Take one look at the Hebrew language and it may seem intimidating to learn. Listen to it being spoken and you may think it’s impossible to understand. I’d like to share six reasons why the Hebrew language is worth learning, plus teach you ten Hebrew words you can start speaking today! (Psst… there are free flashcards for you at the end of the post!)
Although Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are different, it would not hurt to learn both. Learning Biblical Hebrew will deepen your study of Scripture while Modern Hebrew will allow you to properly speak the language. Founder of Hebrew for Homeschoolers and Theologian,Ana from They Call Me Blessed told me that Bible readers today are only getting about 60% of the true meaning of Scripture!
It has also been said that reading the Bible in other translated languages makes it feel more like mythology. However, when reading it in its original language and context, it reads more like literature. So when it comes to understanding the true meaning of Scripture, it only makes sense to incorporate the true language of what it was spoken and written in.
Course Correction for Believers
The fact that our Messiah (יהושע), our Savior, spoke Hebrew and taught in Hebrew is encouragement enough. Believers across the world are having their eyes opened to the fact that there has been somewhat of a wrong turn in the infamous Christian faith. The history of faith began with Hebraic roots from (seventh-day) Sabbath keeping and feast observation to eating clean according to Leviticus. Now what we see is the Constantine-inspired religion void of anything Hebrew at all. Paul, the Hebrew speaking Jew would agree.
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A Gateway Language
Learning other languages such as Arabic will come much easier with Hebrew under your belt. According to the Foreign Services, languages such as Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese are estimated to take twice as long to learn than Hebrew. Learning and understanding Hebrew will lay the foundation to picking up other languages, especially those with similar dialects. And not to worry, Hebrew has many loan words from English.
Boosts Your Brain
As I mentioned in another blog post, learning any foreign language is good for the brain. Even if you never go beyond learning the Hebrew Aleph Bet and a few common words, it is a wonderful mental exercise that can help show you three things:
- how a Right-to-Left language works
- how an alphabet without capital letters works
- how do marks put above or below vowels change the sound
Even if you never plan to visit the country of Israel, learning about the culture through its rich language is amazing. Thanks to the internet you can enjoy learning about Hebrew archeology, ancient artifacts and ruins, and history from a biblical point of view. However, if you choose to actually visit, then you’ll be thankful that you can speak the language.
In the English language, there are lots of grammar rules. This vowel pronounced this way when it’s put in a word that way. Or these words are capitalized when put in a sentence that way. Or what about perfect tenses, the joining of ideas with commas and semicolons, and linking ideas with conjunctions?!?!
You’ll be happy to know that the Hebrew language is based on SVO (subject-verb-object) order just like English, so that’s good. But even better, there are only three tenses: present, past and future. On top of that, there are only two genders (masculine and feminine). There is also no present tense for the verb to be. Instead, you’d just say, I happy instead of I am happy. When it comes to vowels, they are pronounced consistently: a=ah, e=ey, i=ee, etc. And last but not least, there are no vowel blends and no consonant clusters.
With this in mind, here are 10 Hebrew words you can start speaking today! These are words you can start using in your every day communication with your family (best place to start). What my family and I have started doing is choosing one new Hebrew word to speak a day. Thank you becomes todah, Mom has become eema, Dad is now abba, and so on.
Add the following Hebrew words to your daily vocabulary, and don’t forget to snag your FREE flashcards below):
Father – Abba (אבא)
Mother – Eema (אמא)
Hello/Goodbye – Shalom (שלום)
Rest – Shabbat (שבת)
Yes – Ken (כן)
No – Lo (לא)
Thank you – Todah (תודה)
You’re Welcome – Bevakasha (בבקשה)
Good – Tov (טוב)
Good Morning – Boker Tov (בוקר טוב)
Psst… if you’re looking for more reliable resources, scroll down to see what we recommend!
Tips for using your flashcards:
- Print on cardstock paper
- Go over them during circle time, together-time, morning routine, etc.
- Place them around different parts of your home for visual purposes
- Print several copies and play a matching game
Please do not share the PDF, that is stealing. You have permission to make as many copies as you need for your household and personal use only. Bless us by sharing this blog post with others!
Our recommendation list:
- Hebrew for Homeschoolers
- The Kefar
- Hebrew Pod 101
- My Hebrew Learning (Instagram)
- Hebrew Language Learning Resources by With the Huddlestons