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The Guide to Loshon Hakodesh: Volume 2 - Mastering Hebrew Verbs: The Seven Binyanim

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The Guide to Loshon Hakodesh: Volume 2 - Mastering Hebrew Verbs: The Seven Binyanim

The Guide to Loshon Hakodesh
Volume 2 - Mastering Hebrew Verbs: The Seven Binyanim

By Nachman Marcuson
Distributed by Feldheim Publishers, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-59826-042-7

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - May 25, 2015

Mastering Hebrew Verbs: The Seven Binyanim is the second book in Rabbi Nachman Marcuson's The Guide to Loshon Hakodesh series. This phenomenal series was developed to help students learn Biblical Hebrew on their own. In the first book in the series, Mastering the Basics, Marcuson teaches students the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar. In Mastering Hebrew Verbs students gain an in-depth understanding of the seven Binyanim (verb conjunctions). In this book, students will discover that by simply learning the root letters (shorashim) of each verb (usually three for four letters), and the patterns followed by the seven binyamin, that their vocabulary will literally grow by leaps and bounds. This is because in Hebrew, one single root word can be used to denote several related words simply by changes in the vowel structure or the addition of specific letters, the rules of which are logically laid out in the Binyanim. Once you learn these conjunctions, it is easy to apply them to the verb roots, even ones you are seeing for the first time. The rules, roots, stems, and related information are all provided in this hand self-study book.

Mastering Hebrew Verbs: The Seven Binyanim begins with an introductory lesson that explains what a verb is, the various tenses that it can take, and related information. This brief introduction is followed by a summary of the information learned in this first lesson, and ten exercises to help you judge your understanding of the information. The next twenty-two lessons are divided into four parts covering the three verb tenses - past, future, and present. The fourth section contains a final summary of the information contained in the book, along with a helpful summary table, as well as some additional information such as a 'foolproof method for translating Hebrew verbs.' The final chapter in this book, number 24, is not a lesson, rather it is an overview of the author's future plans for the series.

Following the introductory chapter, the rest of the chapters in this book, except for chapters 23 & 24, follow the same basic pattern. The pattern that is followed is one in which you are first introduced to some new vocabulary words, words that you need to learn for the given lesson. This is followed by an overview of what you will learn in the lesson. Next comes the actual lesson, followed by some exercises based on the lesson. Throughout, you will also find summaries of the information presented, as well as relevant tables that help to make the verb conjugations more clear. Detailed answers to all the exercises are located at the end of the book. In previous editions, this answer key was published as a separate booklet.

Marcuson has a knack for making what can be a times a confusing subject, understandable. His explanations are clear and well-balanced, and he provides examples that further explain the information he is presenting. Although this is the companion volume to Mastering the Basics, you do not need to have studied the first book before embarking upon the study of Mastering Hebrew Verbs, just as long as you already have a basic understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar.

Marcuson is an excellent teacher, and the two books in this series will enable you to more readily understand the Chumush, and other texts, in the Holy language of Hebrew. In addition these books will provide you with a solid foundation upon which you can develop of mastery of Biblical Hebrew. According to the information presented in Mastering Hebrew Verbs, Marcuson is currently working on two additional books in this series. If they have not been published by the time you have finished working through the first two books, you will find a wealth of information available with which to continue your studies - either in your local community or online. I highly recommend this book to independent learners seeking to learn Biblical Hebrew and, by extension, to gain a deeper understanding of the Chumush.

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