Index to Hebrew Study Aids
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) Address: 8936 Grove Ave. Berrien Springs, MI 49103 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 frequency). 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 http://bartimaeus.us or Optasia, http://www.optasiaministry.com. 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, Inc., http://bartimaeus.us 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 reading. 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. COURSE POLICIES AND GRADING 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 function. 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 accommodations. Grading 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 examination. Completion 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 least.