by Moshe Cohen (’17)

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This past week, the students of Morah Haibi’s Hebrew Ulpan class got put to the test. The Ulpan elective offers students the chance to learn conversational Hebrew; students finish with the ability to have a full conversation about topics ranging from ordering a taxi to asking for a new pair of headphones on your flight. For the last class of the year, Morah Haibi brought her students across the street to the famed Golan Heights restuarant, where the boys had to order their food in Hebrew. Words like water bottle had to be replaced with bakbuk mayim. Mixed within the humor of seeing your classmates order in a completely different language was a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of “Hey, I can actually do something in Hebrew. That is really cool.”

This activity was not only fun and educational but also spiritual. In the middle of our meal, our Head of School, Rabbi Kahn, and our Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Taubes, delivered divrei Torah. Both speakers shared great messages. Rabbi Kahn shared a message about knowing where you come from and where you’re going, and about self-reflection and seeing how much we have accomplished in this Ulpan year. Rabbi Taubes quoted a Rambam, who states that speaking Lashon HaKodesh is its own inherent mitzvah. The students gained not only the skills to be able to function in a Hebrew speaking environment, but also the ability to serve Hashem better because of the Ulpan class. After the students bentsched, they played the infamous game רביעיות (Go Fish) and had an incredible time feeling like “real Israelis.”

 

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