Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Yet another review of Glinert, The Story of Hebrew

APPROPRIATE FOR ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY: Celebrating the Hebrew Language (Jeremy Rosen, The Algemeiner).
Where did the Hebrew language come from? When did it begin? What language does God speak? And, for that matter, what language did the snake use to converse with Eve in the Garden of Eden? Is modern Hebrew a development out of Biblical Hebrew, or is it really a new and different language? Questions such as these have challenged us for years.

Once upon a time, the source one would turn to for answers would be Hebrew: The Eternal Language, by William Chomsky (a man world away from his son Noam, who has renounced Israel and Judaism). Now Chomsky’s mantle has been passed to Lewis Glinert — professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures at Dartmouth College — a former Brit and, briefly, a teaching colleague of mine. His new book, The Story of Hebrew, is a brilliant, informative, readable and enjoyable romp through the history of Hebrew, from its earliest beginnings to the present day. It is a must-have for any thinking person’s Jewish library.

Earlier reviews of the book have been noted here and here. Past posts pertaining to Israel Independence Day from the last couple of years are here and here