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  • Hebrew is an ancient Semitic language that was revived into modern use around the end of the Nineteenth century, with the effort initiated by Eliezar Ben-Yehuda.Ivrit can be interpreted to mean boundary crosser, because the ancient Hebrews crossed social boundaries as they organized their nation.The search for cognates in English can be amusing and revealing (behemoth, leviathan, and more).
  • Hebrew is a West Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Hebrews/Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE, in the form of primitive drawings. Hebrew had ceased to be an everyday spoken language somewhere between the first and fourth centuries CE and survived into the medieval period only as the language of Jewish liturgy and rabbinic literature. Then, in the 19th century, it was revived as a spoken and literary language, and, according to Ethnologue, is now the language of 9 million people worldwide, of whom 7 million are from Israel. The United States has the second largest Hebrew speaking population, with about 221,593 fluent speakers, mostly from Israel. Modern Hebrew is one of the two official languages of Israel, while Classical Hebrew is used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world today. Ancient Hebrew is also the liturgical tongue of the Samaritans, while modern Hebrew or Arabic is their vernacular.

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