Hebrew: The Eternal Language Page 7...

The extraordinary story of the Hebrew language is the subject of this book.

PREFACE There has long been need for a book on the origin of the Hebrew language, its struggle for survival in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles, and its survival as a spoken vernacu-lar in our own day. I confess to having for many years cher-ished the hope that it would some day be given me to write this story. At the same time, I shrank from undertaking a task so vast and important, so basic to the Jewish cultural heritage, and involving so many aspects of Jewish life and history. When, therefore, the Zionist Organization of America approached me several years ago with the request that I prepare a pamphlet on the subject, Hebrew, The Story of a Living Language, I allowed myself to be persuaded for the very reason that the discussion would be brief and tentative. Yet some of my friends at once began urging me to expand that pamphlet into a full- sized book, and this is the result. The account is far from exhaustive. It is designed primarily for the intelligent reader rather than for the scholar. In the proc-ess of popularization much had to be diluted, omitted or con-densed. In many areas the presentation is very sketchy, though, I hope, authentic and accurate. A more comprehensive account will have to await more auspicious circumstances. In the writing of this book I had to resort to various sources of information and to the help of individuals who are expert in certain specific areas, and I herewith wish to pay grateful ac-knowledgment. I am, of course, primarily indebted to Dr. Solo-mon Grayzel for his stimulation and encouragement, criticism and advice, in the preparation of this book. My thanks are due to the following individuals for helpful counsel and information: Judah Lapson, Chairman of Hebrew Culture Service Committee for American High Schools and Colleges; A. Leo Oppenheim, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago; Cecil Roth, Oxford vii  C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

Hebrew: The Eternal Language


About Book Hebrew: The Eternal Language

FrontmaterTitle pageCopyright pageDedication pagePrefaceContentsList of IllustrationsHEBREW: THE ETERNAL LANGUAGEINTRODUCTION—The Role of Hebrew in Jewish LifePART I—How the Language Began to Be SpokenPART II—How the Written Language Took FormPART III—How the Language Was PreservedPART IV—How the Language Meets Modern NeedsEPILOGUE—Hebrew for American JewsChanging Jewish Attitude toward HebrewSignificance of Hebrew in Jewish LifeThe Present Spiritual Crisis in Diaspora JewryNeeded—A Dynamic Source of Motivation for Jewish Life in the DiasporaThe Real Meaning of Historic CultureThe Role of Hebrew in Diaspora JudaismNotes and BibliographyIndex
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