Hebrew in a couple of hours – well sort of!
Now there was an offer you couldn’t refuse; an Ambassador to the Court of St James inviting to help us with our Hebrew! So twenty five CCJ members, a mixture of clergy and lay, men and women gave him a challenge! The setting was suitably impressive in Cheney Gate at Westminster Abbey. If Sir Thomas More spent his final hours here, we wondered what that might bode for His Excellency, Daniel Taub, Israeli Ambassador, British born and Oxford educated!
With promises that we might break the back of Hebrew in a couple of hours clearly being tongue in cheek there was to be nothing superficial in what turned out to be a brilliant evening of fun, Biblical exposition of a story in Genesis – oh and an little Hebrew to go with it!
The Israeli ambassador is a good teacher- indeed he has all the qualities of an amiable rabbi able to communicate, meet people where they are, and then open up some fascinating and intriguing insights into the Hebrew Scriptures. I guess the group of twenty five might never look at the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah in the same way again! Each section of the story which we read was subject to rabbinic style comment and examination by the Ambassador who cleverly chose a Hebrew word in that section to challenge us and take us on a journey of reflection and enquiry. It was a clever tactic and ingenious didactic technique.
Ultimately the Hebrew 101 class (!) did not hugely further our linguistic ability, but Daniel Taub’s learning is infectious and if nothing else it was a great start.
Mr Ambassador, we may need a revision class, please!