National Hebrew Day
Today we celebrate National Hebrew Day that is actually the anniversary of the passing of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda was Lithuania-born visionary who turned an ancient Hebrew language into a spoken one.
Interesting facts about the Hebrew language:
- Hebrew is a Semitic language. Hebrew was originally spoken by the Israelites. The oldest records of written Hebrew date between 1200BC and 587BC, including the Bible.
- There is an estimated 9 million Hebrew speakers across the world. Hebrew is mainly spoken in Israel with 90% of Israeli Jews and 60% of Israeli Arabs being proficient, and the United States has the second largest Hebrew-speaking population.
- Hebrew was nearly extinct by Late Antiquity. Hebrew survived as the liturgical language of Judaism in the Middle Ages. It was only during the 19th century that Hebrew was revived as an everyday language. Its standardised form became Modern Hebrew.
- Hebrew has many tongue twisters.
- Many English words borrowed from Hebrew are related to religion. Examples of Hebrew loanwords include behemoth, cherub, hallelujah, kosher, leviathan, jacket, Jesuit, jockey, mazeltov, sabbatical, satanic, shibboleth and Torah.
If you would like to study Hebrew you can join one of our many classes in the UK, here: https://tinyurl.com/WZOUK-HEBREW