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JLanguageSunday 20th of March 2005 05:25:37 AM
Rabbinical and Biblical Hebrew vs. Modern - I know that Eliezer Ben-Yehuda based Modern Hebrew on Safat HaKodesh, my question is this: How did Jews from Yehudah HaNavi to the Halutzim know hebrew? At the time of Yehudah haNavi, hebrew was no longer a commonly spoken/used language, where did he learn how to write in hebrew?

Also, Mishnaic grammar seems to vary greatly from both Biblical and modern Hebrew, did he create the divergence from Biblical hebrew or had it all ready existed?

Also, where did Rashi and other medieval Rabbis and Jews learn to write Hebrew, and what form were they using?

When Eliezer Ben-Yehuda arrived in Eretz Yisrael, he found that he could carry on a conversation in Hebrew with the Halutzim, which form of Hebrew were the Halutzim speaking?

Basically my question is the following: What were the different forms of Hebrew in use before Modern Hebrew and from where did they come?

Sorry for such a long-winded and complicated post,
-Jonathan.

PS: You can answer in Hebrew or English.
SpecialFredMonday 09th of May 2005 08:37:05 AM
Rabbinical Hebrew - I would imagine that while the dialects were somewhat different (or even vastly different) there are still enough similarities between Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew that one can be understood by a speaker of the other. As for the knowledge of Hebrew throughout the ages, most Rabbinical commentators in all parts of the world and history knew Hebrew as a matter of course. In order to learn the Torah and Mishna,
a solid foundation in the language was required. This system was perpetated by the fact that it allowed the knowledge from one part of the world to be learnt by other scholars. Many books on Hebrew grammar and form were written by the Rishonim, and formed much of the basis of Hebrew until recently.