Welcome back

Hello, friends. It has been a while! Long time, no blog, so to speak. I am bursting with data, analysis, news, and I can’t keep it from you any longer. We have a lot to talk about in this world: plague, war, famine, abortion, borders, elections, education, the decline of the West, and so on.

I am going share my graphics and links with you over the coming weeks, but no longer every day. I made a promise to someone here to focus on home and work. Let me say briefly that this blog is seen by many people other than regular commenters, including a household member – so nothing disrespectful should be said about them – ahem – a word to the wise…!

We have spent the last three months focusing heavily on health and wellness, and learning that this is a multi-dimensional goal. In my studies, I have found that the (Asian) Indian model of the self is the most complete, refining the traditional triad of body-heart-mind. In Indian teachings, there are seven levels, each important for total health: survival, relational, appetitive, emotional, expressive, mental, and spiritual. Neglect any of these at your peril.

I have substantially expanded the links section at the bottom of the blog. Please explore these resources. There are new resources on relationships, new resources on the many powerful links between mental health and physical health, and a whole new section with resources on Jewish spirituality, that I hope will be nourishing for adherents of all the Abrahamic faiths.

I had intended to feed you links to some 600 or so browser tabs I opened in the last few months, but you won’t be surprised to hear that my poor browser couldn’t handle the strain, and crashed a few weeks ago. I am improving my well-being in part by slashing the number of must-read websites I study daily; and we turned off our television and talk radio a long time ago. Nevertheless, our friend Nitzakhon is being very productive; I subscribe to his writings at two websites, and I encourage you to do the same:



I look forward to talking with you soon!

11 thoughts on “Welcome back

  1. Welcome back amigo…good to see you again! Hope your time off was productive and prayers for you and the family to remain blessed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Every morning … since the day you announced your troubles …. I have come back here hoping to see a new blog post. Every morning I have been greeted with the dreaded “blue screen”. I wasn’t expecting anything different, today. And then, this morning, there you were!

    I am so glad that you’re back I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve cooked up, for us! My mornings have not seemed “right” at all, since you left. God bless you, and it’s good to talk to you, again.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My problem is exactly the reverse, Steffan: I understand what I wrote (obviously), but WordPress didn’t let me “like” your earlier comment, or any other comment (the little yellow star just fades away when I click on it).

        Anyway (if Surak will indulge this):

        NiFLA fantastic, great (lower case for a letter that doesn’t appear in the Hebrew characters)

        LiR’OT to see (the apostrophe is a glottal stop)

        ‘OTKha you [object] (Kh is one Hebrew character, like the final consonant of “loch”)

        ShUV again (Sh is one Hebrew character)


        AVaR has passed

        HaRBE much

        ZMaN time

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for the exceedingly precise translation and transliteration. Having said that, I have my own transliteration method that attempts to re-create the original common language before the Ashkenazi-Sefardi split.

          I place a ‘ for the sh’va between any two consecutive consonants, as well as for any glottal stop.

          I use Q for the letter qof, compared to K for kaf. Similarly, Ch is for cheth, and Kh is for khaf.

          DauLeDh without a dagesh is Dh (pronounced like “th” in “the”). Similarly, the very common Thav without a dagesh is Th (like “th” in “thick”).

          The niqudh qaumetz is “au” rather than simply “a”. Tzeiyreiy is “ei”.

          I also employ dashes for prefixed articles and prepositions. Hence: NiF’La(u?) Li-R’oth OThKha, and so on.

          Same to you!


          1. Well, Surak, you know what they say: Two Hebraists, three transliteration systems.

            I also normally use “Q” for quf/qof, but I didn’t want to puzzle Steffen Ritter by spelling your adopted name as “Suraq”.

            I like your “Dh” to represent the non-dagesh dalet, and this sound is also the predominant rendering of the letter “d” in Spanish.

            Your other points are well taken, but they seem relevant to the ancient language only. For want of time (or perhaps I’m just lazy), I largely rely on my modern Hebrew to get the gist of earlier texts, expanded with a rough-and-ready knowledge of essential grammatical differences, such as vav-consecutive and pronomial verb endings (whenever my understanding falls to zero, it’s a sure sign that I’ve stumbled on some Aramaic instead). So not very scholarly, to put it mildly.

            I see Hebrew transliteration as a spectrum: the better the system represents the characters, the worse it serve learners as a guide to pronunciation. At one extreme, there are systems that include numbers as well as Roman letters and allow a one-to-one mapping to the Hebrew characters (without niqqud, but that could be added, as you suggest). At the other, there are systems that represent pronunciation well, but leave learners bewildered as soon as they compare this to the Hebrew spelling of the same words.

            There is even one beginners’ textbook, “Hebrew for Dummies”, that presents Hebrew entirely through Roman letters, with a system gauged for easy pronunciation. In a sense, this book doesn’t actually teach Hebrew at all, since both grammar and semantics are embedded in the Hebrew characters, but it allows its users to conduct limited spoken exchanges in Hebrew, and if this is all the users want, then the book fulfills its purpose.

            Liked by 1 person

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