V’ahavta וְאָהַבְתָּ ‘And you shall love’ -The Miracle of Hebrew. Hadassah from Jerusalem


V’ahavta  
וְאָהַבְתָּ    ‘And you shall love’ 

The Miracle of Hebrew
Hadassah from Jerusalem


Last week, my Grandson Moshe and I went on an exploring walk down Rehov Nevi’im (Prophet Street) We went to see the Ethiopian Church- a beautiful and historic structure. What we found across the alley was something that really made our day. We discovered the first home of the amazing pioneer, Zionist and ‘prophet ’~Eliezer Ben Yehuda.

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, is known as the ‘Father of Modern Hebrew’. Quoting from his biography, “I read somewhere that we Jews speak seventy different languages, yet not one of us speaks our own language.” 

Hebrew is the language of the Torah and only in the last 100 years the language of the Jewish people in Israel. The ‘resurrection’ of the Hebrew language as a daily language was brought about almost solely by this one man.

One of the first with a Zionist vision (even before Theodor Herzl), Eliezer Ben-Yehuda spent his life resurrecting the Hebrew language for the Jewish people to speak on a daily basis. He knew that the nation of Israel could never become a ‘country on its own’ if it did not have a common language.


When he arrived in what was then Palestine in 1881, Hebrew had not been the spoken language of the Jewish people since Bible times. Eliezer went against supreme opposition and persecution to bring to life the Hebrew language. Many believed that Hebrew should only be used in connection with the Torah. To use the ‘Holy Tongue’ for common dialogue was unheard of. Once he grasped the vision of a national tongue, Hebrew became the only language spoken in Eliezer’s home. He forbid for his son Ben-Zion to hear any other language. The task was daunting, but he gave his life to the task of making Hebrew available to everyone and within 40 years, succeeded. 


In 1922, Hebrew became the official language of the Jewish people in Palestine.

Hebrew defines the culture, the religious life, and the rich inheritance we have as Jews with a history that dates to Creation. With the promise of returning us from the four corners of the world, Hebrew unites the immigrants with the rest of the country and begins, after a manner, cleansing and washing the heart and mind of the diaspora. By embracing Hebrew, we embrace our true identity as People of the Book. The ones with whom God has made His Covenant.



Learning Hebrew is easier said than done for most people. But that story is for another post…           

Nissim & Hadassah
Jerusalem, Israel
Hadassah and Nissim, her accountant husband, live in a settlement just outside Jerusalem with their dog Molly. After making Aliyah (immigrating) from the U.S. with their five children in 1989, they are now semi-retired and open their home to guests and those wishing to make Aliyah. When not busy with their 16 ‘GrandWonders’, they enjoy a quiet life of study, prayer and learning to serve the LORD. 

Hadassah #15 12.27.17


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