Friday, July 29, 2016

Bilingually Mourning, Shiva in Two Languages

Since the 7 Day Shiva Candle was only lit halfway through shiva for my brother, it's still burning strong.

Or you can also call this post:
The Advantage/Adventure of Being Bilingual!
After close to forty-six, our 46th Aliyah Anniversary is in less than two months, years in Israel I've reached the point where I can rather easily switch between Hebrew and English pretty much mid-sentence. And many of our anglo friends are the same.

Even among friends more veteran here, and there aren't too many, English is still the language we prefer for conversing among ourselves. So while I was sitting shiva for my brother this week, a very good portion of the time you'd here only English. But then, if suddenly a Hebrew speaking neighbor would enter, they'd follow my lead and even mid-sentence switch into Hebrew. At no point did I have over anyone in the anglo crowd totally incapable of following the switch.

Shiloh isn't known as one of those "English speaking" places like Gush Etzion or Ramat Beit Shemesh, but there are quite a few anglos and bilinguals from birth, like my kids can be called. They are the Israelis who grew up hearing, and usually speaking, English at home but functioned in Hebrew outside. So, they appear to be regular Hebrew-speaking Israelis, but not only do they know English well, frequently as if they had been a foreign country, their culture and sense of humor are very binational.

That's it for now. Today is Friday, and I have so much to do... Back to ordinary life, thank Gd.

Sign is down, and Shiva is over

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