asher553: (Default)
You know how you can hear a song 100 times and not really pay attention, and then on the 101st time it suddenly grabs you? That's this song for me right now. The name of the band (Devek) means glue, and I'm glued to this tune.

I'll try to work up a translation of the lyrics later.

Anenu

Nov. 15th, 2016 09:47 am
asher553: (Default)


Meir Banai live. This song just kills me.

"Answer us, G-d of Abraham ..."
asher553: (Default)
I'm working on getting Proverbs 6 thru 8 nailed down in the Hebrew. This hasn't been my favorite section of P in the past but I'm warming to it now. I really like the contrasts between the feminine personifications of Folly and Wisdom. (I don't have to be bound by the reading of "physical gratification and heretical ideas" propounded by the good folks at ArtScroll.)

One thing I notice about the behavior of Folly, the femme fatale of 7:6 - 27, is that it's this weird mixture of secretiveness and aggressiveness. She's here, she's there, suddenly she's hitting on him. She literally gets in his face. She's a stalker. It's not just that her behavior is "unladylike" - it's manipulative and dangerous.

The male object of her attentions can't claim ignorance, because she tells him upfront that "the man is not in his house ... he took the purse of money with him." So she's a married woman trying to make a few shekels on the side. And notice how her house (7:8 and :11) becomes "his house" in her words (7:19) - it's like the husband is gone, so NOBODY is responsible for what happens in the house! She's disavowing responsibility on behalf of herself and the male listener. And the final warning (23) is - like so much of P - eminently pragmatic, and recalls 6:26-32. The lesson: following Folly is bad for your health.

Wisdom, by contrast, stands in plain view and calls out, where she can be seen and heard by anyone who cares to look or listen. She may be subtle but she's not sneaky. Again, this is totally consistent with the outlook of P: real wisdom isn't convoluted (niftal ve'ikkesh), it's honest and straightforward. Lady Wisdom doesn't try to entice you with a lot of glamor and superstition; she doesn't promise you get-rich-quick schemes or thrust a copy of Dianetics into your hand. But if you seek her you'll find her, and if you love her she'll treat you right (8:17).
asher553: (Default)
Get up, arise, and speak anew
without fences or boundaries
without here or there
without fear of death.

Speak like a child,
straight to the heart.



I've been posting at LiveJournal for over 10 years, and mirroring at DreamWidth since 2012. Most of my posts here have been non-political, but that is likely to start to change as time goes on.

You should know that I'm American, Jewish, 51 years old, a proud parent, a military veteran, socially liberal, free-market conservative, registered Republican, queer-friendly, Zionist, patriot. In no particular order.

I've been back in my adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon, since the end of January, having spent almost seven years living (VERY reluctantly) in San Francisco. Amazing what you'll do when there are kids involved.

Shabbat shalom.
asher553: (asher63)
מילים: רבי מרדכי עבאדי
לחן: מאיר בנאי

"Assemblies of the People"
Words by Rabbi Mordechai Abbadi
Music by Meir Banai



I just love this song.

ANGLO

Feb. 27th, 2013 05:55 pm
asher553: (asher63)
I haven't decided yet whether to style it in all caps or not, but I've been working on a system to transliterate modern English into Hebrew characters. (Well, you WERE wondering what I do with my free time, weren't you?) (Don't laugh, somebody has got to do it.) Anyway, I call the system simply "Anglo". It's based on Yiddish and Modern Hebrew, but it is its own thing.

Details here:
http://anglohebrew.blogspot.com/
http://asher813.typepad.com/anglo_word_list/

The short vowels were the biggest challenge, because no other major language has to deal with the sounds of "cat in the hat" and "dot com" and "up above". Hebrew in particular is utterly unequipped for it. Vowels in general are the biggest problem. Modern Hebrew, like Spanish, has only five vowels (represented by three letters) whereas English has around 12 to 15.

This is mostly an idle pursuit for my own amusement, but it's not entirely without practical value. If you happen to be a native English speaker who has gone to Israel with a smattering of Hebrew, you know how desperately the Israelis need a consistent way of representing English words in Hebrew. Anyway, it's a work in progress, but there it is.
asher553: (asher63)
OK, I have to get this off my chest. What ever possessed the Israelis to call their operation "Pillar of Defense" in English? The Hebrew name is "Pillar of Smoke", which is dramatic, concrete, and Biblical. But what in the world does a "pillar of defense" look like? It's a mangled metaphor. Just plain bad writing. Grrrrr.
asher553: (Default)
After my last trip to Israel, I promised myself that I wouldn't let more than a year go by before doing it again. That was last November, this is October, and here I am.

I'm staying at a decent, budget hotel on Allenby Street in southern Tel Aviv, and I'm upstairs from a bar and two pizza shops. I get a kick out of this area because it's so much the opposite from the pictures of Israel that you see in tourist guides. Anyway, I'm not far from the bus station, and I expect I'll catch the 405 to Jerusalem in the next couple of days.

I've been sleeping intermittently since about 6pm. They had some loud music downstairs around 1 or 2am, I think the cops made them turn it down.

I'm feeling a LOT more comfortable getting around in Hebrew, this time around. Ate breakfast at the Bialik Cafe, on the hotel's voucher, then went back there for dinner. The waitress handed me an all-Hebrew menu so I really felt like a native. It's not a kosher place and I'm pretty sure Heh-Aleph-Mem spells "ham" (which figured prominently on most of the items), so I ended up getting a green salad, and that was pretty good.

It's probably safe to say there's not much that goes on in this neighborhood that's kosher, but if I can find a place that's K, or vegetarian, it'll make my life easier. Burger Ranch isn't vegetarian but it is K, and I'm thinking of checking it out. I'm going into carnivore mode for this trip.

But, no ham. Even if the menu is in Hebrew.
asher553: (asher63)
Hebrew is the only language that's been brought back from the dead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revival_of_the_Hebrew_language
'The revival of the Hebrew language was a process that took place in Europe and Israel at the end of the 19th century and in the 20th century, through which the Hebrew language changed from a sacred language to a spoken and written language used in daily life. Modern Hebrew is, together with the literary Arabic language, the official language of the modern state of Israel, and even before the state's establishment it was one of the official languages of the British Mandate for Palestine. Not purely a linguistic process, the revival of Hebrew was part of an ideology associated with Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

The process of Hebrew's return to regular usage is unique; there are no other examples of a language without any native speakers subsequently acquiring several million such native speakers, and no other examples of a sacred language becoming a national language with millions of first language speakers.'

This means that a bunch of people had to teach themselves to speak a language that NOBODY IN THE WORLD spoke. I think that's pretty amazing. What fascinates me about the process of learning Modern Hebrew is seeing how the ancient language has been adapted and retrofitted for use in today's world - while staying true to itself.

I'm practicing conversation with some old recordings I bought from DLI when I was a student there (so very long ago!) and with DVDs of two popular Israeli shows, Srugim and BeTipul.

Srugim ("Knitted", referring to the knitted skullcaps popular with religious-Zionist men) is a serial drama about five young, single, modern-orthodox adults in Jerusalem. I love this show because it captures the tension and conflict that go with being an observant Jew living in the modern world.

If your relationship status with the Jewish religion is "it's complicated", this show is for you.

All of the characters - Yifat, Hodaya, Reut, Amir, and Nati - struggle to define their relationships with each other, with the world, and with Judaism. I relate most to Hodaya; her relationship with religion is intense and personal, and so her struggle with it is intense and personal. The show does a great job of presenting religious Jews for a largely secular Israeli audience in a way that isn't stereotyped or caricatured, which is a big deal in itself.

The other show, BeTipul ("In Treatment"), was remade in an American version. It's a drama with a psychologist, Reuven Dagan (Assi Dayan) and his various patients. There's a femme fatale named Naamah who tries to seduce him, a military pilot named Yadin who's been disciplined for accidentally bombing a school building, a high school girl named Ayala, and a couple named Orna and Michael. And there are also episodes showing Reuven's sessions with his therapist/mentor, Gila (Gila Almagor).

It's a fascinating show, and very challenging to follow because there are no English subtitles, only Hebrew captions. Plus there's no action at all, just two people sitting in chairs talking to each other. So you really have to know Hebrew to follow it! I have to stop the DVD a lot to look up words, but it's great practice.

...
asher553: (asher63)
Apparently it was a mistake to order "The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself" from Amazon with overnight shipping by FedEx. I normally get my Amazon deliveries (and most of my mail) at my UPS box downtown, but on this particular day the UPS shop opened late, and apparently the idiot FedEx driver wrote "Wrong Address" on the delivery form. Then when FedEx called me and I explained the situation, the idiot FedEx rep said "Oh, is that one a' those lil mailboxes you guys rent? We don't deliver to those." (Apparently this person believes "we guys", the customers, belong to a separate class whose affairs are of little practical concern.) In any case, that's factually untrue, and (as I confirmed with the manager of the UPS shop), FedEx delivers there three times a day.

I then went to order the book from Alexander Book Company, and hoo boy has that place gone downhill. What ever happened to the tall guy with the earring who used to flirt with me? This character who was at the register looked at me like I was spoiling his break. When he did the computer search for the book's title, he couldn't spell "modern", couldn't spell "Hebrew" (even after I spelled it for him), and three times ignored my suggestion to enter the full title (" ... Poem Itself") so as to avoid a lot of irrelevant results with "modern Hebrew" in the title. Grrr.

Anyway, I finally got the book ordered - I think - and they're supposed to call me when it comes in.

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