Shemot Muzarim (Strange Names)

By SHARI DASH GREENSPAN

 

This children's book makes a great Hebrew learning tool for parents and children (see review). By special arrangement with the author,JBooks.com presents her translation of the book's text, keyed to the original's page numbers, as an aid to parents who would like to use the book with their children.

(page 4-5)
In my Gan, that’s my “kindergarten,” in Israel,
There are 35 kids and I know them all well.
There’s one weird thing, though, that I really don’t get—
Their parents gave these kids the strangest names yet.

(page 6)
Their names are in Hebrew, I’ll “explain” them to you,
And then you will see how these names are strange, too.
Come into my Gan with me, stay for the day.
You’ll meet all the kids who were named a strange way.

(page 7)
Yitzchak means “he’ll laugh” but his jokes make us groan.
Zecharia, “God remembers,” forgets things at home.

(page 8) Shlomo means “perfect” but he looks all wrong.
(page 9) Shira won’t join in when we sing a “song.”

(page 10)
Adina means “gentle” but sometimes she’s not.
Simcha means “happy” but she cries a lot.

(page 11)
We ask for a “favor” but Tova won’t share.
When Liraz “has a secret,” it’s spread everywhere.

(page 12)
Malka’s no “queen”—she’s just dressed up that way,
Tirza means “willing” but she will not play.

(page 13)
Mazal is not “lucky”—she just broke her arm.
And Chen thinks that she can just paint on her “charm.”

(page 14) Rafi, the “doctor,” can’t fix all your aches.
(page 15) Effie, the “baker,” makes really weird cakes.

(page 16-17)
We play Duck-Duck-Goose, run around just a little,
Then Shalom gets tagged—needs to sit in the middle.
Though his name means “peace,” Shalom doesn’t play fair
And he never makes up—he won’t do pinky-square.

(page 18)
Chanan means “he begs” but he’ll never say ‘Gimme.’
Natan means “he gives” but we all know he’s stingy.

(page 19)
Tom, who looks “innocent,” always starts fights,
And Ram is the shortest though his name means “heights.”

(page 20-21)
Lilach, the “lilac” can’t grow in a garden.
Shaked is no “almond tree,” I beg your pardon.
Dror’s not a real “sparrow”—his feathers aren’t fluffed.
Ro’i’s not a “shepherd”—his sheep are all stuffed.

(page 22)
Binyamin, “of my right hand,” writes words with his left.
Keshet means “rainbow,” but she loves black best.

(page 23)
Sivan, who’s “the fourth month,” was born in the twelfth.
And Yisrael, “Israel,” was born somewhere else.

(page 24) Nadav does not dare “volunteer” for the teacher.
(page 25) And Yaakov won't “follow” in follow-the-leader.

(page 26) When our teacher says, “Time to clean up for the day,”
(page 27) Asaf, the “collector,” continues to play.

(page 28)
Eran, means “awake,” but he needs a nap badly,
And Avi, “my father,” is not a real daddy.

(page 29)
Keren does not have a “horn” that’s for sure.
Batsheva, “I’m seven,” is really just four.

(page 30)
I don’t see how their parents give all of these kids 
Such really strange names—not one of them fits!

(page 31)
There’s only one girl here whose name seems to go.
It fits her quite perfectly, matches just so.
Her parents gave her the best name there could be...

(page 32) That girl’s name is Yaffa, that’s “pretty,” that’s ME!