Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Learning Kabbalah

I planned two last visits to my Hebrew teacher before leaving to find a regular class this fall, less expensive than a private tutor.

When I explained my plans to Gilla today, however, she invited me to join a conversation group or a sliding-scale class of several students.

"There are some teachers who just present biblical Hebrew, without the Kabalistic meaning of the text," she warned.

She also invited me to a "kalabat-shabat" this Friday evening.

It looks as if leaving her is not an option. I'm not just her student but a disciple, and religious mentors do not give up their disciples easily.

At my very first lesson last November, when she spent a half hour introducing the letter Aleph, I realized that I was going to be learning far more than just the Hebrew language.

In fact, there are prayers to be said when sitting down to study Hebrew (in fact, when starting to do anything). It's a whole culture I have entered, not just a language class.

My Hebrew teacher turns out to be a poet and a cross between a spiritual director and a therapist.

No comments: