Saturday, October 01, 2005

I'm Dreaming Of....Hebrew??!!

What on earth has my life come to? Today I did some of my Hebrew homework. I am enjoying it, yet I am struggling with it at the same time. The reason being is that basically I have not looked at my Hebrew since classes ended last April. I would have taken a course through the summer (translating and parsing the verbs) but I could not afford it since it would have cost around $500. I also did not know there would be a course in Advanced Hebrew this fall until August, and I didn't find out that it was definate until a couple weeks before classes started.

So I am struggling to remember everything I learned last year. I remember more of the vocabulary than I forget, though there are times I will look at a word and know that I know what it means but can't remember...then I look it up and have one of those "Oh yeah, how could I forget that" moments. It is mostly the parsing that is messing with my mind. I can recognize that it is a verb, but it escapes which particular form it is (I do remember some though), as well as the way it is to be translated.

We have our first translating and parsing test next Thursday (please pray for me for that) and I feel so totally not ready for it. I have mentioned all of this to the professor, and he is understanding. He also did a bit of review on Thursday and gave us laminated charts with the verb forms on them (he happened to have a bunch and said the four of us in the class could have them). He told us that the Qal verb forms appear 5 out of 7 times in the Torah (our Old Testament for those who don't know). So that helped calm my fears somewhat. However, I do need to go over these verbs so that I can recall how to recognize which forms they are, as well as go over the endings to know if it is first, second, or third person; masculine or feminine; singular or plural.

As for translating the words, there are a lot that I don't know because we never had them in our vocabulary lists last year. We had to get a Hebrew/English lexicon this year and that is a big help (when I can figure out which word I need to look up), but we won't be able to use them on the test. He told us that we will have one translating question that will be a sight passage, meaning it is something that we haven't translated yet. This is, I guess, to see how well we are doing and not just maybe memorizing something we've gone over.

So, as I have said, I have been working on my Hebrew today. I also was reading 1 Samuel 4-6 in Hebrew as this is what I am doing my term paper on for my 1 Samuel class. It is the ark narrative and the prof (same one who teaches me Hebrew) suggested I read it in the Hebrew and use my NASB for any words I don't know...this is just something to do 'quickly'. He said if I do this he guarantees that I will find things in the Hebrew that is translated a little differently or something in English...

Well, I say all this to get to my main point for this post. After working on the Hebrew and reading 1 Samuel 4 (didn't make it to 6 as I got tired) in Hebrew with some help from my NASB, I got tired and laid down for a 1/2 hour nap this afternoon. Guess what I dreamed about...yup, you got it. I dreamed about Hebrew. Not just about Hebrew, but I dreamed that I was reading and trying to translate it. I saw Hebrew words in my dream and was trying to figure out what was being said. I don't think it was the Hebrew Bible, more like someone had written something to me. I woke up with "Ha Na-ar" (I guess that is how you would spell the word using English letters) in my mind in Hebrew letters, and saying it as well in my mind...that word translates into "the boy" or in some cases "the servant" )as in when Samuel was young and serving in the temple under Eli). This word was not in anything I read today or translated, so I don't know where it came from.

Sheesh, I enjoy Hebrew and think it is a beautiful language and it even sounds poetic...but, I don't know if I enjoy it enough to be dreaming in Hebrew. I will leave you with a request for prayers as I do this class as well as a line from 1 Samuel 3:1 (remember it is read from right to left):

וְהַנַּעַר שְׁמוּאֵל מְשָׁרֵת אֶת-יְהוָה, לִפְנֵי עֵלִי; וּדְבַר-יְהוָה, הָיָה יָקָר בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם--אֵין חָזוֹן, נִפְרָץ

(Translation: And the boy Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.)

Hebrew and English translation taken from here.

12 comments:

M. C. Pearson said...

My husband was a linguist in the Army and used to tell me about dreams that he had in German, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian. Later, while attending Bible college he learned Greek...he would wake up saying the weirdest things!

MaY said...

LOL. Too much studying Shelley! Better relax at some point. But hey, I DO UNDERSTAND YOU..that happens to me too! If I study too much on one thing, I dream of them too...well..that is good if I have exams. LOL. You have my prayers Shelley. We both need it! God bless you!

An Ordinary Christian said...

I used to dream about what I was studying also. The dream I have sometimes now that I dislike is being late for a test, or not knowing what I need to, to pass. What a blessing to be learning Hebrew! God bless you (I prayed for you in this).

Kelly said...

I don't remember dreaming anything I was studying but there was that time I was hooked on tetris and would dream of those colored tiles falling ... falling ...falling. Lol!

Live, Love, Laugh said...

HMM, I left a comment here earlier but I don't know why it isn't here. I am praying for your test! Hope all goes well.

Jess411 said...

Shel--

Don't worry..I woke up several times last night sitting straight up in bed, reaching to scan groceries.

pia said...

don't understand a thing about hebrew but i'd love to learn.

God bless.

Joe said...

I tried reading from left to right, from bottom to top, from top to bottom and from right to left. It made no difference to me.

Languages (other than my mother tongue) just don't compute in my mind.

Good work!

Keep on keeping on!

Jennifer said...

Bless your heart! I took some Hebrew lessons from a Jewish friend and I don't remember any of it....shame on me.

Jennifer said...

Shelley, you've been tagged! Get over to my place and read the details. This is your pal, Jennifer. I changed my pic.

Bonnie said...

Great Post! God Bless You.

Lorna said...

loved this story. I struggled wiith Greek last year but would LOVE to do Hebrew.