The other day in class we were learning the new verbs: (לדון) ladoon and (לריב) lareev. Ladoon is “to debate” and lareev is “to argue”. My Ulpan teacher gave us an explanation that just about cracked me up, and if anyone has lived/been to Israel you will totally understand why.
She gave this example: In the States, you have debates. One person gives his/her side of the issue, where he/she stands. Then the other person says, “I see your point, but I believe that…..” The debate might go on and on this way, one person politely “seeing” the other persons point of view, then giving her/his own. This is debate.
But, in Israel, debate does not actually exist AT ALL! It begins with one person giving his/her point of view, then when it’s the next person’s time to talk, he/she immediately begins “arguing” why it is right or wrong. The conversation completely skips over the “debating” segment into the (heated) argument segment.
AND HOW TRUE THIS IS!!!!
Even in Israeli politics there is no debate. Give it one or two minutes and the politicians are yelling at each other (or having a heated argument as some might suggest). The “debate” will never happen.
When I first moved to Israel, I felt like everyone was always yelling at me or each other. Even the normal speaking tone of voice seemed harsh to me. I would always tell my Israeli friends, “stop yelling at me when you talk”, and they would always respond, “I’m not yelling!” It was a bit of a shock at first, but now I have totally accustomed myself to it. Even yesterday when a guy was yelling speaking with the bicycle store owner, I found myself thinking nothing of it and totally ignoring him.
So, don’t ask me why לדון actually exists in the Hebrew language…no one here knows how to use it anyways!