Celebrate Hebrew

Hebrew eliezerEliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, was born on January 7, 1858 in what is now Belarus. Like many Jewish boys of his time, he was raised to be a rabbi and scholar of traditional Jewish texts. However, he was exposed to the Enlightenment’s modern languages and thought and eventually moved to Palestine. There he put into practice his goal of reviving Hebrew as a spoken language which, he felt, would replace Yiddish and other immigrant languages and unite the Jewish residents of Palestine.

Hebrew Itamar_Ben-AviBen-Yehuda felt that modern words for with no ancient Hebrew equivalent should be created from Arabic and other languages from the area. He used his son Ben Zion (Itamar) as his control, insisting that the boy hear and speak only Hebrew. Thus young Ben Zion became the first native speaker of modern Hebrew and Hebrew became a living language once more.

Hebrew AgnonHebrew is so alive that it is taught in universities worldwide. Hebrew writer, S.Y. Agnon, has even won the Nobel Prize in Literature. And Hebrew books translated into English are universally praised.  What an achievement for a language which has about 9 million speakers worldwide.

The following list of books celebrates Ben-Yehuda’s achievements and beyond.

Hebrew in Ashkenaz: a language in exile

Hebrew does your dogBari, Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew? A book of animal sounds. (J)

Drucker, Eliezer Ben Yehuda: the father of modern Hebrew.

Edwards, Alef-bet: a Hebrew alphabet book (J)

Ganz, Aleph to Tav (J)

Glinert, The story of Hebrew

Kahn, Alef is One: A Hebrew alphabet and Counting Book (J)

Lowin, Hebrew talk: 101 Hebrew roots and the stories they  tell.

Mayers, ABC: the alef bet book: the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (J)

Hebrew language angelsMichelson, The Language of angels: a story about the reinvention of Hebrew(J)

Motzkin, Aleph isn’t tough: an introduction to Hebrew for adults

Raizen, Modern Hebrew for Beginners: a multimedia program for students

Stavans, Resurrecting Hebrew


Lampert libraryREMINDER: the library is open for borrowing.  There are many new books available as well as great older books for readers of all ages including teens.  Use the online catalog to choose your books; then email the library (email hidden; JavaScript is required)  with your request. The books can be left either in the office or on my porch (open 24/7, address by request). The catalog is very easy to use. There is a link on Shomrei’s home page. Questions or requests: email the librarian at email hidden; JavaScript is required.


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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

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