(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
By Lee Saunders
Last Updated 6/8/2016 at 4:10 PM
Tel Aviv: Battle-scarred and cash-strapped Olim have found an unusual ally in their challenge to master the Hebrew language – budget coffee retailer Cofix. The ‘Starbucks for the Poor’ chain has this week unveiled a new product – HASH – or Hot Alphabet Soup in Hebrew, so that Olim can eat and learn at the same time.
Early signs are promising and threatening to the more traditional routes of learning at one of the city’s many Ulpan language courses.
For a cool five shekels, the hoards of new arrivals can get ahold of a menu designed to help them get past level Aleph before their 60th birthday. The menu boasts the delightful:
1. Mem-estroni, filled with croutons showing the difference between Final Mem and Samech
2. Chicken soup for the Shin
3. C-Lamed Chowder
4. A noodle soup with different noodle lengths to help novices understand Yud (Baby Final Nun), Vav (the middle brother) and Final Nun himself.
“Admittedly, I felt a little sensitive about ordering ‘HASH’ at a coffee shop. This is a liberal city but it ain’t Amsterdam.” said Luton-born Oleh Roy Freeman. “Still, it is a good start. I also bought some falafel in the shape of vowels. This was all really welcome because just last week I asked for a glass of water (Cos Mayim) but instead demanded a Cus Mayim. [This is a family newspaper so the non Hebrew speakers will need to look this one up themselves- the Editors] ….. The waitress was not too horrified.”
Canadian Morty Caplan added: “What a great idea. Easily beats a book for learning. I haven’t learned the letters since my Bar Mitzvah, some 50 years ago, and it showed when I wandered into AM:PM to ask for a punnet of strawberries. While grapes – anavim – is only one letter away from what I asked for – aravim – it was a little embarrassing as apparently Arabs don’t come in punnets. I forgot my receipt in a hurry.”
In response, Ulpan Gordon pushed the boat out and bought a packet of biscuits and some Fuze Tea for their Class Bet.