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Ulpan Certificate

Today was my last of the 30 hebrew lessons for Ulpan1. Since a long long time, this 8 month beginners course brought back for me the feeling of never doing enough to please the teacher. After studying physics at university, easily becoming a PhD and associate professor, teaching routinely to master and doctoral courses, I had almost forgotten how it feels to learn something really challenging. And hebrew is extremely challenging, at least for someone like me who has been familiar only with indo-european languages. So every little new sentence that I managed to express, any short question by the teacher I could answer, was a little success, brought me real dopamine kicks and congrats from our course leader Orli. The hebrew letters, which seemed initially more cryptic than Egyptian hiroglyphs, are now pretty familiar to me, at least the printed ones. I can read text, slowly, but understandably for a native Israeli. So in theory, I could work in a kindergarden somewhere in Rihon-Le-Zion, Mizpe Ramon, Beersheva or Rejhovot, simply reading fairy-tales to the kids.

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Despite the hardship with all the new and unknown details of the Hebrew language, the enigmatic pronouncation of the consonants without proper vowels, the merging of prepositions with the nouns, the right-to-left writing, I already now start to miss my weekly course. I will miss the moments of feeling success with something that is really hard to achieve. I now have 6 month for self-learning and deepening my skills with open classes, befor after summer the advanced level Ulpan2 will start. I hope I will meet again the students and teacher (talmidim ve ha-mora) with whom I developed a real friendship during the last 8 month.

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