Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, Inc.

Index to Hebrew Study Aids

Syllabus for Biblical Hebrew I

        Note that this course, especially this syllabus is a work in 
   progress. As it has not yet been accepted by a college or 
   university, it cannot be considered official or accredited.  When 
   this course is hosted by such an institution, certain aspects are 
   subject to change, and this syllabus will look much more 
   complete, reflecting the ideals and policies of such an 
   institution.  If such an institution is non-religious, this 
   course and syllabus could be reworked very quickly to make it 
   completely religiously neutral.  Otherwise, the way it is written 
   will be appropriate for anyone who honors the God of Abraham.  

        Note also that the existence of this course and syllabus 
   does not guarantee that the instructor will be able to guide 
   every interested student through personally.  One wishing for the 
   instructor to be present as a real distance-education instructor 
   must contact him and set up an arrangement.  Otherwise, anyone 
   who has access to this material may go through the class as an 
   observer, doing the work and taking the mock examinations as a 
   method of self-testing.  

   Instructor Information:  
   Name:  Ray McAllister, PhD 
   Phone:  (269) 471 7422 (not after 10 pm Eastern Time)
   8936 Grove Ave. 
   Berrien Springs, MI 49103 

   Course Information

   Credits:  2 semester, 3 quarter (135 hours of work expected of 
   each student.) 

   Course Description

   Overall description
   Development of reading ability involving accurate, fluent 
   pronunciation of Biblical Hebrew
   Working knowledge of the fundamentals of biblical Hebrew grammar 
   and syntax
   Mastery of biblical Hebrew vocabulary (Mitchell down to 200 
   Dexterity in use of lexical aids.
   Mastery of the strong verb.

   Course Format

        This course involves Braille text materials that can be 
   embossed or read on a refreshable Braille display.  Some 
   materials are in mp3 format.  Lecture materials may also be in 
   standard text format with both Unicode Hebrew and 
   transliterations that a screen reader should pronounce with 
   reasonable accuracy.  Drop Box, e-mail, and possibly Facebook may 
   be used for handling class work.  

   Course Vision:  

        Every student shall have a life-changing encounter with God 
   through the study of Hebrew.  

   Course Objectives

        This is a basic, beginning Hebrew course, designed to take 
   the student through the material of Weingreen up to the weak 
   verb.  The successful student will be able to 

   1.  Experience love for our one, true God on a deeper and fuller 
   level. (Deut 6:4, 5) 

   2.  Celebrate the beauty and intricacy of Hebrew from the heart. 
   (Deut 6:6) 

   3.  Understand basic Hebrew grammar and vocabulary well enough to 
   teach another individual. (Deut 6:7a) 

   4. read aloud from the Hebrew text with basic understanding which 
   is commensurate with the degree of difficulty found in the 
   passage. (Deut 6:7b) 

   5. utilize appropriate audio,  printed, and computer aids & 
   resources which will increase the student's ability to continue 
   using his/her knowledge of Biblical Hebrew in the future.

   6.  Apply to general spiritual growth principles like faith and 
   perseverance which are learned in proper Hebrew study. 
   (Deut 6:8a) 

   7.  Synthesize a practical model for using Hebrew to deepen one's 
   knowledge and overall spiritual experience. (Deut 6:8b) 

   8.  Employ simple Hebrew study, singing, and prayer in worship of 
   the God of all language spoken and unspoken. (Deut 6:8b) 

   9.  Direct one's household with spiritual principles and truths 
   gained from study of Biblical Hebrew. (Deut 6:9) 

   Text books  (All of these should be offered free of charge to the 
   blind under the Chafee AMendment of US Copyright Law from the 
   listed resources.) 

   1. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Full complete volume of the 
   BHS or individual fascicles) The blind will wish to acquire the 
   "BHS, Pointed, Unaccented, with Shevas" folder from Bartimaeus 
   Alliance of the Blind or Optasia,  Bartimaeus offers downloadable 
   resources, while Optasia offers a DVD ROM to mail with everything 
   on it.  

   2. A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew, Second Edition, by 
   J.  WEINGREEN, M.A., Ph.D. University Press, Oxford, England, 
   Copyright 1959,Transcribed in English and Hebrew Braille, 
   originally by Hannah C.  Jaffe, LA, CA, for the Jewish Braille 
   Institute of America, 110 E.  30th St., New York, NY, 10016, 
   1979. Revised 2013 by Sarah J.  Blake and theBraille Hebrew 
   Grammar Project members for the Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, 

   3. A Morphology of Hebrew Verbs AND Nouns, Compiled and Edited by 
   Sarah Blake LaRose, Based on, A Biblical Hebrew Reference 
    Grammar, by Christo H.J.  van der Merwe et al., (Sheffield, 
   1999). Published in Braille by the Bartimaeus Alliance of the 
   Blind, 2014.

   4.  Larry A. Mitchel, A Student's Vocabulary for Biblical Hebrew 
   and Aramaic. Grand 	Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.  The blind need not 
   purchase this book as the vocabulary needed for this course is 
   included, excerpted from this book, in the lessons.  

   5.  The Hebrew Bible, read by Abraham Shmuelof, available from 
   Optasia, the Internet Archive, by link from Bartimaeus Group, etc.

   6.  Hebrew-English Lexicon, and Hebrew OT with Parsing, From 
   Findit Bible Software, Amarican Bible Sosiety, C1994, CD-ROM, 
   Edited and Transcribed by Ray W.  McAllister, Ph.D., and 
   available from Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind and from Optasia. 

   7.  JPS HOLY SCRIPTURES 1917 (English), originally published by 
   the Jewish Publication Society, 1917, available also from 
   Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind or Optasia.  

   8.  Transliterated Hebrew Bible, as made available to the blind 
   by Bartimaeus Alliance of the blind and also by Optasia.

   9.  Course materials as distributed by the instructor.  

   Other Useful Recommended Reference Works

   1.  Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary, Learning Words by Frequency and 
   Cognate, Prepared and Arranged by George, M.  Landes, Society of 
   Biblical Literature, atlanta, Transcribed by Sarah Blake LaRose, 
   for the Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, 2014

   Course Requirements 

   1.  Regular Readings -- For each lesson, the student is expected 
   to turn in an mp3 of him/her reading one verse of the Hebrew 
   Bible.  This mp3 is to consist of an accurately-pronounced, 
   reasonably-polished reading of the text, an English translation, 
   and a comment on the experience.  Sometimes the lesson will have 
   a verse assigned to read, and other times, the student may choose 
   any verse desired.  It is understood that, especially at the 
   beginning, students will rely heavily on Shmuelof for 
   pronunciation and the JPS Bible for translation.  Comments, 
   especially at the beginning, may be as simple as, "I'm still 
   struggling with silent and vocal shevas." (4 points for the 
   reading, 4 points for the translation, and 2 points for the 
   comment.)  A forum may be established via Drop Box for students 
   to post readings.  In this case, an additional 2 points will be 
   given, for positive feedback notes made to other students. (1 
   point each.)  Only the instructor is permitted to provide 
   unsolicited negative feedback concerning readings, and such 
   feedback is generally limited to one comment of improvement per 

   2.  Regular Exercises -- With each lesson, exercises are 
   assigned.  Many times they will be from the text book, but 
   sometimes the instructor may assign an alternative exercise such 
   as practicing transcribing a brief passage by slow, oral 
   dictation from an MP3.  Assignments are generally graded with 
   emphasis on mercy. (10 points per lesson) 

   3.  Quizzes. -- Each lesson contains a brief quiz.  Quizzes 
   sometimes could be oral, via mp3, or written, with Braille 
   Hebrew.  Vocabulary portions mainly contain the recent words, but 
   have some comprehensive words also.  Translation will be from or 
   very similar to exercises from the text book for which answers 
   are not provided by the instructor. (10 points per quiz.) 

   4.  Examinations -- For Parts One and Two of this course, the 
   student will take triterm examinations, spaced about every five 
   lessons and covering course material and vocabulary.  These 
   examinations are to be taken in a closed-book environment where 
   one will not be allowed to bring any written material for the 
   class. Examinations may include mp3 portions for oral testing and 
   Braille portions for written testing.  Mock examinations are 
   provided to the student in the lessons before the examinations.  
   No credit is given for taking the mock examinations, but one may 
   take them and consult the answer keys provided for guidance as to 
   how to prepare.  


        In addition, because of the research nature of this course, 
   students are encouraged to keep a log of roughly how many hours a 
   week they spend.  This helps the instructor know how much work is 
   actually required of people.  Points are not given for this.  It 
   is simply something the student can do to help the instructor and 
   to offer in exchange for the fact that this course is offered 
   free of charge.  

   Academic Honesty.

        "Honesty in all activities of life is important to the 
   integrity of every Christian and every trustworthy citizen.  
   In this experimental course, dishonesty not only hurts the 
   student who does not gain an accurate picture of his/her 
   progress, but also hurts the research project.  It must be 
   determined that a blind or visually impaired can successfully 
   take this course and learn Hebrew with good proficiency.  This 
   cannot be done if students copy answers, bring material to 
   examinations that is not permitted, plagiarize, or do any other 
   dishonest activity.  Since this is not yet offered for credit, 
   the student will not be hurt in any way, even by a failing grade. 
   Such a grade will only show the course's inability to properly 

   Policy Concerning Quitting

        In this research version of the class, there is no way to 
   penalize someone for quitting.  Anyone taking this course, 
   though, is honor-bound to agree to the following: 

        If a challenge arises that the student feels makes the 
   course impossible to finish, the student is to first notify the 
   instructor about the challenge and allow a few days for the 
   instructor to determine if a plan can be developed to overcome 
   the challenge.  The instructor and student can then communicate 
   about how to deal with the challenge, and a decision will be reached 
   in the best interest of the student.  Ultimately, if the student 
   chooses to quit, he/she is to write an e-mail to the instructor 
   explaining in helpful detail why it is necessary to quit.  It 
   should be noted that since this is a self-paced course, becoming 
   overwhelmed with work load may simply indicate that the student 
   should slow down.  Whatever happens, the instructor needs to know 
   what types of obstacles may arise for research purposes.  It also 
   may be advisable for a student to inform a loved one as to how to 
   contact the instructor should death or catastrophic illness 
   befall the student.  Whatever happens, it would be considered 
   extremely discourteous for a student to simply disappear without 
   leaving any information as to why.  

   Special Accommodations

     If you qualify for accommodations under the American 
   Disabilities Act, please see the instructor as soon as 
   possible for referral and assistance in arranging such 


   Course grades will be weighted based on the following requirements:

   Course Requirement --  % of Grade
   Oral readings -- 10% 
   Text book exercises -- 10%
   Quizzes--  10%
   Exam I  -- 10%
   Exam II  -- 20% 
   Comprehensive Final Exam -- 40%  

   Letter grades are based on the following percentages:

   Percentage -- Letter Grade.    Percentage -- Letter Grade
   100 - 94 % -- A  78 - 76 % -- C+
   93 - 91 % -- A-  75 - 71 % -- C
   90 - 87 % -- B+  70 - 68 % -- C-
   86 - 82 % -- B   67 - 57 % -- D
   81 - 79 % -- B-  56% and below -- F

        The instructor may choose to adjust grades upward based on 
   the difficulty of a given component or natural break in scores.

        One may earn extra credit points for memorizing a block of 
   up to five consecutive verses in Hebrew from the Bible. (1 point 
   for each verse)  The memorizing test is included with the final 


        When successfully completing this course, the student will 
   receive from the instructor a certificate noting such with the 
   student's grade.  Even though this course is not offered for 
   credit yet, such a certificate may still have personal value, at