My Journey in Learning Hebrew: Finding Tools to Learn the Basics

daily blessings appWhen you want to learn a new language there are several options: immersion or foundational. My issue with immersion is that I am not learning Hebrew to only speak it. My main goal is to read, write and understand it and also speak it. Most apps and learning tools just want you to speak and understand, not read or write. The Hebrew alphabet (aleph bet) is very different than the characters used in the alpha bet I am used to. Even learning Spanish or French uses the same alphabet so figuring out pronunciation is somewhat easy compared to learning a full set of new characters.

So that is where I started. I needed to memorize the new characters, their sounds, as well as the vowels and other accents. There are a lot of similar sounds, similar looking letters, and exceptions to rules, as well as very different looking fonts for the same letters that will all make you say Oy Vey! Once I fully got used to a font set my teacher would introduce another font of the same letters and I would mix them up. Back to the drawing board. I needed to find as many fonts of the aleph bet that I could so I know the variations and can spot them so I know the letter. It is like our capitals, lower case, and script. They all look different. Take our letter “Q” and how different the upper and lower and script fonts are from each other. At least with Hebrew there are only 22 consonants, 8 vowel markers, and 5 final consonants.

Now that I have all the letters figured out (for the most part) I am now learning simple words and phrases to start pulling all the letters and sounds together. It has been super fun and exciting to see it all start to make sense. Below are some tools I have found helpful along the way. I have looked into a lot of language tools but the best ones are the ones that include the Hebrew text along with both the translation and the transliteration (how to pronounce it) as well as a recording of the phrase so you can hear the pronunciation. I have looked and looked for tools that do all 4 and there are not that many out there.

Ma Kore Hebrew Good but the fonts are a bit off because they need base and x height lines to indicate what you are looking at. Also the pronunciation is a bit off such as the letter “tsadi” they pronounce it with a g sound at the end and that is incorrect (per my teacher saying that is a common error.)

Daily Blessings App (By far my favorite) An App that gives you all the traditional blessings with the Hebrew text, transliteration, translation and audio version of the blessing. Great learning tool.

The Mishkan T’filah App (I recommend buying the book) The app is a bit pricey because you have to buy each set of prayers separately. This is also great because it includes the Hebrew text, transliteration, and translation.
The Mishkan T’filah Book

I hope this helps if you are interested in starting your own journey to learn Hebrew.


To see this thread from the beginning click the below links:

My Journey in Learning Hebrew PART 1
My Journey in Learning Hebrew: How I Got Started
My Journey in Learning Hebrew: Finding Tools to Learn the Basics

My Journey in Learning Hebrew: How I got Started

Pray for the Peace of JerusalemI was heading home after dropping my son off at school. I pass by Temple Beth El every day. On this day I thought, “Why not give them a call and ask about Hebrew lessons?” So I quickly mapped the location on my phone and got their number while at the red light in front of the temple. I called and the receptionist exclaimed “Perfect timing! We only do one or two adult Hebrew classes a year and we have one today at 4:15!” I told her, “Sign me up!” I laughed most of the way home as I knew it was not my perfect timing but God’s.

I went to the first class armed with my note pad and pen, early as usual to anything academic related. Once the class started the teacher announced that anyone interested in taking more classes outside of this class that she would love to “give back” to the community by offering her tutoring services for FREE!

WHAT?!!! Again I said, “SIGN ME UP!” Yet another gift from God!

It turned out that I was the only student interested, so my lovely friend Barbara has been tutoring me for the past 2 and a half months. What a blessing she is and as I look at how it all came to be, the clear hand of God has been on everything related to this Jewish Temple allowing me, a Christian into their world to teach me the things of our Elohim. Amazing!


My Journey in Learning Hebrew

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Over the past few months I have had a deep unexplainable urge to learn Hebrew. My journey has been so fascinating that I would like to share with those of you who might be interested in some things I have found to make my journey immeasurably fruitful.

Everyone from my Jewish step-mom, to my sister, to the secretary at my church have all asked “Why?” with some confusion laced in their expression. My first thought was “Why not?” But to say that would be disrespectful. I honestly had no idea. I know if you asked me 6 months ago what my interest in Judaism, Israel, and the Hebrew language was I would have said “slim to none other than the fact that my Christian roots come from Jewish history and that my step family is Jewish.” Fast forward 3 months and all I can think about is Israel. A whole section of my day is reserved for praying for Jerusalem. I am enamored with learning about Jewish tradition and their language. So the question still stands… Why?

I know for sure that one reason I desire to learn to read, write, and speak Hebrew is a need to understand what God meant when the Bible was penned. The words in Hebrew have a much larger breadth of meaning than the translated English words do. Therefor, passages are often literally lost in translation.

The reason for learning the traditions and cultures as they relate to “now” and to the historically understood “then” is to be able to understand the context in which it was written as well as how Jews translate or keep those traditions today and how that applies to me as a YHWH worshiping soul. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.) 🙂

Those two reasons are the only way I can explain it, but deeper than those is something I have no way of explaining. I just feel called to learn and to pray for Israel. As a side note, I am praying for the FINAL peace of Jerusalem, not a “peace treaty” or anything other than the revealed glory of God through the revival of his people.

Over the next few days I am going to delve into my journey and show you YHWH’s guiding and providential hand in it all.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3, ESV)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good. (Psalm 122:6-9, ESV)