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Salvia



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PostSubject: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:06 am

Hi everybody!

I had another beginner's question:
Correct me please if I'm wrong. I've always heard that Jews have to treat everything which has Hebrew writing on it with respect, because the Hebrew alphabet is sacred and the letters of the writing can be used to write names of G-d. So, this is what I remember from what I've learned long ago, you can't just throw away a book in Hebrew, because basically G-d is in it in the letters.

But yesterday I was once again trying to learn hebrew and trying to write the alphabet. So I wrote some series of alef-bet etc on a loose sheet of paper to get the feeling in my hands and memorize the letters (I hope writing isn't a prohibited activity on Shabbat, otherwise my apologies). I hope Jewish law isn't as strict on this as I vaguely remember, otherwise I have to treat my drafts with respect and can't just throw them away to try again?

If I just got some piece of law completely wrong this might be a very very silly question indeed. But the last thing I'd want to do is disrespect the names of G-d scratch
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:11 pm

You wouldn't just throw away a piece of paper with a name of God written on it but Hebrew letters are fine. You could throw away a secular book, a notebook full of class notes, a sign with graffiti, a box that contained food, etc. So yeah, it's fine to throw away your practice sheets.

Also, yes, traditionally writing on Shabbat is prohibited but you are not Jewish yet so it's fine. There isn't any reason for you to refrain from it or to apologize for doing it.


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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:25 pm

Thank you Dena!

I know I'm totally in my right to write on Shabbat, as a non-jew, but I would apologize in the same way to christians if I'd tell them I'd bought something on Sunday - Just trying to respectful...
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:40 pm

Dena said it all, basically.

Dear Salvia, please, don't feel uneasy about how you should ask something or about whether you should do something or not - I can see that you are a kind and considerate person and also, as Dena said, you are not obligated to perform any of mitzvot specifically binding for Jews, so everything is perfectly ok! ;)
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:51 pm

Even iff I'd be "allowed" to, I wouldn't want to disrespect the name of G-d - just because I don't want to. Because...I care about G-d?

If the comment was just about Shabbat: I do happily write and study etc. on Shabbat as I know I can, but...well I answered that one already :)

I am happy I can throw away my drafts with my bad hebrew letters - they are difficult!! - and that I don't have to keep them. It would make the learning process difficult and my house cluttered ;)
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:10 pm

My comment was just about Shabbat, I specifically thought of your question on writing on Shabbat!

It's great that you are learning Hebrew letters! I'm doing it also! But for now, I'm a lot better with speaking than reading Hebrew, oops. Razz
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:15 pm

You imagine I was slightly irritated when my mum said that learning to read Hebrew script isn't difficult, really?

It IS difficult grrr

Good luck with learning to read Hebrew! I don't have any hebrew, save for loose words and most of them in a heavily jiddishized (is that a word?) form... But I'm starting to recogninze things and see what words have what function in a phrase etc Very Happy
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:22 pm

Aaaaaaaagh, reading (and writing, respectively!) is actually so, so complex and difficult! I can imagine your reaction! Very Happy

Yes, I started exactly like you - remembering solely words at the beginning, wondering what the correct pronouncing is, then seeing how the words change or function in the phrases, then understanding the whole phrases, and now I can understand the service pretty well, but I still have so much to learn when it comes to an actual speaking!

We often have guests from Israel here, and our rabbi and cantor, and also a couple of people in the congregation speak Hebrew very well, so I have the opportunity to listen to them and slowly learn.

There will also be Hebrew classes here - I'm going next year, yay!! sunny
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:34 am

Salvia wrote:
Thank you Dena!

I know I'm totally in my right to write on Shabbat, as a non-jew, but I would apologize in the same way to christians if I'd tell them I'd bought something on Sunday - Just trying to respectful...

Ah, well we aren't like Christians. It doesn't make any difference to us if you write on Shabbat....or buy a cheeseburger. You need not apologize. Very Happy
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geekima



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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:48 pm

Hebrew is tough. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself a lot of credit for keeping at it! Very Happy

My Hebrew will always sound a bit funky to many since it's Ashkenazic, which makes sense since that is how we daven. It does mean that it's not much help when I visit Israel and that my Hebrew is often mixed up with Yiddish, but that's ok.

One thing one of my Hebrew tutors recommended that I found very helpful, besides just practicing for short periods for a long time, was following along when someone else is reading or singing. She explained that this helps you begin to be able to "hear" the different sounds and better mentally connect them to the letters. I noticed it has really increased the speed at which I read.

For me, being able to read and to translate has been much more important than learning to write. My kids are far ahead of me in writing Hebrew and I can't yet even read cursive. Most of my reading is for Siddurim or Seforim, so I don't have as much of a practical need for it.

You'll be surprised how much you begin to pick up over time as you are exposed to it, but I think it's important to be patient with yourself and understand that it's difficult and frustrating for most people at first.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: writing in Hebrew   Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:28 pm

It is only the tetragrammaton, the four-letter Hebrew name of God (transliterated YHVH), that if written that must be disposed of properly. (Warning: do not print out the above wiki page unless you are able to dispose of it properly---see below.) Other Hebrew writing does not require special treatment. Generally, writing with the name of God is put in a special place such as a "genizah" for later proper ritual burial in a Jewish cemetery. For this reason, it is common to make a substitution for the name in study papers with something like " or 'ה instead of the four letters so that there won't be an issue with proper disposal.
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