Barukh Haba (welcome) to the world of Hebrew language. Ideally, you would have the funding and privilege to move to Israel for five to ten years and live in an environment in which the Israelis only spoke to you in Hebrew. They would be kind enough to work with you and help you with mistakes in your speaking in nothing but a loving manner. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a utopia. You are probably much like me, lacking the funding for such an endeavor. For the time I spent in Israel, I was forced to scrimp and save for several years. Even if the finances were not an issue, once you arrived, you would be thrust into Israeli society. Just to give you a heads up, Israelis are very kind hearted, sensitive people, but if you are not family or a close friend, it is likely that they will come across as course and blunt. Between the mixture of Israeli politics and the straight forwardness of Hebrew, there is little to no patience. Fear not, and do not be dismayed. There still remains hope for you to learn the language of the prophets.
Today’s resource is great for those who find themselves infatuated with the deep, mystifying, kabbalistic concept of FREE. That’s right, F-R-E-E. Mechon Mamre offers the biblical text coupled with the JPS translation. Audio files accompany the text and are available to be streamed or downloaded to your computer for easy listening on the go. When it comes to readings of the entire Hebrew bible, this is the best, and again, it’s free. The only readings that I have found that are of higher quality are Randall Buth’s “500 Friends.” Unfortunately, his only covers select readings, and not the entire bible. More on his products later.
Until next time, have fun listening!
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