Israel with a Smile


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The name of this volume, ISRAEL WITH A SMILE, should not mislead you into thinking that it is a book of anecdotes and jokes in Hebrew. It is not. It has as its heroes ordinary citizens of Israel whose daily experiences with problems of immigration, economics and defense, weave a tapestry of life which is not at all funny. These “heroes” work daily at a difiicult and extremely responsible task which is vital to all Jews of our generation and for generations to come. I have attempted to eavesdrop on the “little man“ in Israel - as he catches the bus, gossips on the telephone, attempts in his weak moments, to circum- vent the law, and rises to the thousand and one challenges of daily existence. “Israel With A Smile” presents a candid picture of Israeli life in both its positive and negative aspects. We have been lucky that He who watches over our people has granted us a precious gift called “Jewish Humor“. Throughout the long and tortuous road of our history, our people‘s sense of humor has helped us to survive our enemies. The Jew poked fun at his deficiencies, laughed at his problems, and smilingly expressed faith in a better future. Now the Jewish people has its own land where it speaks its own language. But the flavor of its humor remains the same. In colloquial Hebrew, as in the Yiddish of the ghettos, Jewish humor retains its wry piquancy and its ability to lighten burdens. To those who ask whether the Hebrew used in this book is really the colloquial speech, Israelis use in their daily lives, the answer is an unequi- vocal “yes”. I have, however, avoided incorrect usages and slang expressions jarring to the ear, which one can hear among the less educated citizens of Israel. I have also included examples of the innocent and lively prattle of our young sabras - our pride and our hope for the future. Is “Israel With A Smile“ a text book for the study of living Hebrew, or a reader for advanced Hebrew students? It is both. Language is only an extended con- versation, the exchange of information between people. There is no better way for one to learn a second language than to converse in it. The task of the modern language text is to encourage the student to speak and to expose him to fresh, lively, interesting dialogue comprised of expressions and speech patterns in common usage. This volume attempts to meet the needs of students, both young and old, who have already mastered the initial difliculties of leaming Hebrew and who possess a basic vocabulary. Although a full English translation is to be found alongside the Hebrew text, I do not advocate translation as a method of acquiring living Hebrew. If the student really wishes to master Hebrew, it is recommended that he read the Hebrew text silently, without any reference to the English translation and try to grasp the meaning of the new words and expressions from the context. I-Ie may then refer to the
The name of this volume, ISRAEL WITH A SMILE, should not mislead
you into thinking that it is a book of anecdotes and jokes in Hebrew. It is

Author:Shlomo Kodesh, Siegmund Forst (Illustrator), 1970
Condition Rating:4
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