Reading Hebrew

This is just a quick note to you all concerning the importance of reading biblical texts whenever possible. 

Most of you are at the stage when you should have the basics of the consonants and vowels, and this means that you should begin practicing your 
reading at every opportunity. The process of learning Biblical Hebrew can be broken down into three areas: grammar, vocabulary, and reading fluency. Much of our lessons are spent learning the grammar, I have already sent you a note concerning learning vocabulary, and so it now behooves me to say something on reading.

No matter how ludicrous it might seem for you to begin 
reading texts when you may not fully understand all of the grammar and meaning of the words you come across, there is still a lot of benefit to this practice. One major benefit is that those of you at the earlier stages will gain an improved mastery over the letters and their pronunciation. Another benefit, for you all, concerns your confidence levels. If you try reading a particular text now, and then after practicing for two weeks, return to that same text, you will find a noticeable difference in you pronunciation and fluency. Another noticeable benefit that you will find is that as the course moves on, you will begin to understand more and more of the texts upon which you are practicing. Seeing this improvement in yourselves creates an often-needed confidence boost in the process of learning the language.

Regarding a 
reading strategy, I would propose the following. Select a short text of about 10-20 verses, preferably one that we have looked at in class already. Try to read through it at least twice a day, the same text, for a week. Each time you read it, you will find that there are certain words that you have difficulty in pronouncing; it is these that you should focus on more whenever you pick up that text to read. After a week, select another text and begin with that. Every three or four weeks, return to the earlier texts you have read in order to mark your progress.

A good text recite to yourself each day, when learning the letters, is Ezekiel 38:12 because it contains all of the letters of the alphabet: 

 לִשְׁלֹל שָׁלָל וְלָבֹז בַּז לְהָשִׁיב יָדְךָ עַל־חֳרָבוֹת נוֹשָׁבֹת וְאֶל־עַם מְאֻסָּף מִגּוֹיִם עֹשֶׂה מִקְנֶה וְקִנְיָן יֹשְׁבֵי עַל־טַבּוּר הָאָרֶץ


Remember, all of this should be a "fun" experience.

Have a great week!
Comments