I figured that as interested in Jews and Jewish achievement (and shenanigans) as I am, I should at least learn something real about Israel, which I know little about at the detailed factual level. That part of the world has, predictably, always felt rather remote in my life, though it is in some sense the cradle of civilization. While on the bus with nothing to do, I was just last week, trolling some of my friends on Facebook with some Hebrew I copy pasted. Like, ברוך השם (Baruch HaShem), which literally means “blessed his name.” On that I’m pleased to say that I’m now sort of paying attention to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet when I visit English Wiki pages on Jewish matters with the English transliteration of Hebrew words alongside the Hebrew original. It’s kind of cute that it, like Arabic, reads right to left, a fact I had not known.