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.
Ramat Gan Eden: Have you ever wondered why Israelis honk all the time? You might have though they were impatient, pushy or even rude, but a new discovery made at the Linguistics Faculty of Bar Ilan University explains everything.
“The sound of honking is an absolute copy of an archaic meaning for ‘sorry‘ in ancient Hebrew.” explained Professor Yael K. over the phone as we wandered lost around Ramat Gan trying to find the Campus. “Moreover, it actually means ‘I am sorry for all that I have done wrong within past 24 hours.‘ so it can actually be addressed to a lady they cut in line earlier this morning or a guy they elbowed trying to get on the bus. The word was spelled as בייב, which can be mistakenly confused with the word ‘beep’ due to the overwhelming influence of modern English.”
Professor Yael then provided the historical background of this remarkable theory. “If you look at the history of the Jewish people, we’ve always been reflexive. We tend to gather the information, analyze it, and only then do we make conclusions. Therefore, we don’t say sorry straightway, but we wait until we can fully understand what happened and apologize”.
However, how do Israelis acquire this knowledge? “There are a few hypotheses, but very likely, it’s Tnuva milk that enables the transfer of this information from one generation to another. That’s how we learn this ancient word, and thus it becomes a part of our vocabulary. Some linguists even suspect that 1% milk has a bit worse transferability rate, and that Soy milk is completely worthless, but further peer-reviewed research is required.”
Jerusalem, Givat Ram: Government and Academic sources, speaking at a Conference held at the Academy of the Hebrew Language, made an astonishing admission today: that the use of Vowels in Hebrew is just one giant punk on Olim.
“Honestly, we never thought it would go on this long.” chuckled Professor Binyamin M. “After the Six Day War, a lot of Western Olim started showing up to volunteer, and some of the Kibbutzniks thought it would be funny to tell them that there were special invisible dots and lines underneath the letters that they can’t see but that they must say. And they went along with it! I guess the Emperor really wears no clothes.”
President Rivlin, who was on site to present an award for the best new Hebrew playwright, couldn’t contain his laughter. “It’s all a joke! Kamatz, Patach, Segol. We even wondered if we could force Olim to draw a Tic-Tac-Toe Board, so we made up the Shuruk! Good times!”
The Academy explained that when an Oleh does something particularly Israeli, they hold a secret ceremony and read them into the joke. Jessica, a Canadian Olah Hadashah who recently screamed at a man on an electric bicycle for 5 minutes without letting go of the 11 dogs she was walking, while eating a sandwich and keeping up with 2 Whats-App Group conversations before finally ending the argument and discreetly giving the man her phone number, explained. “So yeah, after my little “incident”, the head of Misrad HaKlita brought me to Hebrew University for the ceremony.” When the Daily Freier asked Jessica if she could describe the ceremony, she insisted that she had been sworn to secrecy. When the Daily Freier asked her if the ceremony involved hummus, she changed the subject.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.