The Vitality of the Hebrew Language

What are the secrets of its survival?

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The richer and the more intense the historical experiences of a people, the greater is the number of such words in its language and the more emotionally charged they are. When translated into another language, they become devitalized and almost meaningless.

Such words are not mere linguistic units; they are cultural deposits. But they cannot be transmitted in isolation. They take on their meaning and gain in richness of association and con­notation only through the context of experience. In the past some Hebrew words and expressions survived in the vernacular of the people long after the Hebrew language had ceased to be popularly spoken. They were kept alive by the intimate contact which the majority of the people continued to maintain with the Hebrew literary sources and by the persistence of Jewish forms of living and habits of thinking.

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Dr. William Chomsky (1896-1977) held an eminent place in the world of Jewish scholarship. He wrote in both academic and popular publications about various aspects of Hebrew, Jewish literature, and general education.