Our first Hebrew class begins on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 from 7-8 p.m., and we will meet once per week for 20 weeks. Please bring your calendar to the first class and we will set our schedule.
Though the first class concerns Basic Hebrew, our goal is not simply to read Hebrew. Jewish mysticism is woven through this Hebrew class and every class offered through Mystic Torah. We use Jewish Mystical teachings to help us deepen our understanding of the material that we study and to facilitate personal integration of the information.
For example, did you know that Biblical Hebrew is considered lashon hachodesh, a Holy Language? And if you did know that, have you ever wondered why?
There are twenty two letters in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and Jewish mysticism teaches that all of them were created before the world came into existence. Take a moment and imagine what that means: Each letter was created before the world that you and I live in was created. Is there really a primordial world as the mystics teach? What does it say about us if we believe this?
Each letter is believed to be a primal spiritual force, so profound but so subtle, that these forces are not immediately obvious to any of us or even completely knowable. Mystical insights into each letter and the words that they form have been collected over hundreds, maybe thousands of years through the contribution of great Jewish thinkers and mystics.
Let’s think together about the letter shin, the twenty-first letter in the Aleph-Bet which has the numerical values of 300.. Shin is the first letter of words that refer to many sacred things, times and places. Shin begins the word Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. It also begins the word Shalom, a word that does not just mean peace, but also implies wholeness and completeness.
Shalom is also the most common greeting in Hebrew-a way to say hello or goodbye. So when you wish someone “Shalom,” you are wishing peace, wholeness and well-being for that person. When we say goodbye at the end of our encounter with another shalom, we might be aware that the ending is connected to the beginning through the use of the same word, shalom. It is like an echo of the definition of shalom which includes the sense of wholeness, bringing together all the different parts into oneness.There is so much more that we could think about regarding the word shalom and its letters, and this is an example of our primary goal of our Hebrew class. This Hebrew class and other classes from Mystic Torah offer you a contemporary way to connect to a very ancient culture and to the rich legacy of Jewish wisdom, understanding and practices left to us by our families and generations past.
Shalom for now,