Let’s do something together

Posted on 25. Mar, 2014 by in Conversation, Exercises, Learning Hebrew, Phrases, Vocabulary

When you get together with a group of your friends, what kind of activities do you enjoy doing together? Last week some of my friends got together and we went לְשַׂחֵק כַּדּוּרְסַל and afterwards had פיצה וקוקא קולה at one of the guy’s house. It was a great time. So let’s find some activities to do.

What shall we do? – מה נעשה?


Do you want to…? – את רוֹצֶה …?
Yes, I want to… – כן, אני רוֹצֶה …
No, I don’t want to… – לא, אני לא רוֹצֶה …


Do you want to…? – אתה רוֹצָה …?v
Yes, I want to… – כן, אני רוֹצָה …
No, I don’t want to… – לא, אני לא רוֹצָה …

playing, game – מִשְׂחָק (root – ש-ח-ק)
to play football – לְשַׂחֵק כַּדּוּרֶגֶל
to play basketball – לְשַׂחֵק כַּדּוּרְסַל
to play cards – קְלָפִים
to play squash – סְקְווֹשׁ
to play golf – גּוֹלְף
to play tennis – טֶנִיס
to play chess – שַׁחְמָט

swimming – שְׂחִיָּה (root – ש-ח-ה)
     to swim – לשחות

walk, walking – ריקוד
dance, dancing – רקוד
     to dance – לרקוד

to ski – לעשות סקי

watching – צפייה ב…
     to see/watch a movie – לראות סרט
     to watch TV – לצפות בטלוויזיה

fishing – דייג
     to fish – לדוג

climbing – טיפוס
     mountain climbing – לטפס הרימ

reading – קריאה
     to read books – לקרוא ספרים

riding – רכיבה
     to ride horses – לרכוב על סוסים
     a bicycle – לרכוב על אופניים
     camels – לרכוב על גמלים

going out – יציאה
     to go to a nightclub – לצאת למועדון לילה

going – הליכה
     to go shopping – לצאת לקניות
     to go to the cinema – ללכת לקולנוע
     to go to the museum – ללכת למוזיאון
     to go to a concert – ללכת לקונצרט

What are the people in these pictures doing?

tv-boy swimming
Skier read-books

Ask me if I would like to do the following activities:

  1. go to the cinema
  2. dance
  3. play squash

Conversational Hebrew: A place to start the morning

Posted on 10. Mar, 2014 by in binyanim, Conversation, Food, Grammar, Learning Hebrew, Phrases, Vocabulary


Leah and Miri are sitting in a cafe in Jerusalem having breakfast. Daniel comes and asks if he can sit at the table and strikes up a conversation.

דָּנִיאֵל: אֲנִי רוֹאֶה אֶתְכֶן כָּאן לְעִתִּים-קְרוֹבוֹת.אַתֶּן בָּאוֹת לְכָאן כָּל יוֹם?
מִירִי: כֵּן, זֶה מָקוֹם נֶחְמָד לְהַתְחִיל בּוֹ אֶת הַבֹּקֶר.
דָּנִיאֵל: גַּם אֲנִי אוֹהֵב לִקְנוֹת קָפֶה בַּדֶּרֶךְ לָעֲבוֹדָה.
מִירִי: בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה יֵשׁ אֶת הַקָּפֶה הַטּוֹב בְּיוֹתֵר בָּעִיר.
דָּנִיאֵל: אִם כָּךְ, אֲנִי חַיָּב לָבֹא לְכָאן לְעִתִּים-קְרוֹבוֹת יוֹתֵר.
מִירִי: לְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ-כְּלָל?
דָּנִיאֵל: אֲנִי אוֹהֵב אֶת בֵּית-הַקָּפֶה שֶׁבַּמִּשְׂרָד, אֲבָל כֻּלָּם הוֹלְכִים לְשָׁם.
לֵאָה: כֵּן, וְהֵם תָּמִיד מְדַבְּרִים עַל הָעֲבוֹדָה.


דָּנִיאֵל – Daniel
אֲנִי – I, me
רוֹאֶה – see (masc sing
binyan pa’al – רָאָה)
אֶתְכֶן – you (fem pl direct object)
כָּאן – here
לְעִתִּים-קְרוֹבוֹת – often
אַתֶּן – you (fem pl)
בָּאוֹת – you (fem pl) come (binyan pa’al – root: בוא)
לְכָאן – to here
כָּל – every
יוֹם: – day (masc sing)
מִירִי – Miri
כֵּן – yes
זֶה – this
מָקוֹם – place (m)
נֶחְמָד – nice
לְהַתְחִיל – to start (binyan hif’il – root: תחל)
בּוֹ – in it
אֶתdefinite direct object marker
הַבֹּקֶר – in the morning
גַּם – also, too
אוֹהֵב – love (binyan pa’al – root: אהב)
לִקְנוֹת – to get (binyan pa’al – root: קנה)
קָפֶה – coffee
    הַקָּפֶה – the coffee
בַּדֶּרֶךְ – on the way, en route
עֲבוֹדָה – work, labour, job, employment
    לָעֲבוֹדָה – to work
בַּמָּקוֹם – in the place
הַזֶּה – this (literally “the this”)
יֵשׁ – there is
טּוֹב – good
    הַטּוֹב – the good (this shows agreement with the word הַקָּפֶה)
בְּיוֹתֵר – the most (superlative form of יוֹתֵר (more))
עִיר – city
    בָּעִיר – in the city
אִם – if
כָּךְ – so
חַיָּב – have to, must
לָבֹא – come
לְכָאן – to here
יוֹתֵר – more
לְאָן – where
אַתָּה – you (masc)
הוֹלֵךְ – go (masc sing, binyan pa’al – root הלך)
בְּדֶרֶךְ-כְּלָל – usually
בֵּית-הַקָּפֶה – cafe, coffee shop (literally ‘home-coffee’)
מִּשְׂרָד – office
    שֶׁבַּמִּשְׂרָד – in the office
אֲבָל – but
כֻּלָּם – everyone
הוֹלְכִים – goes
שָׁם – there
    לְשָׁם – (to) there
לֵאָה – Leah
וְהֵם – they (masc pl)
    וְהֵם – and they (masc pl)
תָּמִיד – always
מְדַבְּרִים – they talk (masc pl, binyan pi’el – root: דבר)
עַל – on, about

Going to the Dentist

Posted on 28. Feb, 2014 by in Conversation, Learning Hebrew, Phrases, Real World, Vocabulary

Initial Vocabulary

toothרוֹפֵא שִׁנַּיִם – dentist
הרדמה – anesthetic
חוֹר‏ – cavity
נִיב – canine tooth
צַד שְׂמוֹל – left side
לְמַעלָה – upper jaw
סְתִימָה‏ – filling
זְרִיקָה – injection
מַקדֵחָה – drill (noun)

The other day I had an appointment with the רוֹפֵא שִׁנַּיִם. As I’m sitting in the chair and my mouth is being examined and poked, I thought this would be a great opportunity to write about going to the dentist in Hebrew. Let me ask, do you like going to the dentist? Personally, I don’t mind it at all. As long as they give me plenty of הרדמה, I’m fine.

As the רוֹפֵא שִׁנַּיִם was poking around, he found a small חוֹר‏ on the נִיב of the צַד שְׂמוֹל of the לְמַעלָה. It’s going to need a סְתִימָה‏. So he gives me an זְרִיקָה of הַרדָמָה to make it as painless as possible. Once the area around the tooth is numb, here comes the מַקדֵחָה….

Well, the procedure is done and I have another appointment in six months for a checkup. Now, what other things can we find out about the dentist and what procedures are needed to keep the teeth healthy and strong? Let’s take a look:

Parts of the mouth

Gums – חֲנִיכַיִם
Jaw – לֶסֶת
Lips – שְׂפָתִים
Nerve – עֶצֶב
Tongue – לָשׁוֹן
upper jaw – לְמַעלָה
lower jaw – לְמַטָה
left side – צַד שְׂמוֹל
right side – צַד יֶמִין


canine (tooth) – נִיב
incisor – שֵׁן חוֹתֶכֶת
molar – שֵׁן טוֹחֶנֶת

What’s the problem?

abscess – פֶּצַע מוּגלָתִי
bacterial plaque – רוֹבֶד חַייְדַקִּי(ם)‏
bleeding – שֶׁטֶף דַם
blood – דָם
caries – עַשֶּׁשֶׁת‏
cavity – חוֹר‏
dental decay – עַשֶּׁשֶׁת‏
pain – כְּאֵב
pus – מוּגלָה
receding gums – נְסִיגַת חֲנִיכַיִים‏
sensitivity – רְגִישׁוּת
swelling – נְפִיחוּת
tartar – אֶבֶן‏‏
toothache – כְּאֵב שִׁינַּיִים

Procedures and things to fix any problems

anesthetic – הַרדָמָה
braces/bridge – גֶשֶׁר
crown – כֶּתֶר
extract a tooth – הוציא שן
extraction – עֲקִירָה
false tooth – שֵׁן תּוֹתֶבֶת‏
filling – סְתִימָה
implant – שֶׁתֶל ‏
injection – זְרִיקָה
root canal – טִיפּוּל שׁוֹרֶשׁ‏


brush one’s teeth – me’tzach’tze’ach shinayim – מצחצח שיניים
brush one’s teeth – tzitze’ach shinayim – ציחצח שיניים
Close gently – Lisgor be-adinut – לסגור בעדינות
Close your mouth – Lisgor et ha-peh – לסגור את הפה
Do you have a temperature? – Yesh lecha chom? – יש לך חום?
Open your mouth – Liftoach et ha-peh – לפתוח את הפה
The girl is brushing her teeth. – Ha-ishah metzach’tzachat et shineyah. – האישה מצחצחת את שיניה
Very bad pain – Ke’ev chazak me’od – כאב חזק מאד
Well Done – Kol HaKavod – כל הכבוד
When your tooth hurts, it is important to go to the dentist. – k’she-ha-shen shel’cha ko’evet, zeh chashuv lalechet la-rofe shinayim. – .כשהשן שלך כואבת, זה חשוב ללכת לרופא שיניים
Where does it hurt? – Eifo ko’ev lecha – איפה כואב לך?
Which side? – Be’eize tzad? – באיזה צד?

Recipe: The Hamantashen Cookie

Posted on 20. Feb, 2014 by in Celebrations and Holidays, Food, Recipes


In three weeks is the celebration of Purim! And as always, Hamantashen cookies are always present. For those who do not know about the story of Purim, I wrote an article about it about two years ago. Click here to read it (it will open in a separate window).

Now let’s take a look at how to make them.


There is usually a slight disagreement as to what the perfect hamantashen texture should be. Some like itcakey, while others prefer the crisp cookie variety. The recipe below is crispy and crunchy.

This recipe does not have a count of how many cookies it makes, because you can make them any size you like. The dough is really easy to make so you could always quickly whip up some more whenever needed.


  • 1 Stick softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (you can use either white or wheat flour)

For the filling, you can use just about any kind of fruit butters, jam, or pie fillings. Traditional fillings are poppy seed and prune.


  1. Cut butter into sugar blending thoroughly
  2. Add the egg and blend thoroughly.
  3. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, blending thoroughly between each 1/2 cup
  4. Put the batter in the refrigerator for at least a few hours.
  5. Roll the batter out to about 1/4-inch thickness and then cut circles with a cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass. You can make the circles any size you like. The usual size is 3-1/2 inch (8.89 cm) diameter
  6. Put in a dollop of your favorite filling (a tablespoon at the most) in the middle of each circle. Do not put too much filling or it will overflow. Look at the photo to get a sense of how much to use
  7. Fold up the sides to make a triangle, overlapping the sides as much as possible so only a little filling shows through the middle.
  8. Bake at 375 (190 C) for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Optional – Brush the top of the triangle with egg white to give it a little shine.

When in Israel, eat like an Israeli

Posted on 18. Feb, 2014 by in Cultural Awareness, Exploring Israel, Food, Travel

When it comes to food, Israelis are spoiled. They are accustomed to strong flavors and fresh ingredients. How spoiled are they? Well, McDonald’s was forced to change their burger recipe (and create a kosher Big Mac) to be accepted by the Israeli palate. Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t quite make it….

In Israel, as in many other Middle Eastern countries, “street food” is a kind of fast food that is sometimes literally eaten while standing in the street, while in some cases there are places to sit down. The following are some foods that are usually eaten in this way: But what I want to talk about here is the different types of street food that you should try. Most of them can be found pretty much anywhere in Israel. But if you want to get the best foods, ask the locals for their favorites.

סביח Sabich: This is an Iraqi-Jewish breakfast of fried eggplant, overnight cooked egg, tahini and pickled mango sauce (called amba) – usually eaten on Shabbat. The street version includes all the above stuffed into pita bread. If you’re really hungry, you can also ask to add in some chopped vegetable salad, cooked potatoes or sliced onions and hot sauce.

ה”סנדויץ’ התוניסאי” Tunisian sandwich: A large fried bun (yes, fried) with hard-boiled egg, tuna, potatoes, olives, pickled lemon and harrisa. Be warned, though, that it can be quite spicy for those who can’t handle spicy foods. The Tunisian sandwich is a bit harder to find at your typical street food stand.

Jerusalem bagels, bagels are not always the the round, boiled and baked breads. These ones are long and oblong-shaped, made from bread dough, covered in za’atar or sesame seeds, and are soft, chewy and sweet.

בורקס Burekas: Large pastries made of phyllo filled with either cheese, potatoes, spinach or roasted eggplant. You may ask for it sliced into smaller slices. it can also be served with an overnight cooked egg, pickles and even tahini.

שווארמה Shawarma: Similar to the Greek gyro, the Israeli version of Shawarma uses turkey layered with lamb fat (some places serve lamb meat, but since the Israeli lamb has a stronger flavor and aroma, some people will eat the turkey version instead). It is served in a pita to which you can add hummus, tahini sauce, chopped vegetable salad, cabbage salad, pickles, french fries – pretty much what you find pleasing to the palate.

פלאפל Falafel: This is the ultimate fast food or street food you can find in Israel. There are many places you can find serving falafel so your best bet would be asking the locals where to find the closest best place. Make sure you eat it is when it’s fried during the last few minutes or just in front of you and served hot and fresh.

מלבי Malabi: If you want something sweet, this creamy pudding is prepared with milk (or cream) and cornstarch. It is sold as a street food from carts or stalls, in disposable cups with thick sweet syrup and various toppings such as chopped pistachios or coconut. It’s so popular that supermarkets sell it in plastic packages, and restaurants serving richer and more sophisticated versions using various toppings and garnishes such as berries and fruit.


Video courtesy of: goisraelofficial – The official YouTube channel of the Israel Ministry of Tourism.