Having read about this restaurant online, I’ve wanted to check it out for months. Today, I finally got the chance.
I walked down the entire length of Maeven Road without any luck, though, until I peered into a yard with an open gate and a homely-looking building that seemed (in the dimness of the setting sun) to house a what appeared to be a restaurant.
I’d found it!
When I got in, the first thing I realised was the sign with a Hebrew word (אשׁור) that I do not know. At each corner the sign, there were two Hebrew words: יה חי (Yah chai), which means “Yah lives”. I ordered a couple slices of pizza (tasty, especially with falafel ) and then the owner began to reason with me about some things. He said that Jamaicans, being descended largely from the Ibo tribe of Africa, are Israelites, and that it’s a shame to have that heritage hidden from us (and other Western black peoples). He also mentioned the idea that Hebrew is a scientific (logical) language. He may be Messianic (perhaps the first I’ve ever met!) since he spoke the name Yeshua.
He speaks Hebrew! Here I was in Jamaica, and I was in a conversation with someone using words that I was so very familiar with (איש, שמש, אש), and there was even one word that I learnt from him: אבטיח (avatiach, watermelon).
Pity I didn’t try to have a conversation with him. I’m unsure what his level of Hebrew understanding is, but he introduced himself to me as Ben Tsedek (which means ‘son of righteousness’, not to be confused with the book of Malachi’s ‘sun of righteousness‘, which is שמש צדקה, shemesh tsdaka, but it’s a cool pun, I think). I do intend to go back, so perhaps I’ll get a chance to converse at another time.
I’d appreciate the chance to practise spoken Hebrew!
My Israeli friend says that the Hebrew word I didn’t know is the word for Assyria. Kind of funny, though; why would that be in the logo?