Post 176: Simple Arabic: If you are an English speaker Hebrew will be difficult. But if you are a Hebrew speaker then Arabic will be a snap…well almost a snap

I have been keeping a secret. I have been studying Arabic with my friend Nechama, who has under her belt 30 years AGO of a prior year of College level Arabic. That’s one year in a quality Mid West College in an Arabic English milieu. OKay, it was at the University of Wisconsin and my friend has language agility in spite of being geographically challenged, ( being a child of Wisconsin).

When people hear that I study Arabic, many comment, “Why?” My usual response is that Arabic is spoken by 20% of the Israeli citizenry. However, I now have a rabbinic basis for the absolute need (not in so many words) to study Arabic, using the words the revered  Sham Ma Shmuel. The following points are gathered from his commentary on the parshat Teizte in Divarim.

Yesterday, at my daughter Yehudis Golshevsky the Parsha ha Shavuah  was discussed from the Rav’s writings. She began with a moshul: A king hired some workers and sent them into his orchard and kept the wages in the orchard secret and did not disclose them to them so that they would not forsake the work for which the wages were small and do only the work for which the wages were great.

After the workers came out of the orchard they were paid according to where they worked. The king said, ‘It is a white flower tree; its reward is half a gold piece.’

To a second worker the king said, “That is a pepper tree; its reward is one gold piece.

He asked a third, ‘ Under which tree did you work?’ The worker said, ‘Under this one.’ The king replied, “That is an olive tree; its reward is 200 zuzim.

 The amount to be paid the later workers became ingredients in a hierarchy of labor.

The king said to them, ‘If I had let you know, how would the whole orchard have been cultivated?

It is not God who makes the commandments difficult, but man’s moral weakness (Sefer Chasidim 567).

If the rewards of the mitzvah were revealed for sure if there was a greater reward for this command, I will do it, and because there is only a small reward for that command, I willnot do it.’ What has G-d done. … Even so, G-d has not revealed the commandments, except for two — one the heaviest of the heavy, the other, the lightest of the light, viz. Exodus 20: To honor one’s parents and to send off the mother bird. Every Mitzvah has an effect on Klal Ysrael. What does my speaking to an Arab Israeli  lady have to do with this? It has everything to do with it. When I ask an Israeli Arab lady, “How are you”,  and she smiles and replies, I am fulfilling the mitzvah of kindness. 

I just heard about The First Center Dedicated to Israeli Soldiers in the Old City of Jerusalem

Offering state-of-the-art, contemporary space for inspirational programming in an ancient setting

See the progress below

For Donation Opportunities, please contact



 Pre Excavation                                               Removal of Tiles
Excavation Begins                                                                Archeological Digging
                  Lower Level Revealed                                            Excavation Towards Lower Level
                 Lower Level Dug Deeper                                        Steal Beams for First Floor
                                                                                              Concrete Poured for First Floor                                   


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