Honoring Hebrew Language Day 2023
Hebrew Language Day is officially celebrated in Israel on the birthday of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who is known as the father of modern Hebrew.
Given the centrality of the Hebrew language in preserving the Jewish people, the building of the Israeli society, and its ability to connect Jewish communities globally, we will be marking the occasion with a fascinating lecture on the language:
Hebrew 101: The Origins, History, and Importance of Our Language
Presentation by Dr. Stanley Dubinsky
PhD in Linguistics, Cornell University
Current Professor at the University of South Carolina
This talk will take us all the way back to a time before there was a Jewish people to discover where the Hebrew alephbet (and all other Western writing systems) came from. We will consider what language was like for the Tribes of Israel and the surrounding nations, and then examine how the Hebrew language came to be the center of our identity in the Babylonian Exile. We will then briefly consider its importance in the Maccabean Revolt and the establishment of the Hasmonean Kingdom, and how our Hebrew language texts preserved the Jewish people through 2000 years of the Diaspora. Finally, we will examine how Hebrew came to be chosen by the Zionist movement as the language of modern Israel and how it was successfully revived – more successfully so than any other language in human history.