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Lesson Transcript

Shira: Hello and welcome to HebrewPod101.com’s Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 9 - Asking a Question in Hebrew. I’m your host, Shira.
Amir: Shalom, I’m Amir.
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask questions in Hebrew.
Amir: The conversation takes place at David and Sarah’s house.
Shira: It’s between Peter, David and Sarah.
Amir: The dialogue is informal.
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation

Lesson conversation

Peter: זה... בשביל מזל טוב?
David: זאת חמסה.
Sarah: כן, זה בשביל המזל.
Peter: חמסה.
English Host: Let’s listen to the conversation with English translation.
Peter: זה... בשביל מזל טוב?
Shira: Is this for good luck?
David: זאת חמסה.
Shira: This is a hamsa.
Sarah: כן, זה בשביל המזל.
Shira: Yes, it’s for luck.
Peter: חמסה.
Shira: Hamsa.
Shira: I think a fitting subject for this cultural insight is the hamsa.
Amir: A hamsa is a very popular item seen all over Israel. It’s a hand that symbolizes the hand of God or the hand of Miriam according to some Jewish traditions.
Shira: The hamsa is a sign of protection and it’s thought to bring good luck to its owner.
Amir: Some of them have an eye in the center of the hand to symbolize its protection against the evil eye.
Shira: You can find them as necklaces, bracelets, or in its most popular form, the wall hanging.
Amir: The word hamsa comes from the Arabic word for “five” because of the five fingers on the hand.
Shira: And actually, the hamsa originally comes from Islamic culture and it was adopted by the Jewish people living in Arab countries.
Amir: Later it was brought over when these people made Aliyah and came to Israel.
Shira: For a while it was thought to be something only for mizraħi Jews, but lately it’s been adopted by Israeli culture in general.
Amir: So, if someone gives you a hamsa as a gift, consider it good luck.
Shira: Now let’s go to the vocabulary for this lesson. First we have:
Amir: זה [natural native speed]
Shira: This, that or it.
Amir: זה [slowly - broken down by syllable]. זה [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: בשבילך [natural native speed]
Shira: For.
Amir: בשבילך [slowly - broken down by syllable]. בשבילך [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: מזל [natural native speed]
Shira: Luck.
Amir: מזל [slowly - broken down by syllable]. מזל [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: טוב [natural native speed]
Shira: Good.
Amir: טוב [slowly - broken down by syllable]. טוב [natural native speed]
Shira: And last:
Amir: כן [natural native speed]
Shira: Yes.
Amir: כן [slowly - broken down by syllable]. כן [natural native speed]
Shira: Let’s look at the vocabulary in this lesson.
Amir: So our first word is מזל.
Shira: Mazal means “luck” or “fortune”.
Amir: You’ve probably heard it in the expression מזל טוב.
Shira: Or Mazal Tov. This means “good luck”, but it’s used more like “congratulations” in this context.
Amir: Our last word is טוב or “good”.
Shira: As with all adjectives in Hebrew, tov has four versions.
Amir: You change it according to the noun it describes. To demonstrate this we have four examples for you, of course.
Shira: Of course! First up is masculine singular
Amir: אוכל טוב
Shira: “Good food”. Now feminine singular
Amir: מיטה טובה
Shira: “Good bed”. Next is masculine plural.
Amir: כלבים טובים
Shira: “Good dogs”. The last one is feminine plural
Amir: ילדות טובות
Shira: “Good girls”. Okay, let’s move on to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask a question in Hebrew.
Amir: There are basically three ways to ask a question in Hebrew other than using an interrogative.
Shira: In our sample dialogue, Peter used voice inflection to ask his question.
Amir: זה בשביל מזל טוב?
Shira: This is really the easiest way to ask a question in Hebrew.
Amir: The second way is to add the word נכון or “correct” to the end of the sentence.
Shira: This is also pretty easy. Let’s hear it with Peter’s question.
Amir: זה בשביל מזל טוב, נכון?
Shira: The last way is the most formal way to ask a question in Hebrew.
Amir: You add the word האם to the beginning of the sentence. האם means “whether”.
Shira: האם means “whether”.
Amir: Here’s our sentence again with האם- האם זה בשביל מזל טוב
Shira: So it means “whether this is for good luck?”. Or “is this for good luck?”. Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Shira: See you next time!
Amir: Le-hit’ra’ot!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi everyone!

What would you like to ask in Hebrew?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 10:04 PM
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Hi Maria,

Thank you for sharing your Hebrew question 😄😄👍

Well done! Your phrase is almost correct - the only error is that "this" is written "זה" - with a "ה" instead of "א".

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, and enjoy learning Hebrew!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Monday at 03:43 AM
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האם זא כלב?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 06:01 AM
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Shalom Joseph,

The words that are tested in our quizzes are randomly sampled from the vocabulary of the whole series. This means that it is possible that you will encounter words that you haven't studied yet. However, as you progress with the lesson series and your knowledge grows, there will be less and less unknown words there. Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Wednesday at 11:38 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

When I take the assessment test after this lesson, I see words I haven't learned yet. Is this supposed to be the case? Am I missing lessons?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:04 PM
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Shalom Ahmed,

Toda raba for taking the time to leave us a comment! 😇 The example sentences are merely for you to see the usage of the word in a native-like context. You are not required to memorize these, just treat them as a guideline for yourself. Depending on your level, these sentences might also be great reading comprehension practice.

If you have any further questions, let us know. 😉

Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Monday at 03:29 PM
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Shalom 😄

I was thinking to ask a question on the last lesson then got a bit lazy, now that Shira and Amir kept on encouraging to leave a comment, here we go 😁

The lessons are going so well so far however is it recommended to study the examples or is it mainly for the illustration of the new vocabulary/grammar usage? I normally just read them to understand the main vocab.

It would be great to have the option to read the comments on the app and be able to interact as well as it is easier to type in Hebrew.

Todah rabah 👍

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:36 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi David D Stanton,

Thanks for commenting on this issue, we understand your request.

We are actually currently working on something very similar to what you've described. If you go to the lesson library (from the top menu) and move through the different levels, you will see that there are new series with the name "Level 1/2/3/4/5". These are pathways that structure the lessons exactly as you've described.

Work to these series still takes place and you can expect to see some nice updates to it soon 😉😄

I hope that helps, please let us know may you have any further questions 👍



Team HebrewPod101.com

David D Stanton
Wednesday at 11:20 AM
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Commenting now.

There is sooo much all over the place with these lessons on hebrewpod101 I have a lifetime membership and would love to see a fully guided course in order with out all the "ads" for hebrewpod101 in them all. I've finished RosettaStone and even though I have a life time membership there too I feel it was not as complete as it could have been, I see more potential with the system of HebrewPod101 and Mondley Hebrew blended together so also have a lifetime membership on there.

Monday at 10:43 AM
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Thanks Roi,

That does make some sense. I was never really good at grammar, so trying to learn a different language is a bit of a challenge for me. I am catching a few things here and there though.

I think it'll take me a little while to get used to a few things, but eventually I'll get the hang of it.

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:38 PM
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Hi Jared,

Thanks for your question.

You are right about חמסה being a female, but when we use "Ze" in this case, we refer to the Use of the instrument, and therefor "זה" sounds better.

If we want to refer specifically to the (female) instrument, we can say "היא בשביל מזל" (using "היא").

Hope it's clearer now,



Team Hebrewpod101.com