My First Political Science Paper in Hebrew

The title is a bit of an exaggeration… Not that I have written a political science paper in Hebrew before but that I am not sure that what I have just written can be properly called political science.

Several days ago we were given an assignment to roughly answer the question, should states negotiate with terrorists? I tried to provide as nuanced an answer as possible with my limited (but growing) vocabulary in about one single spaced page.

While I feel a bit like an undergraduate writing a canned answer to a midterm exam question, it feels pretty cool that I can seemingly do this all in Hebrew. We’ll see how I do. I will not reproduce it here as it is certainly not my best work. Given that I have just finished the “paper”, I will continue recounting the last day or so in reverse order. Prior to writing the essay, I did a pile of homework for ulpan: primarily exercises training us to properly use the passive verb form (nifal) and the construct form of consecutive nouns (smichoot).

This all followed from our course today which emphasized precisely these topics. We also read a very brief piece today about how Israel’s first Prime Minister introduced nascent feminist elements into modern Hebrew. According to the story, he insisted that all documents referring to himself vis-a-vis his wife as “Ishi”, my man/husband as opposed to the more common “Ba’ali”, my master. Not a great leap forward, but perhaps a step in the right direction. We also learned a little song (which made extensive use of nifal) about a servant telling his employer bit by bit in a phone call how his mansion has burned to the ground and all his possessions have been lost. It sounds really depressing, but it’s actually kind of funny. Trust me.

Last night, Motzei Shabbat, I met up with some friends to watch the Spain – Paraguay game. I have never really been into soccer, or sports for that matter, before the last two weeks, but if futbol is always this exciting, I could pick up a new habit. The final (and only) goal of the game by Spain was enough to impress anyone, even someone like me who doesn’t really understand the sport.

Over Shabbat, I stayed in Kfar HaStudentim and hosted both a dinner and a lunch with my roommates for a number of friends that live here. Both were crowded, fun, and energetic with lots of tasty food, great singing, and both light and intense conversations. We’ve got a good bunch of people here. I made it to shul on Friday night, but slept all the way in until 9:45 on Saturday, so couldn’t make it in the morning. They start here at either 6:30 or 8:15 am.

Before I forget, let me wish everyone a happy fourth of July. No fireworks here and I didn’t make it to any parties. Sometimes a night in is not such a terrible thing. I can use the rest. Laila tov and thanks for reading.

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