Monday, May 04, 2009

Hebrew (elementary) School

היום חמשה ועשרים יומים שהם שלשה שבועות ארבעה יומים לעמר
Today is the twenty-fifth day of the omer - three weeks and four days

נצח שבנצח
A day of endurance in a week of endurance

This is the third year that I've "blogged the omer." In the two prior years, I titled each post by its day number, and noted the sephirot combination in the first line. While it was easier to not have to create a title each day, it makes it harder to find a particular post when I want use it for reference.

This year I decided to make up a title so that I can easily tell what I wrote about that day. I put the count and sephirot combo at the beginning of each post, with one more new addition--I've added the Hebrew. It's easy enough to do on my Mac-I just change the keyboard when I want to type in Hebrew. Not only the letters change--it also changes the typing to start on the right and continue left. And while I can have the keyboard set up as I assume it is used in Israel, I choose the QWERTY option, which has the keys for the Hebrew letters correspond to what is a "similar" letter in English, i.e. the Hebrew letter raish - ר - is on the R key. They don't all work as well as that, but I've learned where the anomalies are so that I can type the Hebrew without thinking too much.

The bigger issue is the spelling. Although I know the words I'm typing and they are words I see each day in the siddur (prayerbook), I don't always remember the correct letters. So when I'm not sure of the Hebrew spell, I go for a phonetic version and hope for the best. Yes, I could look them up in the dictionary, and I have done that at times. But some days I just go for it. I do go back and correct some errors, and will probably clean them all up by the end of this year's omer. I do want the archive versions to be correct :)

My struggles with Hebrew transport me back to elementary school (not that I remember that much about that time sooo long ago). It brings back the experience of learning something that has to be visually decoded first before you can even get to the level of understanding. Dealing with that comes with a certain amount of frustration as part of the process. I guess I need to find the right keys to unlock the gate to understanding, or find the right teacher--the gatekeeper who can unlock the gate for me.

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