Hebrew & Herbs

JJ has been trying very hard to adjust his sleep cycle so he isn’t staying awake most of the night and sleeping most of the day. He has forced himself to stay awake as long as he can. He’s been very tired, but he actually slept all last night and woke at 7 a.m. Yay for him!

JJ woke early but EJ woke late. Usually he doesn’t sleep so late (about 11:30 a.m.), but because of his chronic back pain he often doesn’t sleep very well or long, so the fact that he slept so long is a blessing to him.

Because EJ slept so late, I didn’t think he’d want to go for a walk today and I almost didn’t invite him to go with me. But I did ask him if he wanted to walk after I made him a breakfasty lunch (steak and eggs). He said “No” but when I started to get my shoes on to take Danny for his walk, EJ changed his mind. The day was very beautiful and I was glad EJ joined me.

I was busy all afternoon. Yesterday my friend and I began to renew our efforts to learn Hebrew. We have studied together for a couple of years, but had to put it aside for a bit while JJ battled cancer. Since we live in different states, we meet at Google Plus video chat. We both have a strong desire to learn Hebrew because it’s such a beautiful, profound language. Every letter in Hebrew means something, and the original pictograph behind the letters adds meaning, and every word means something, and every word that shares the same three-letter root word is connected to each other, and so a study of the language is actually a study of how to live.

Kneading Bread
Kneading Bread

For example, the Hebrew word for “bread” is “lechem.” The Hebrew word for “fight” is “lacham.” Hebrew originally had no vowels so in Hebrew lechem is spelled the same as the word “lacham.” If you take out the vowels in both words, the consonants that remain are  L-CH-M or לחם. Because the words share the same three-letter root, there is a deep connection between the words. Bread and fight seem to be two totally unrelated words until you consider, as the Ancient Hebrew Research Center describes, that “when making bread, the dough is placed on the table and it is kneaded by hitting it with the fists, rolling it back and forth, picking it up and turning it over, and…kind of sounds like a fight, doesn’t it? Genesis 3:19 says ‘In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.’ Could this be because we have to fight the ground to bring up the crop, fight the grain to remove the husk from the seeds, fight the seeds to turn them into flour and fight the dough to make the bread?” It’s very beautiful when you think about it. I rarely make bread now without thinking of bread and fighting and struggles and life.

So when my friend and I study Hebrew, we don’t just study vocabulary and grammar, we talk about the deep meanings of the letters and words, and how they relate to our lives and struggles and joys. Then, when our brains are exhausting and aching, we end up being silly and laughing. With all the deep heartache I feel over what is happening in the world, it is good to laugh. Learning Hebrew fills me with deep joy and I am so glad to be back to studying it, even if we have to go back and review because we have forgotten some of what we learned before.

This afternoon, after about two hours of studying wonderful Hebrew, I washed my dishes, put clean sheets on JJ’s bed, swept the floor, fixed supper, and then went out and weeded the herb garden for a little bit. When I finished, I picked a bowl of oregano and a bowl of sage. I brought them in and rinsed them to remove bugs and such. Then I put them in my food dehydrators so I can have dried herbs over the winter. When they were set to drying, I went out and picked the handful of hot peppers. EJ always chooses the varieties of veggies we grow and I can’t remember the names of these peppers. I only know that they are tiny and hot. After the oregano and sage are done drying, I will dry these peppers. When the peppers are dried, I crush them. I like to put dried hot peppers on pizza, spaghetti, and chili. I use them sparingly in the pot, but add extra in my portions because I like extra hot. When I am finished with these, I will pick more herbs to dry.

My house gets filled with the powerful aroma of whatever herb or spice I am drying. Tonight the house smells very strongly of oregano and sage.


One Comment on “Hebrew & Herbs

  1. Beautiful to read about your Hebrew study and it is something I’ll be thinking about for a while and maybe I will find a way to study too. But I would like to find somebody to study along with so I will search. And I have never seen a food dehydrater and didn’t know you can do the drying yourself. Looks very good to me and in the wintertime you still eat your own herbs and spices Great!!! And I’m so glad for JJ that he is been able to switch on to daytime again. I’m proud of him. Love you all ❤


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