Monday, December 18, 2017


Wonderful pre-solstice day, made for slumber. When not succumbing to naps I read this fascinating piece about the three hundred years —  "from the 3rd to the 6th centuries CE." — for which, "there is simply no evidence that Jews were speaking or even reading Hebrew."

Astonishing, isn't it?

"Hebrew wasn’t even used for the regular recitation of Scripture or worship in synagogue. Similarly, Jewish tombstone inscriptions from before the 9th century in the territories of Spain, France, and Hungary are either Greek or Latin."

Hebrew was fading into Greek, Latin  and Aramaic, even for religious purposes. Ironically it was the rise of Arabic, which challenged Aramaic as a lingua franca, that brought Jews back to their original tongue, Hebrew.

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