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Learn Hebrew Liturgy With Shirei Ha-Shabbat


You can learn Hebrew liturgy quite easily now! and Neal Walters have just released their newest creation “Shirei Ha-Shabbat: Songs of The Shabbat.” For anyone who has wanted to learn Hebrew liturgy, but was afraid they would not have the time to visit their local synagogue or try to find some program online that teaches Hebrew canting, your wait is over. Neal and his crew at developed a program which is both fun and easy to use.

The program is interactive. You learn the basics of Hebrew liturgy in the comfort of your own home or office. The program uses 17 Zimrot (or songs) from the Shabbat Liturgical services along with Audio/Visual, multi-media methods of instruction. What is interesting about this program is you learn Hebrew liturgy in two styles: Ashkenazic and Sephardic. They found two young cantors from both traditions who canted (or sung) the beautiful melodies for each of the 17 songs.

As mentioned above, Shirei Ha-Shabbat uses a multi-media approach to aid the instruction process. Each Song appears in Hebrew characters with the vowel points already activated. Also, they incorporated different features to ensure you learn Hebrew liturgy – I will explain in more detail.

One of these new features allows you to point your cursor at a Hebrew word and instantly a pop-up box appears with the transliterated pronunciation of the word with the English translation and its grammatical use. If you click on the word, you will hear the Hebrew pronunciation of the word, but this is not all…at the beginning of each line, you will find two buttons, one reveals an English translation of the line, the other one “sings” the line (in the voice of one of our cantors).

Also, they developed a new function which is called “Canted Song.” This function allows you to hear the entire Song – Canted in Hebrew in either the Ashkenazi or the Sephardi tradition. The voices of the cantors are beautiful, full, and melodic. You will learn Hebrew liturgy because you start to follow along trying to copy what you hear.

I f you have purchased any of Neal’s other programs such as “At Home With Hebrew” or “Hebrew Kindergarten,” then you know he likes to build-in a certain continuity of features such as mouse-over, point and click, games, quizzes, matching exercises to help you learn Hebrew.

The idea is to help you become comfortable learning. Before long, you start thinking in Hebrew and you start being able to “cant” a Song from one of the services: Erev Shabbat (the Friday evening service), Shachrit (the Shabbat morning service), and Havdalah (the service Saturday night which formally ends Shabbat). The key concept is carefully timed repetition which allows you to actually learn Hebrew liturgy.

The program comes complete as a Installation setup CD. You just insert the CD into your CD player on your PC or Laptop-like system. Then all you need to do is double-click on the setup EXE file – from there, it’s just a matter of following the setup Wizard to complete the installation of the program into your computer system. Once the program is installed, all you need to do is go to Start and then All Programs to find the Shirei Ha-Shabbat link and other sub-links which are part of the program.

“Shirei Ha-Shabbat” very simply is a cool Hebrew Tutorial. Many programs will give you a word and expect you to pronounce it – almost from the very beginning, but, “Shirei Ha-Shabbat” is different. First, the creator/developer of the program, Neal Walters, is a professional teacher/trainer and student himself. He knows what it is like to learn a new language; so, he developed this program with regular people like you and me in mind.

All in all, you will be impressed by this program. With the different features of this program, mouse-over (and point-and-click), games, and quizzes, you learn Jewish/Hebrew Liturgy and at the same time you are having fun learning – Now, isn’t that a switch? How many other Hebrew courses on the market can say that?



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