Archive - Jun 15, 2018


2018 Summer Intensive at CDSP: Day 4 - Coffee Before Hebrew

“Coffee before Hebrew,” she said as we left the chapel. The title of various books came to mind, Snow Falling on Cedars, I Know This Much is True, Like Water for Chocolate. Somehow, everything feels heavily laden with meaning in the middle of a Summer Intensive at seminary.

I knew that she was simply saying that she really needed a little coffee to help her wake up before heading off to Hebrew class, but my mind went to parsing different possible meanings. Perhaps she was using the word ‘coffee’ as a verb meaning something along the lines of “to become caffeinated, to get an adequate level of caffeine in the system to function as a normal human being. Perhaps she was making a statement about priorities. In the greater scheme of life, coffee comes before Hebrew. It is more important to enjoy simple pleasures of life, than it is even to learn human languages. Perhaps it was a statement about the order in which things most happen. First you must have coffee, then you must attend your Hebrew class, just as there is a natural order to the days and seasons.

There is a natural order to the day here. The morning waking up rituals, morning prayer, coffee before Hebrew, the morning Hebrew class, lunch, the afternoon ministry class, evening prayer, dinner, studying and unwinding. It is all good. The poem for the day yesterday was “i thank You God for most this amazing” by e. e. cummings. This too, is coffee before Hebrew.