Israel news

Winter Specials! Keep warm with Ulpan-Or Hebrew Programs

Winter is right around the corner and what better way to start the new season then by learning Hebrew! As the weather gets colder, keep your mind warm and running with one of Ulpan Or’s one on one Intensive Immersion Hebrew courses. Curl up with a cup of coffee in a leisurely atmosphere as you discuss Israeli current topics and comprehension with your private teacher. If you are more the adventurous type, we invite you to learn, breathe and experience Jerusalem or Tel Aviv during one of our personalized tours. 

Learning Hebrew while Touring Emek Refaim St. in Jerusalem with “Hebrew To Go” program

 For those living abroad, protects yourself from the snow while studying Hebrew from the comfort of your own kitchen table. Ulpan-Or offers personalized programs online through Skype or telephone that will bring the language straight to you! Special Discounts for Hebrew Programs for November Sign-UpsUlpan-Or offers special winter season 10% discount for those who register for Ulpan-Or Hebrew programs in November!
  • Additional 5% discount for New Immigrants- Olim Khadashim!
Programs include: Contact us and find out and more… Happy Winter! Khoref Tov!

Ulpan-Or’s free online Hebrew Course contest – The Awards!

Ulpan-Or’s free online Hebrew Course contest – The Awards!Our big Facebook contest has got to a sweet end! To those of you who haven’t been here when we had this contest, here is a short remainder of it and the announcement of the winners! At Ulpan-Or, our online one-on-one Hebrew courses have helped thousands of students learn the Hebrew language. In this contest we gave you a chance to win a free online Hebrew course! In the recent holidays, Ulpan-Or launched a Facebook contest to win a free online Hebrew course AND a three month subscription to E-tone® newspaper for learning Hebrew at the speed of light.After going over more than 60 creative post on our wall, and viewing 5 videos of “Why I love Hebrew” here is the announcement we’ve posted with the contest winners:“We are delighted to inform that our competition has come to an end and we are happy to announce the winners: 1st placeJudy Rey Wasserman who posted a lovely video showing the connection between the art she does and the Hebrew language. Judy – congratulations! You have won 1 month GDL (Guide Distance Learning) Hebrew course AND 3 months E-tone® subscription. Kol Hakavod!!Watch Judy’s Video Here! 2nd place – Ray Elias! Who wrote a beautiful short post on our wall and will share his Hebrew with the kids he teaches!!! You win a free 3 months E-Tone® subscription! Kol Hakavod!! 3rd placeSven Lauch! Who was just plain funny and cool!! Kol Hakavod to you as well!!! You win a free 1 month E-Tone® subscription! Kol Hakavod!! And to all the others, thank you so much for taking part in our competition! We appreciate all your kind words and wish you the best of luck in the future!!! Stay connected to our page and enjoy some more special offers and discounts!All of you who participated in the contest (posted on our wall+ sent contact info) will get a 5% discount when ordering an Online Hebrew course (GDL)! this discount will hold till Nov. 19 2011. We wish you all Shana Tova and remember, we are always here for you to help with learning Hebrew in every way you have on your mind- Online Hebrew, Hebrew programs in our classes in Israel, Hebrew self-study kits and more!LE’HITRAOT!!

What do Hebrew names in the Bible mean?

Hebrew names of people mentioned in the Bible have meaning. But this meaning becomes clear only when reading the Bible in Hebrew, since these names originate from Hebrew roots. Besides the Modern Hebrew that we usually hear now days, we all know that biblical Hebrew is thousands of years old and many Hebrew names and Hebrew phrases have been used for centuries. This is why Hebrew is so special- you experience a spoken language in the year 2011 that combines ancient roots, holy components and modern ingredients, all in one fabulous language. Because of this unique quality of Hebrew, we are able to explore the roots of the original Hebrew names from the Bible and understand why they were given and what does the text of their announcement really wants to teach us. Here are three examples, out of many that we have in the Bible. 1] Learn about the Hebrew name Adam – father of mankind. EnglishThen the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2, 7)Hebrewוַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם, עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו, נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים; וַיְהִי הָאָדָם, לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה. 
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 Transliteration VAYITZER ADONAY ELOHIM ET HA’ADAM AFAR MIN HA’ADAMAH, VAYIPAKH BE’APAV NISHMAT KHAYIM. VAY’HEE HA’ADAM LE’NEFESH KHAYAH. G-d created man from the dust of the ground.Only in Hebrew can one understand the meaning of the name – Adam originated from the word ground – Adama. (“Adama” in Hebrew is “ground”). Adama –> Adam 2] Learn about the Hebrew name Eve – mother of mankind. English And the man called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3, 20) Hebrewוַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ, חַוָּה: כִּי הִוא הָיְתָה, אֵם כָּל-חָי 
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 TransliterationVA’YIKRAH HA’ADAM SHEM ISHTO KHAVAH. KEE HEE HA’YTAH EM KOL KHAY. Only in Hebrew can one understand the meaning of Adam’s wife name – Khavah as being the mother of all living, originated from the word Khay(“Khay” in Hebrew is “living”). Khay –> KhavaIt is impossible to deduce it from English: “Living” –>“Eve” 3] Learn about the Hebrew name Yitzhak (Isaac) – son of Abraham and Sarah. English Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart: ‘Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?’ And Abraham said unto God: ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!’ And God said: ‘Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. (Genesis 17, 17-19)
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 Hebrewוַיִּפֹּל אַבְרָהָם עַל-פָּנָיו, וַיִּצְחָק; וַיֹּאמֶר בְּלִבּוֹ, הַלְּבֶן מֵאָה-שָׁנָה יִוָּלֵד, וְאִם-שָׂרָה, הֲבַת-תִּשְׁעִים שָׁנָה תֵּלֵד.וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם, אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים: לוּ יִשְׁמָעֵאל, יִחְיֶה לְפָנֶיךָ.וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, אֲבָל שָׂרָה אִשְׁתְּךָ יֹלֶדֶת לְךָ בֵּן, וְקָרָאתָ אֶת-שְׁמוֹ, יִצְחָק; וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אִתּוֹ לִבְרִית עוֹלָם, לְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו. TransliterationVA’YIPOL AVRAHAM AL PANAV VA’YITZHAK (laughed);VA’YOMER BE’LIBO, HA’L’VEN MEAH-SHANAH YIVALED, VE’IM SARAH, HABAT TISH’IM SHANAH TELED.VA’YOMER AVRAHAM EL-ELOHIM: LOU YISHMAEL YIKHYEH LE’FANEIKHA.VA’YOMER ELOHIM, AVAL SARAH ISHT’KHA YOLEDET L’KHA BEN, VE’KARATA ET-SHMO, YITZHAK (will laugh).VA’HAKIMOTI ET-BRITI ITO LIVRIT OLAM, LE’ZAR’O AKHARAV.G-d told Abraham to call his son Yitzhak (Isaac in English)   
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  Only in Hebrew can one understand the meaning of the name – Yitzhak. It was given by G-d following the laughter of Abraham (Va’Yitzhak)“Va’Yitzhak” in Hebrew is “laughed”“Yitzhak” in Hebrew is “will laugh” Va’Yitzhak —> Yitzhak  

Hebrew, Cultures and Religions

Hebrew, cultures and religions – How Buddhism fits in between?

Yoshiaki Tsuji, at Ulpan-Or

Learning Hebrew through the culture point of view, as we implement in our Hebrew classes in Ulpan-Or, usually brings out amazing outcomes. We got a good example for that from our friend and student – Yoshiaki Tsuji from Japan, or as we call him in Israel, Yossi. Yossi wrote a great speech about an Israeli culture experience, where he got asked about believes and tradition. He decided to write his graduation Hebrew speech about it, as you will read further ahead. So whether you are Christian, Jewish or Buddhist, take a few minutes to read Yossi’s Hebrew article about Buddhism, G-D and philosophy, and enjoy the way he used fantastic Hebrew words and Hebrew phrases as if he was a “Sabra”! Writing Hebrew and reading Hebrew is only a part of what our students practice in their Hebrew classes at our Jerusalem Ulpan, Tel Aviv Ulpan or Online Hebrew courses. At Ulpan-Or, we emphasis the crucial importance of speaking Hebrew as a basic component for gaining a real progress in Hebrew learning experience. This is why our students, like Yossi did, write their own Hebrew speech and then practice on reading out loud their Hebrew thoughts in the graduation ceremony at the end of the course. This way we get our students to build their confidence in Hebrew speaking in front of people, and when they finish the course, they are able to communicate with Israelis in their local language. Yossi, you did it big time! Mazal Tov, and enjoy Yossi’s speech:  

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נראה לי,למרבה המזל, רוב הישראלים מעוניינים ביפן, בייחוד בתרבות. אפילו כשפתחתי את החשבון הבנקאי, העובדת שאלה אותי פתאום. מה הבדל בין היהדות והבודהיזם? אף על פי שהשאלה די גדולה ויכול להיות שיקח כמה שנים כדי לענות, אני מנסה לתת כאן תשובה קצרה. קודם כל, צריך לדעת שעברו הרבה שנים מאז שנולד הבודוהיזם, והתקדם השתנה.עכשיו אני מתרכז בבודוהיזם יפני אחד, דווקא קבוצה מסיימת.הדבר החשוב ביותר הוא שאין אלוהים כמו ביהדות, בנצרות, ובאסלאם, למרות שיש “חוק” בבודוהיזם.אם כך, מי הוא בודה? בודה לא נביא, כיוון שהוא לא קיבל תורה מסיני, ולא מסר דברי אלוהים. משמעות המלה בודה “מי שידע” או “היודע” לבד, בלי עזרת אלוהים. תפיסת “בודה” השתנתה ומגוונת, בזמן האחרון, מהמאה החמישית, חשבו שיש הרבה “בודה”, ויש סוגים שנים של בודה, כאן הפך לסמל, שם הפך לחוק, ולפעמים לעולם עצמו.בנוגע לספרים, אין ספר כמו תנייך. יש ספרים שנחשבים חשובים אבל אין ספר משותף לכל הבודהיסטים.אני חושב שזאת הסיבה שיש הרבה םוגי בודהיזם.בקיצור, לדעתי, הבודהיזם היא לא דת כמו היהדות. היא דווקא דומה יותר לפילוסופיה ודרך מחשבה, שאפילו הופכת את כל תפיסת העולם והחיים לגמרי. יוסי מיפן

It seems to me, luckily, that most Israelis are interested in Japan, mainly in the culture. Even when I opened a bank account, the teller asked me suddenly: what’s the difference between Judaism and Buddhism? Even though it’s a pretty big question and it may take several years to answer, I’ll try to give a short answer here. First of all, you should know that it’s been many years since Buddhism was born, and it has progressed and changed. Now I focus on one kind of Japanese Buddhism, just one particular group. The most important thing is that there is no god like in Judaism, in Christianity and in Islam, even though Buddhism has “a law”. So, who is Buddha? Buddha isn’t a prophet, because he didn’t receive “Torah from Sinay”, and didn’t pass on the words of god. The meaning of the word ‘Buddha’ is “he who knew” or “the knower” on his own, without the help of god. The perception of Buddha has changed and it is diverse. Since the 5th century, they have believed that there are many Buddhas, and there are different kinds of Buddhas: in one place he became a symbol, in another he became a law, and sometimes the world itself. Regarding scripture, there is no book like the bible. There are books that are regarded as important but there is no book common to all Buddhists. I think that this is why there are many kinds of Buddhism. All in all, I think that Buddhism is not a religion like Judaism. It’s actually more like a philosophy and a way of thought, which transforms your whole viewpoint and life upside down. Yossi from Japan [donotprint]You can [print_link][/donotprint]

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