Hipsters and Hebrew
December 7, 2010
Would you like to know the very last thing I should be doing right now? Writing a blog post. Next week I have two giant finals on Monday, a big paper due on Wednesday, and another paper due on Friday. That means I have this week to labor without ceasing and put my strong, midwestern work ethic into action — studying diligently and with fierce resolve at all times.
So, I shall write you a blog post.
Let’s see — what has happened since I last wrote? Oh, I went to Austin to see Jaci!
You guys, you should all go to Austin! It is such a fun city. I went in the middle of November and it was in the mid-70s, so that’s probably the time to go. I may not have enjoyed Austin quite so much if I had been there in the summer, dying of humidity, heatstroke and hipsters.
Yes, all the cool hipsters of Texas flock to Austin to ride bikes in their skinny jeans. It’s great. Because of Austin’s desire to be unique, they have lots of cool stores. Jaci and I spent pretty much an entire day on South Congress, shopping in cute boutiques with darling dresses and fun t-shirts that we couldn’t afford. (Don’t worry, though, we both managed to purchase just a couple of things.)
Another great thing about Austin is that they have food carts everywhere. Our shopping expedition was hard work and we needed sustenance to maintain. So we stopped for fried avocado (SO good). Come to think of it — Jaci, Josh (her husband), and I managed to stop quite frequently for treats on my Austin trip. We went to a place called Juan in a Million, and Jaci and I both got the “Don Juan” taco. It was only $3.80, so we didn’t realize that we were each ordering an entire platter of potatoes, eggs, bacon and cheese that we could wrap in hot, tasty tortillas. Let me tell you — Juan knows what he is doing when it comes to delicious breakfast.
We went downtown one night because we are still cool and young and hip and love being out in the city with all the weekend party action. Mostly, we shook our heads disapprovingly at girls in short skirts, talked about how we were glad we were wearing our practical, flat boots instead of 4-inch heels, and ate hamburgers.
Anyway, it was a great trip, and Josh and Jaci were wonderful hosts. (I especially think Josh enjoyed having me around — he loved going shopping and holding my purse for me while I took pictures, and listening to Jaci and me talk about the pain of high heels. What a sport.) Austin is super-cool fun times, and I recommend a visit — I mean, look how pretty!
So, now I am trying to finish out my semester and pretend that I know some Hebrew so that I don’t fail my final. It’s been kind of a tough fall, which maybe I’ll blog about later, but one thing that has been so precious (and horribly frustrating) to me is stumbling through Hebrew. It’s always been something I’ve kind of wanted to learn, but it wasn’t until I started the process, that I realized how very meaningful it is to read and hear the Bible in its original language. Even when I don’t fully understand what I am hearing, you can sense the poetry and depth and purposefulness of Hebrew.
Although the ultimate goal in biblical studies is to learn the language in order to translate it, our professor wants us to hear and speak it as well, which I love. We sings songs and read from the text, and answer questions in Hebrew. We are moving very, very quickly — I am amazed at all we’ve done in a semester — and it is hard, but it is so good. I had to translate four verses from Jonah for my homework the other day, and although it was difficult, I was able to do it. Fourteen weeks ago, I didn’t know the Hebrew alphabet. Bless God!
One of the verses we’ve learned is from Psalm 118. I wrote it all out for you, but I can’t figure out how to get old WordPress to accept Hebrew font. So, if you want, you can look at it here (verse 24). In English, we often translate this verse, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
It is interesting, because when you read it in Hebrew, the pronoun we often translate as “it” could just as likely (perhaps more) be translated as “him.” Let us be glad in Him!
Secondly, the word for rejoice is “nagila,” which is a very physical descriptor. We are to literally dance and sing and shout for joy because of the day God has given us.
This is such a good reminder for me lately. Even on days when things are not exciting — when I have homework or work or quiet — I am to rejoice in Him because He has created another day and has allowed me to be a part of it. He has caused the sun to rise, and He has woken me up so that I can rejoice in Him through whatever the day brings. It is a good reminder in the times I tend to think that life is mundane. It’s not. God is always doing a new thing, and this day means we are one step closer to the full redemption He is bringing about through the coming of His kingdom.
OK, I gotta go study and stuff. You know me and how I am never distracted by blogging or Facebook. Or videos of baby monkeys riding on tiny pigs.
Bye, friends. The Lord is a good God with good gifts. “Nagila” in Him today!