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Re: crosspost from Ioudaios
> Gentlemen, gentlemen (and Ladies too for the sake of inclusivity). Are
> we going to have an argument over spoken Hebrew at the turn of the Era
> resembling the BYTDWD controversy? I already perceive the battle lines
> being drawn and the rapiers of tongue being sharpened. Let the games
> begin and take no hostages!
> Avigdor Hurowitz
I am going to look at this as a cultural anthropologist. Look at Israel
today, just as Judea was in the Second Temple period, large movements of
peoples have caused a scene of cultural linguistic diversity.
What are the languages of Israel today? Hebrew was reinstituted as a
spoken language by the Zionists who had all the new olim learn it in Ulpan.
The Orthodox refused to use Hebrew, the Holy language, in their everyday
use. They chose to maintain Yiddish, Judeo-German. Mass immigration of over
a million Sephardim brought Judeo-Arabic, Arabic and French into the new
state. And the Arabs of course spoke Arabic too. Today large numbers of
Russians are immigrating to Israel. And above all English is the
linga-franca that most Israelis can speak.
The Province of Judea went through a similiar development. Aramaic and
Greek were Judea's eqivilant to the Arabic and English of the modern State
of Israel. Hebrew in Judea and Yiddish in Israel may have been the language
of the religious community, but not exclusively, and so on. We can barely
deal with this issue in a modern example. How can we deal with this issue
about a society we can now only guess about. And are we looking for a
homogenous answere for a heterogenus society? Perhaps the question itself is
invalid. Maybe several languages were spoken simultaneously, as today in
If 2000 years from now a major excavation in Jerusalem revealed all the
languages of the modern state, what do you think their conclusions will be?
Though this debate has been most informative.