Hebrew 2021/2022

Hebrew has its roots in the Jewish history in the Land of Israel with texts dating back more than a thousand years before the Common Era. After the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile in the sixth-century BCE, other forms of Hebrew began to develop, in particular the dialects that came to form Mishnaic Hebrew, the language of the rabbis. Throughout the Middle Ages, Hebrew continued as a written language of educated Jews and even played a part in Spanish-Jewish poetry.

During the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) during the 1700s, some scholars began using Hebrew even to discuss secular subjects, and a spoken language was revived during the end of the 19th-century under the leadership of the Russian Jew Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. Nowadays one can find a wealth of literature composed in Modern Hebrew, and many works within Judaic Studies are published solely in Modern Hebrew. The living, innovative language spoken in the nation of Israel today can be traced throughout history: from renowned texts such as the Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Mishna through the Middle Ages where it was found mainly within the Yiddish-, Latino-, and Judeo-Arabic cultures until it was finally revived as a national language in modern times.

First cycle courses in Classical Hebrew are designed to provide students with knowledge and skills in the grammar of Classical Hebrew but students also get to look at texts produced after the Bible. Students are taught to understand and analyse texts within the context of the history of the Near East. Included in the courses at the first cycle level are also introductions to Aramaic and other Northwest Semitic languages including Ugaritic.

First cycle courses in Modern Hebrew are designed to provide students with knowledge of Modern Hebrew grammar and training in reading, understanding and linguistically analysing Modern Hebrew fiction and nonfiction, as well as literature from various genres and time periods. Included in the courses at the first cycle level are also courses relating to Jewish history.

Courses at the second cycle are found under Semitic Languages.


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