Monday, August 05, 2013

Reviving Hebrew

Hebrew had not been a spoken language for nearly 2,000 years until European Jews moved to Palestine in the 1870s. The main pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, where one of the two concert stages was set up, is on Ben-Yehuda Street. The street is named for Eliezer Ben Yehuda (born Perlman), who moved to Palestine in 1881 from what is now Belarus. He believed that  Jews gathering in the historical Israel needed a common tongue and that they should use the language of the Bible, which had been spoken conversationally only by Biblical and Talmudic scholars in the nearly two millennia since the fall of Masada—and only to discuss religious texts.

Read the rest of John Podhoretz here.

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