I have been strategizing on how to take this to the next level. In service of getting out of the Hebrew Student Slacker club, I am going for an eye exam. Really, I think I need a new prescription! I can not differentiate the subtle difference between some of these letters. Additional I have enlisted my husband in this quest. He has become a great resource. He has even found me flash cards, and web lessons. Every Tuesday night, the day before Hebrew hell, he helps me go over the pages we will be reading in class. He isn’t a push over, he makes me sound it out, and only once did he say “you really do have a hard time with this.” This was after I had said crazy a word 3 times in a row…remember I am the poster child for “LD”, Learning Disabilities and dyslexia! Also my fellow students are starting to rally around my cause! They have picked up on the things I do to help me remeber vowels etc. For example for "O" as in "over",The women who sits next to me pats my head , as in "over my head" after I have said ooooo a few many times. This team work is helping. It takes a village, or at least a shull to teach me hebrew!

Now this week we have homework. There is a Bar Mitzvah this Saturday in Shull. We are supposed to follow the haftarah and see if he misses any words. My thought is the Cantor works with these kids, and he must know how well this Saturday’s reading will go. I have been told there is a site on line that has audio for all the haftarahs. I think I will use this to get a jump start on how it is suposed to sound.

So I am ready!......I’m going to learn this language if it is the last thing I do!

Dunking Rachael

Love, Faith and Life