Hebrew Information

Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Culturally, it is considered the Jewish language. Hebrew in its modern form is spoken by most of the seven million people in Israel while Classical Hebrew has been used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world for over two thousand years. It is one of the official languages of Israel, along with Arabic. Ancient Hebrew is also the liturgical tongue of the Samaritans, while modern Hebrew or Palestinian Arabic is their vernacular, though today about 700 Samaritans remain. As a foreign language it is studied mostly by Jews and students of Judaism and Israel, archaeologists and linguists specializing in the Middle East and its civilizations, by theologians, and in Christian seminaries.

The core of the Tanakh is written in Classical Hebrew, and much of its present form is specifically the dialect of Biblical Hebrew that scholars believe flourished around the 6th century BCE, around the time of the Babylonian exile. For this reason, Hebrew has been referred to by Jews as Leshon HaKodesh , "The Holy Tongue", since ancient times.

The modern word "Hebrew" is derived from the word "ivri" one of several names for the Jewish people. It is traditionally understood to be an adjective based on the name of Abraham's ancestor, Eber mentioned in Genesis 10:21. This name is possibly based upon the root "`avar" meaning "to cross over" and homiletical interpretations of the term "ivrim" link it to this verb. In the Bible "Hebrew" is called Yehudith because Judah was the surviving kingdom at the time of the quotation, late 8th century BCE . In Isaiah 19:18, it is also called the "Language of Canaan"

Wikipedia, Hebrew, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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gu · ru [goo-roo] : one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and experience in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. Log in or join now now to designate yourself or someone you know a Hebrew guru.

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