The Freedom to be Yourself in Hebrew

Blog | 3 min read
Noa Lara Meir, Citizen Cafè teacher
Noa Lara Meir, Citizen Cafè teacher

With Passover (or Pesach) just around the corner, we have an opportunity to reflect on the themes of the holiday and the way we relate to them personally. At its core, Passover is all about freedom. The holiday encourages us to examine how we can find more ease in various aspects of our lives.
For us, this relates to the journey of teaching and learning Hebrew. How can we as teachers give our students the freedom to explore themselves in a new language and trust in themselves to progress? As students, how can you find more freedom to let yourself play with a new language and make mistakes along the way? There is no single, right answer to those questions.

What is Pesach and what does it symbolize?

Pesach is one of the most important jewish holidays. Almost everybody knows the story – the jewish people were slaves in Egypt. A man named Moses was chosen by God to go and get them out of there. Moses came to Pharaoh and told him to ‘let his people go’, and he obviously said no, and then God sent 10 plagues until the Jewish people were able to escape, and even when the the egyptians got to them, god helped them by splitting the red sea in two and helped them escape safely.
That is a great story, but it is so much more than that.
Pesach has a huge meaning for the jewish people. It’s about trusting God, about never letting obstacles in the way break you, and most importantly- it’s about freedom. It is a yearly reminder that we cannot take our freedom for granted, as we fought so hard so many years ago to get it, and we should apply it in our lives for every step in our way.

How can I apply freedom to myself?

Passover gives us the opportunity to ask questions (there are four that we ask each year during the seder) – even if you don’t get a direct answer (or can’t understand Aramaic). Some questions worth exploring as you keep learning Hebrew are:

  • How can I allow myself to have more fun?
  • How can I remind myself to laugh more at my silly mistakes and pick right back up?
  • How can I trust the natural process of learning a totally new way to communicate and translate the world around me?

How can I just trust the process?

Just like the jewish people escaping Egypt- you just trust. It sounds funny because we only talk about learning a new language and not running away from pharaoh, but we understand that it might be scary to try to learn a whole new way to communicate, especially if it’s to talk with actual native Hebrew speakers. But it is what it is- you trust the process and it will prove itself. And that the whole thing about finding your freedom to learn Hebrew.
Finding those small moments of freedom in a new language is a worthwhile challenge. Learning a new language can test our memory and our patience (especially when learning past tense irregular conjugations), but the moments of success and connection with a new culture are totally worth it!
So, we’d like to wish you a chag sameach (happy holiday) and remind you to keep looking for ways to find more freedom as you continue improving your Hebrew. Don’t forget to laugh, make mistakes, and acknowledge those little moments of success when you remember to use the right word without any effort!

If you haven’t taken the leap yet and joined one of our classes, Passover is the perfect time to start something new. We’ve got new online and in-person Hebrew courses starting this May and we’d love for you to join us!

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