Hebrew Myths and Culture: Prophets and Kings
Learning to Write Hebrew in Five Lessons
These lessons should supplement the stories from the books of the Bible. They can be interspersed among the stories, i.e., one lesson per week, or the teacher may wish to devote an entire week of lessons to the writing of Hebrew. One need not limit oneself to only five lessons, if there is sufficient interest, one could carry on with these exercises in the weeks ahead to write more passages from the first lines of Genesis.
Hebrew is read from right to left, and the letters are consonants (vowels are implied and designated by additional markings). In the example above taken from the first line of the book of Genesis, the first word BERESHIT (in the beginning) is on the far right in colored letters. Beginning on the right margin, the first letter is Beth ( ), and the second letter of the word, moving from right to left, is Resh ( ). See how there is no vowel in the first syllable-it is implied.
Lessons 1 to 3
A very effective and beautiful way to do this is to cut painting paper into large squares about 12" x 12". Cut 23 squares like this---one for each letter of the alphabet. Now paint a deep red background (or another color if you wish) upon the entire surface of each of the squares, and allow to dry. At almost any art supply store, you can purchase an inexpensive jar of gold gouache. Winsor Newton makes a small 30ml. jar of gold designers gouache that costs about $6. The paint is water soluble, and when dry, looks like gold metal. We will use this to paint the letters in gold upon the red background. Three lessons should be enough time to paint all of the Hebrew letters.
First have the student practice a large shape of the letter (such as Aleph) on a chalkboard or large sheet of paper with a crayon. The letter will be painted about 9 inches tall, so practice it on the paper as many times as necessary until the student is ready to paint it in gold on the red painted paper.
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