Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get Ready

One thing that is really neat is that everyone is getting ready for Rosh Hashana. Coke bottles that say Chag Sameach are 1/4 litre larger than normal. Clerks in stores have well wishes for the New Year. The stores are well stocked with the simanim for Rosh Hashanah. Today I even saw prepackaged fish heads.

Ulpan is no exception. We have been learning the hebrew words for various customs and songs associated with Rosh Hashanah. Today was our last day before break. Next week we only have Ulpan on Thursday. We had an Ulpan party. Some Rabbi gave a dvar Torah before blow shofar. Geveret (my teacher) intervened and made him speak in English when she noticed that he was using lots of words we had not learned yet. Each class prepared something. There was singing, greetings and welll wishes for the new year, explanati0n of customs and a game of 20 questions. They had a keyboard player for entertainment. He started with the traditional Jewish songs which made the teachers and retirees happy. He then moved into some more modern Jewish music. There was food and drinks as well. It was kind of like something I would expect in grade school. It was still a nice idea to try to do something meaningful together.

We found out this morning that the principle wants to meet with our Ulpan class. This could be interesting as she only talks to us in Hebrew. Our class can be best described as a train. Students get on and off as they please, especially after the morning break and at noon. While there are always cases for people leaving (such as the girl who needs to leave 45 minutes early or she will not get home until after 6:00), we have a particularly high concentration in our class. It makes it hard for the class to move forward, especially when the travellers don't do their homework. I suspect part of the problem is there is no Aleph (beginner) class in Jerusalem or Bet Shemesh proper. This week class was moved from 5 days a week to 4 days so people had oppurunities to take care of errands. It has not helpped the attendance in our class. There is a rumour that there will be an even more beginner class after the Chagim. I am up for the challenge of a more advance class. I just hope I can keep my teacher.

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