Hebrew is the ancient language of the Bible. It is also a modern, new and exciting language spoken in a relatively new country, Israel. In a lecture at the University of Chicago a few years ago, Meir Shalev, Israeli novelist, noted that the Hebrew language is growing faster than any other language he knows in the past 100 years. Huckleberry Finn, he said, has been translated into Hebrew three times. Each translation utilizes current language trends. He remarked that people reading the third translation could not understand the first and vice-versa. So how did a language which developed from pictures, was spoken and read for thousands of years mostly in the synagogue, survive and flourish? After laying almost dormant, a handful of Russian Zionists in the 19th century decided to revive it. Eventually they came to live in Palestine and took biblical Hebrew to new heights. In particular, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, has been credited with the modernization of Hebrew.
Today, clergy and teachers, the keepers of the traditions of our people, continue to teach Hebrew to the next generation. Whether you want to learn biblical Hebrew so you can chant from the Torah, or speak a little modern Hebrew for an upcoming trip to Israel, Cantor Miriam can teach you Hebrew; reading, writing, speaking and even singing Hebrew songs in a fun “whole language” approach!