For some people learning Hebrew is like tying knots with your teeth. The thought of never being able to really learn the language and ending up like one of those old Jewish guys with the thick accent from "the Old Country" who wear their pants about three inches above their waistline, sport oversize sunglasses and hang out on the boardwalk playing cards all day while kvetching (complaining) about their aches and pains is surely a frightening thought!
Meet Mr. Nun…his real name has to be concealed as he is serving in an elite combat unit in the IDF. He's someone that jumps out of airplanes at night for the sole purpose of making sure that those of us that live in Israel can sleep soundly knowing that not only our great Country is being defended, but that the Hebrew language will continue to flow from the mouths of Children of Israel from generation to generation. What makes Mr. Nun so special is his dedication to the defense of the Hebrew language. So much so he has been known to be thrown out of cars, kitchens and be willing to have less friends in order to make sure that Hebrew speakers will speak Hebrew to him. “What annoys me to no end are Hebrew speakers that once they hear my accent immediately speak English to me.
Once I told a person that picked me up on a tremp, (hitchhike ride) that if he continues to speak to me in English that he would have to pull over and let me out of the car!” Mr. Nun had a fear that he would not learn Hebrew, and becoming a Hebrew speaker was extremely important to him as he wanted to join the Israeli Army and serve in a special unit. His grammar stunk, and his accent was about as thick as dried concrete. No wonder that when Hebrew speakers took pity on Mr. Nun, they spoke to him in English, but Mr. Nun would not have any of that! He was on his first mission, even though he was not in the IDF yet, he was at war! “
Once I was working in the kitchen of my pre-military academy and one of my co-cadets, a native Hebrew speaker started speaking English to me. We got into a big argument which escalated into a fight… oh well, one less friend now! That did not discourage our brave defender of the Hebrew language. He forged forward wrangling with those that “dare” sling English in his direction only to suffer the wrath of Mr. Nun! Well, he made it! His Hebrew is on par with the best of them.
His accent still betrays him, but it’s more like a thick soup than dried concrete. He did make it into a special IDF unit and life is good! If you are a Hebrew speaker, and try to speak English to him….Don’t say I didn't warn you! Catch Mr. Nun and Aliyah Fever! On http://www.israelnationalradio.com/