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What if I Try Harder?

There’s an old saying that makes the rounds in karate classes, about a student who is eager to learn. “It will take you 2 years to learn this technique”, the teacher tells the student.

“What if I work twice as hard?” the student asks earnestly. “Then it will take you 5 years.” the teacher responds.

Confused, the student asks “What if I work day and night on it?”. “Then you will never learn it at all.” comes the reply.

Hebrew has been like that for me.

Now I’ll be the first one to admit that I have NOT been working day and night on it. But the harder I work at it, the slower it has gone. This frustrates me because I’m usually good with languages. Every language is different, and Hebrew has A LOT going on that you don’t find in French or Spanish. But it can be a real confidence-shaker to suddenly be bad at something one usually counts as a strength.

Recently, I came to a kind of peace about this. Maybe God didn’t want it to come easy. Maybe I needed to experience how the other half lived. Maybe my time for being good with languages is done. Or maybe Hebrew just isn’t my game. Whatever the reason, the situation wasn’t going to change just because I fretted about it.

And for now, even if I’m not reading Hebrew better, I feel better about myself while I’m reading Hebrew. And maybe that’s a start.


About EdibleTorah

The EdibleTorah is dedicated to building vibrant Jewish communities by helping people set up their own Potluck Shabbat experience with family and friends.

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