Sunday, October 12, 2008

The experience of names

Today's lesson was very full. After the greeting of the door keeper and the forming of the circle and the mutual greetings and the thanksgiving prayer, my short section began with the blocks - selecting the five (and guarding against using the only mem-sofit) for Abrm and Abrhm and briefly presenting them on the floor in the circle, moving them around so that all could see. Then I put the laminated children's names on the floor, right side up. They paused, counting letters first and deciding 'my name can't be there - too few letters'. But then I said that the vowels are missing (except for the helper letters - the mater lectiones). Yes I did use that big word in Latin, but it didn't seem to phase anyone. Then they discovered that the names were in English on the back - so the game was quickly short-circuited.

Then I showed them a page of the English Hebrew Bible in parallel. One comment that arose was: 'Nice, you can see the relationship between the English and Hebrew'. (The Bible is the Parallel Bible, Hebrew on the left, English on the Right, Biblica Hebraica Leningradensis and the KJV.) Not an interlinear - though some of them are very helpful. A Parallel Hebrew-English Bible is online here.

We had two new children in the class today - so some new name tags must be created for Sophie ספי (wisdom חכמה) and Nick ניקלס (one who overcomes - or ruler of the people). Both are Greek names. May we indeed have wisdom and triumph with all the necessary tension of humility that must come between them.

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