Are you thinking about visiting Israel or even dreaming of aliyah, but too nervous to commit because of the language barrier? Well, The Easy-Shmeezy Guide to Hebrew is here to solve your problem. In just under 150 pages (not counting the introduction and resources), R' Moshe provides common phrases, grammar and entertainment.
Judging the Book by its Cover - a first glance review:
The size and layout of this book is the same as its predecessor, The Easy Shmeezy Guide to Yiddish. Both books feature clear categories of common vocabulary and phrases in English, then transliterated and in the third column, translated. This allows the reader to quickly learn not only how to pronounce the word(s), but also how to spell it and recognize it with Hebrew letters.
Again, the size of the book is super convenient. It is easy to flip through and the glossary in the back has both English to Hebrew and Hebrew to English.
Some Details I Liked:
I love that this book includes some basic Hebrew songs for around the year. For some of the songs, I knew the chorus, but never caught on to the rest. These are songs that my daughter comes home from gan expecting me to know, so finally I can sing the whole thing with her!
I also enjoyed the corny jokes. I think that by knowing some jokes in Hebrew, beginners will definitely have an easier time breaking into the language versus just having the basic words and stringing them together.
Who This Book is For:
This madrich l'sfat ha'ivrit is great for beginners as well as any non-native Israeli that could use a brushing up on his/her Hebrew skills. So whether you are visiting Israel or you have an Israeli visiting you, this book can be the key to clear communication.
Who This Book Isn’t For:
Again, these guides are not meant to get you through college in a foreign language. Both the Hebrew and Yiddish guide cover basic conversations and common words. They don't go into depth with medical terminology, for example, nor do they cover how to read any legal contract.
What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better:
I think it would be great if this book had some information about the klita process. Like using how to speak to Bituach Le'umi (National Insurance) or a Kupat Cholim (Medical Insurance) as examples. Featuring names of these familiar parts of Israeli life, could be a huge help to anyone who is trying to acclimate into Israeli society.
Another idea would be to put a map of Israel and go through the touring aspect. That way, if someone is coming to visit, they can easily metayel b'golan or b'negev.
R' Sherizen did a great job on this second language guide! If you, a relative or friend are coming to Israel for a short visit, the year or for life, this is a small book that can make a huge difference.
I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it, but that it no way changed the way I read it and reviewed it.