06/11/2009 86 °F
The Global Language Monitor reports that the English language reached its 1 millionth word today. I probably don't even know a tenth of those words but if I was learning English instead of Hebrew that piece of information would probably be really daunting. The last few days of Ulpan have been a lot of review. We also have learned a lot of new verbs mostly relating to transportation. And as an added bonus it seems like I have been learning at least a word or two in Russian a day too.
This week is Hebrew Book Week in Israel. In cities all over Israel are outdoor book fairs. Bookstores have huge sales on every book in the store. The center of malls are lined with special tables filled with all kinds of new and used books. This year marks Tel Aviv's 100 year anniversary so four books relating to Tel Aviv's history were released for this occasion in the city's honor. A journalist from the Haaretz publication had this to say: "Only 100 years have passed since the holy tongue awoke from its millennia of sleep, but today it is blossoming in literature, constantly renewing and refreshing itself with the spirit of nonsense and wisdom, an ageless beauty that many see as the most outstanding achievement of the Jewish people's return to its land. In other languages, too, Israeli literature has become a superpower: You can find David Grossman and Zeruya Shalev in bookstores in dozens of countries, along with A.B. Yehoshua, Etgar Keret, Yehudit Katzir and Amos Oz. They are providing millions of people with possible answers to the growing question of how it is possible to be an Israeli." I stood for an hour rumaging through stacks of beautiful new kids books in Hebrew. The book maniac in me wanted to buy all the books I could carry but based on my level of reading comprehension so far, it would be to embarrassing to buy board books comparable to Goodnight Moon and One Happy Puppy.
Honored this week was a fifth grader from Jerusalem who read a record 400 books over the past year. I will be happy if I read that many books in my whole lifetime! You can read the full article here: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=35417