Tag Archives: hebrew

Rev: Jour des Fourmis, and Lesson: Biblical Hebrew

First, the review of

Le Jour des fourmisLe Jour des fourmis by Bernard Werber

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found this book disappointing due to the increased spiritualism and preachiness, which his first book in this series touched on, but not nearly as heavily. He also gets a few things wrong that begin to become annoying by the end of the book.

J’ai trouvé ce livre pas a mon gout parce que le spiritualisme et ses efforts de nous dire quoi penser m’ont gêné. Ce n’était pas si lourd dans son premier livre. Aussi, il a raté quelques chose qui me commencé à gêner par le fin du livre.

4 Janvier, 12016 èH

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Now, the Biblical Hebrew lesson:

Look up the Hebrew for the first verse of Genesis (“Bereishit” in Hebrew, which is not even remotely the correct translation!!), here is the first sentence (will find image of where Hebrew keyboard letters are located):

Bereishit/B’reishit/B’reshit 1:1

Bereishit bara Elohim ( et ) haShamaim ve(Et) haAretz.
In Beginning created God (vrb-obj) theHeavens and(vrb-obj) theEarth.

Ok, vrb-obj is what I use for the “word” ET. You’ll notice that it always comes between a verb and the word HA (HA = the, and sometimes the word HA becomes HE in front of words like Harim=Mountains, or other words that also start with an H), the definite article, which, yes, is the object of the verb.

ET is a ‘filler’ word that only tells you ‘here comes a noun which is the object of the verb you just saw’ -so many folks consider the word ET to be useless (the inventors of Modern Israeli Hebrew actually wanted to drop the word ET from Israeli Hebrew grammar!! 😦 For me, ok, yes that does simplify the grammar, but it also means you lose the connection with ancient Hebrew, and also lose an important grammatical indicator, imho…).

I’m sure you can find long comments on the use or lack there of the connector-word ET online probably. I was glad to have ignored my first Rabbi’s advice (ok, the conversion failed, so maybe not so glad back then) and studied both MIH and biblical Hebrew, because now you can see the difference that a little non-word word can make! 🙂

If one has had time to chew on Bereshit 1:1, now it is time to learn by heart the entire Alef-Bet, or just start by learning the letters you need to read that first verse:
Tav (BRShT),
Mem Sofit (the final version of the letter Mem: 5 letters change when they come at the end of a word),
Mem, and
Tzadi Sofit (final Tzadi).

Let me start with a story (you can undoubtedly find it online as well):
Aleph, the first letter, wanted to know why the Torah starts with a Bet. If you look at the letter Bet, you see that it is open on three sides, while Aleph is sort of like a slanty H: closed. Bet is also the word that means ‘House’ so starting the Torah with the letter Bet means that the entire Bible is like a home: open and welcoming.

Also, on YouTube, if you can see videos, The Moshav Band had a video with the words sung pretty slowly, so easy to learn.
My first lesson is to find that video and sing the first verse of the song: Bereshit, Bara Elohim (In Beginning, Created God)
and the next day, or when you have learned those first 3 words, move on to the next verse of the song: Et HaShamaim.


4 Jan. 12016 HE

Does this Climactic Chapter Work?

Dear Readers,

This is my 2nd draft of Hubris and Hemlock, a very short novel (40k words or 150 pages), which is Women’s Fiction, so: 1. Relationships are Key, and 2. The Heroine saves Herself.  But my question, before I go to polishing the prose, is: Does the plot hold your interest?    Especially Chapter 17, the climactic chapter.

I plan to post the last chapter shortly, but it is just a wrap-up, so if chapter 17 doesn’t work, neither will chapter 18.

Thank you for any feedback,


Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

23 March, 12016 HE