Hebrew Prayer Books

HEBREW

After 2000 years when nobody spoke it as a mother tongue, Hebrew was resurrected into full and vigorous life. 

 

Today, Hebrew is the language of Israel, one of the world’s fastest-growing high-tech economies and a country of constant importance on the world stage.

 

If you are interested in research on the Middle East or in working there, a knowledge of Hebrew is invaluable.

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WHERE IS IT SPOKEN?

ISRAEL

and in many Jewish communities around the world

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NUMBER OF SPEAKERS

9 MILLION 

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LANGUAGE FAMILY

AFRO-ASIATIC

THREE FUN FACTS ABOUT HEBREW

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Many English words borrowed from Hebrew are related to religion

Other English words borrowed from Hebrew are related to mythology, and Hebrew names such as Adam, Benjamin and Jacob. Examples of Hebrew loanwords include behemoth, cherub, hallelujah, kosher, leviathan, jacket, jesuit, jockey, mazeltov, sabbatical, satanic, shibboleth and torah.