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Course Catalog > Courses: Late Summer

ZOOM: The Story of Hebrew   

**This class will be taught on Zoom**

What was the Biblical Hebrew language like? What did the words in the Hebrew Bible (and of the Old Testament) mean, and how can we know that? What did Biblical Hebrew sound like (and it’s not what you probably think!)? What was the role of Hebrew in the life of Jewish diasporic communities? In what way did Hebrew die out in the Middle Ages—or did it? How was it “brought back from the dead” and what allowed it to become the most successful language “revival” story in the world? In this course, we’ll examine those provocative questions from a scientific perspective, while challenging ideological tenets often held by both Jewish and non-Jewish commentators. We will explore how the knowledge gained from modern speech and language sciences can help us understand the controversial history of the Jews and of their holy language, as well as the often-misunderstood text of the Bible. The course presupposes no knowledge of linguistics or Hebrew.

 

Week by Week Outline

 
  1. The Roots of Hebrew. What did the words of Biblical Hebrew mean? And how can we tell?

  2. What did Biblical Hebrew sound like? And how can we tell? What are the dots and squiggles in Biblical Hebrew texts for?

  3. Hebrew in Diaspora

  4. The Revival of Hebrew

 
  • ZOOM: The Story of Hebrew
  • Fee: $100.00
    Dates: 8/5/2024 - 8/26/2024
    Times: 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
    Days: M
    Sessions: 4
    Building: Online
    Room:
    Instructor: Asya Pereltsvaig
    Seats Available: 64

    **This class will be taught on Zoom**

    **This is a 4 week course**

    What was the Biblical Hebrew language like? What did the words in the Hebrew Bible (and of the Old Testament) mean, and how can we know that? What did Biblical Hebrew sound like (and it’s not what you probably think!)? What was the role of Hebrew in the life of Jewish diasporic communities? In what way did Hebrew die out in the Middle Ages—or did it? How was it “brought back from the dead” and what allowed it to become the most successful language “revival” story in the world? In this course, we’ll examine those provocative questions from a scientific perspective, while challenging ideological tenets often held by both Jewish and non-Jewish commentators. We will explore how the knowledge gained from modern speech and language sciences can help us understand the controversial history of the Jews and of their holy language, as well as the often-misunderstood text of the Bible. The course presupposes no knowledge of linguistics or Hebrew.

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