Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew (Mosaica Press, 2014)
Hardcover: 289 pages
Throughout Jewish literature, the Hebrew language is referred to as Lashon HaKodesh. Its history, origins, decline, and rebirth are simply fascinating. Furthermore, at its deepest level, Lashon HaKodesh is called such (“the Holy Language”) because it is intrinsically sacred – and is thus unlike any other language known to Man.
Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew seeks to understand the holiness of Lashon HaKodesh, follows its history, and focuses on the significance of Aramaic and other ‘Jewish languages’ such as Yiddish and Ladino. An extended section is devoted to Modern Hebrew, its controversies, and its implications from a religious perspective. This unique work delves into the linguistic history of each ‘Jewish language’, as well as the philological, Kabbalistic, and Halachic approaches to this topic taken by various Rabbinic figures through the ages. The author also compares and contrasts traditional Jewish views to those of modern-day academia, offering proofs and difficulties to both approaches.
As the old saying goes, “Two Jews, three opinions.” In almost every chapter, more than one way of looking at the matter at hand is presented. In some cases, the differing opinions can be harmonized, but ultimately many matters remain subject to dispute. Hopefully, the mere knowledge of these sources will whet the reader’s intellectual curiosity to learn more.
Written by a brilliant young scholar, Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew is ground-breaking, intriguing, and remarkable.
This book is available for purchase in Jewish bookstores in America and Israel and online at the following websites:
...has done a great service to us in his work on the Hebrew language, its origins, and inherent holiness. It is the only language of the ancient past that has survived, revived itself, and is in use by millions of people in today's world. This relatively short work is full of information, tradition, and insights. The history of Hebrew is a microcosm of the history of the story of the Jewish people itself. It is a work to be studied, appreciated, and read by all those who truly wish to understand Torah, holiness, and Jewish survival. --Rabbi Berel Wein (Jewish Destiny Foundation, founder)
...provides a very thorough and intriguing account of the language that secular scholars and laypeople generally call Hebrew as it is presented by Rabbinic scholars in the vast Jewish religious literature from the Talmud up to the present day... a major resource for all who wish to understand traditional Jewish scholarly approaches to Jewish linguistics. --Dr. Bernard Spolsky (Bar Ilan University, professor emeritus)
...I commend the author on this enlightening presentation and recommend this work to all those who want to enrich their understanding of the importance and implications of our holy language... --Rabbi Zev Leff (Moshav Matityahu, Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva)