New Friends Intro Meme

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Who are you?
- Jewish, American, veteran, Portlander by choice, age 53. Social liberal / libertarian, fiscal conservative / libertarian, pro-Zionist, anti-jihad, queer-friendly. Registered Republican. Co-parent to two wonderful kids, TNG and Bunny.

For those of you who have not run screaming from the room shrieking "Eeeeeek! A Republican!" - thank you for not doing that.

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HTAN: Nouns, Adjectives, Simple Sentences

man M ish
woman F ishah
book M séfer
big gadol gdolah
gdolim gdolot
גָדוֹל גְדוֹלָה
גְדוֹלים גְדוֹלוֹת
small katan ktanah
ktanim ktanot
קַטָן קְטַנָה
קְטַנִים קְטַנוֹת
walking; walks holekh holékhet
holkhim holkhot
הוֹלֵךְ הוֹלֶ֜כֶת
הוֹלְכִים הוֹלְכוֹת
sitting; sits yoshev yoshévet
yoshvim yoshvot
יוֹשֵב יוֹשֶ֜בֶת
יוֹשְבִם יוֹשְבוֹת
the ha- הַ

Vocabulary list:  nouns and adjectives in masculine, feminine, masculine plural, and feminine plural forms.


Adjectives need to agree with the nouns they modify in gender and number.  All adjectives take ‘-im’ in the masculine plural and ‘-ot’ in the feminine plural.  Feminine singular ends in either ‘-ah’ or ‘-et’.

Most nouns follow this pattern too, but there are some exceptions:  some masculine nouns end in ‘-ot’ and some feminine plurals take ‘-im’.  The words for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in the list above are irregular.

The definite article (“the”) is written as a prefix ‘ha-‘.  (Grammatically, the letter following it generally needs a Dagesh.  The rules for this are a little complicated and we don’t need to learn them in detail right now.)  When a definite noun (one with ‘ha-‘) is modified by an adjective, the adjective also needs to take ‘ha-‘.

a great woman  אִשָּה גדוֹלָה

הַסֵּפֶר הַגָּדוֹל
the big book

Now the Hebrew language does not use a word for “is/are” in the present tense.  To make a sentence of the type “(the) noun is adjective” or “(the) noun is noun”, you just put the words together.  (One Hebrew grammar book calls this the “me Tarzan, you Jane” form.)

הַסֵפֶר גָדוֹל
the book is big

You might have noticed that some of the adjectives on this list look suspiciously like verbs.  They are participles - words that describe the doer of an action - and they’re how Hebrew forms the present tense:  “the noun [is] vebing”.  The past and future tenses are a little more complicated, but right now, if you can make adjectives agree with nouns, YOU ARE READY TO START MAKING SENTENCES IN THE PRESENT TENSE.

האשה הולכת.
The woman is walking.

הספרים קטנים.
The books are small.

הנשים יושבות.
The women are sitting.

Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres has left us.

Shimon Peres, former president, former prime minister, former defense minister, former foreign minister, former minister of eight other ministries, the last surviving member of Israel’s founding fathers, and winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize died Wednesday after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He was 93.



And in other news, I am broadening my entertainment horizons. I find I'm starting to develop an interest in manga and anime. I've signed up for Crunchyroll.

Tuesday morning: Work, moving, etc.

So I'm having a couple of people come by tonight to look at furniture items that I posted on Craigslist and, hopefully, take the stuff off my hands for a few dollars. I realize I'm actually looking forward to downsizing: two bedrooms was fine for when Bunny was here, and it was nice to be able to host Yehuda for a week, but it's way more space than I need. I know from past experience that living in a smallish space doesn't make me depressed, but too much junk does.

I don't have a dating relationship at the moment but I'm meeting up with one or two longtime female friends for lunch/dinner later this week, so the companionship will be nice. (Also crushing on my pretty co-worker, but I don't think she's interested in me.) Mainly, I'm glad to have a steady job that will pay the bills (just barely) and will give me a chance to get something better lined up soon.

So overall I'm pretty upbeat about the direction things are going.

HTAN: Letters 'Ayin through Tav



The name of 'Ayin means 'eye', and if you squint a little you might see it as a picture of an eye.  Many speakers treat 'Ayin as a silent letter like Aleph, but its original pronunciation was a glottal stop.
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The name of the letter Tav means a sign or seal.

In pronunciation, Tav is a unique case.  The soft Tav is the main shibboleth of the pronunciation differences between Ashkenazi and Israeli Hebrew: Ashkenazim pronounce it as 's' while Israelis say it as a 't'. In ancient times it probably had the sound of 'th' and was interpreted differently by different populations in later years. (I think of the New Yorker who says "Whaddaya tink?" while the German says "Vat do you sink?")

In Hebrew words that passed into English in early times - usually by way of Latin or Greek - the 'th' spelling was preserved. Hence: English 'Sabbath', Ashkenazi 'Shabbos', Israeli 'Shabbat'.

Updates: 2014 to Present

It's been a busy couple of years for me. I moved back to Portland from San Francisco in early 2014, moving into a place in NW Portland. I earned my ham radio Technician license and my CompTIA A+ certification in that year, joined the Freemasons, and visited Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC.  In 2015 I visited Iraqi Kurdistan, seeing Erbil and Sulemania, and moved to the Hillsdale neighborhood in SW Portland.  In 2016 I visited the African Jewish communities in Uganda and Kenya, and, just recently, earned my EMT certification.  I'm now back in the workforce doing document scanning.

Currently I'm working on a project for Hebrew learners called Hebrew Then and Now.  And I'm back to updating regularly on both LJ as asher63 and DW as asher553.


HTAN - Letters Chet through Samekh



The name comes from an old word meaning 'fence'.  Chet has the sound of a guttural 'ch' like in Scottish 'loch'; it should be pronounced way back in your throat, as if you've got some food stuck in your throat.  Go ahead, don't worry about being rude - it's Hebrew.Collapse )

Standing in the Shadows of Love

A little Motown for your Saturday night.

This 1966 song by the Four Tops was another big hit for the gifted and prolific songrwiting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Their first breakthrough came after Eddie Holland gave up his performing career to join his brother Brian and Lamont Dozier, with 1963's 'Heat Wave' performed by Martha and the Vandellas.

Baritone Levi Stubbs (1936-2008) was the lead singer for the Four Tops but never sought top billing, out of solidarity with his bandmates.

DreamWidth Reboot

It's been over a year since I posted on DW, and I'm thinking it's time to renew my DW presence. I am cross-posting by default, so I expect that my content on DW will largely overlap with - but not entirely duplicate - my content on LJ, and vice versa.

(For the record, I am asher63 [] on LJ and asher553 [] on DW.)

I've added a number of new friends on both journals - welcome! - and I expect to be posting regularly. Shavua tov!

HTAN: Letters Bet through Zayin



The name of the letter Bet means 'house' (the word is 'bayit' in Hebrew) and it has the sound of the letter B; but it is sometimes pronounced V.

Bet is the first of several letters that sometimes need to be written with a dot called a Dagesh in the middle, which can change the sound of the letter. I've written it with Dagesh in this example.
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World Today: 2016-09-22 Thursday

Kenya: Al-Shabaab attack on police station in Garissa County leaves two missing. 'Two policemen are missing after Somali Islamists attacked a police base in northeastern Kenya early on Thursday, a police spokesman said, the latest in a string of cross-border raids by the al Shabaab militia.'

Golan Heights: Syria regime prepares for major operation. Debka reports that 'Six steps by the Assad regime in the last few days, reported by debkafile’s military sources, point to preparations for a massive Syrian army offensive, backed by Hizballah, pro-Iranian Shiite militias and Iranian Rev Guards officers, for clearing the strong rebel presence out of the Syrian Golan. ...'

Iraq: Army claims Shirqat under control. 'Iraq's military backed by air strikes from a U.S.-led coalition on Thursday seized the center of Shirqat, a northern town seen as a stepping stone in the campaign to recapture Mosul from Islamic State.'

USA: Rahami was flagged twice in 2014. 'When Ahmad Khan Rahami returned in March 2014 from a nearly yearlong trip to Pakistan, he was flagged by customs officials, who pulled him out for a secondary screening. Still concerned about his travel, they notified the National Targeting Center, a federal agency that assesses potential threats, two law enforcement officials said. ...'

USA: Islamic State references scrubbed from Chelsea bombing complaint. 'Earlier today, Mike Levine of ABC News tweeted the image above showing a blood-soaked page from Ahmad Khan Rahami’s notebook. The US government has accused Rahami of detonating a bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Sept. 17 and planting three other explosive devices in New York and New Jersey. ... Curiously, the complaint does not include any reference to the Islamic State.'

USA: Stratfor on Chelsea bombing. 'An explosion in New Jersey on Sept. 17 marked the start of a busy two days for grassroots jihadists in the United States — and for the law enforcement officers responding to the attacks. ...' Timeline and article at the link.

Four in the Morning

And I've got that feeling.

Via the indispensable davesmusictank.

Don't know what time it is in your zone, but it's into the 4am hour here, so this was the perfect tune for me this morning. Been up since 3 - my brain just decided it was time to wake up and start nagging me about stuff, so here I am.

Enjoy this great tune and video, and have a great day, wherever you are and whatever time it is there!

HTAN: Aleph and the Vowels



Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and it is silent.Collapse )
ETA:  Another look at the vowels.
אָ ah 'father' (Kamatz) Ashkenazi speakers pronounce this like 'o' or 'aw' in some words.
אֵ ey 'they' (Tsere)
אִי ee 'feel' (Chirek)
אוֹ o 'go' (Cholam) Some Ashkenazi speakers pronounce this almost like 'oy'.
אוּ oo 'fool' (Shuruk)

אַ ah 'father' (Patach)
אֶ eh 'pet' (Segol)
אִ i 'pit' (Chirek)
אֹ o 'for' (Cholam)
אֻ u 'put' (Kubutz)

In addition, there is the silent vowel [אְ] (Sheva) which may be pronounced as a neutral sound ('uh') or not at all.