Why You Should Have a Study Buddy for Hebrew

If you haven’t been brought up in an observant Jewish home and have gone to Yeshiva, you might not know that traditionally, students of Biblical Hebrew were assigned another student with whom to study.

This concept is call Hav-rutah  חַבְרוּתָא, in Hebrew aka “the buddy system.”  Havrutah means  “friendship”.  Rabbis would have pairs of students analyze, discuss, and debate verses in the Bible. Robbis would pair students who had similar knowledge and ability, but a little different, so one could teach the other.  This study method is practiced at work, home and even on vacation.

Unlike a teacher-student relationship, in which the student memorizes and repeats the material back in tests like a parrot, havrutah-style learning puts each student in driver’s seat.  He or she analyzes the text,  organizing his thoughts into logical arguments, explaining his or her reasoning to the partner, hearing out the partner’s reasoning, and questioning and sharpening each other’s ideas, often arriving at entirely new insights into the meaning of the text.

So how does this work in learning Hebrew?  A language is the road between two people where they can share their ideas, feelings.  If you have nobody to talk to, the language isn’t real.  It’s just a code you are learning like C++.

You and your partner can make your own little Hebrew world where mistakes are allowed.  As long as you can understand your partner, then you’re ok.  You use English or whatever to get by.  Use each Hebrew word that you learn in conversation with each other.  Learn how to use the Hebrew typefont and send emails to each other with the Hebrew words that you have learned. You play with the language together.  One of you will be stronger in Hebrew.  By helping your partner, your Hebrew becomes stronger.

So you don’t know of anyone in your town who wants to learn Hebrew?  So what!  You have the whole world with the internet.  Find someone and use Skype.

So that is how the E-Vreet course works.  If you haven’t signed up for a course, now’s your chance.  It’s a Udemy course called Learn Hebrew through the Bible, and I should say, Learn Hebrew with your Havrutah.


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