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Re: Archaic Hebrew in a Greek text

>We assume that the Jews of 2000 years ago had some burning
desire to maintain the use of Hebrew as the Holy Language, just as Jews
today try to do. I do not think that one can support this from the sources.<
[David Jay Kaufman]

Two observations in respnse to the above:
(l) Depends what you mean by "the Jews" of 2,000 years ago.  This generic
    reference means nothing, since we know very well that "the Jews" of tht
    that time were divided into numerous sects, with differing viewpoints
    and agendas.  Obviously at least one group, presumably the Pharisees,
    who developed into Rabbinic Judaism, both desired and SUCCEEDED in
    maintaining the use of Hebrew as the Holy Language.  Hence the suggestion
    that one cannot support this from the sources is not exactly accurate.
(2) "just as Jews today try to do."  Again, I've no idea what you mean by
    "TRY to."   The Orthodox today are the cultural heirs of a continuous
    maintenance of Hebrew as the Holy Language.  So too is the case with
    Conservative Judaism.  And today even Reform Judaism is making an amazing
    come-back from earlier generations thereof, in that it has reintroduced
    large chunks of Hebrew into its liturgy.  I can testify to ALL of this
    from first hand personal experience.

 >Even M. Megillah, though it requires that the text be read in Hebrew for
one to fulfill their requirement, seems to imply that it was read in
another language, probably Greek.<

 Maybe so, but the Megillah (Book of Esther) is a special case for many reasons
  It is very late and does not contain the name of God, hence is not quite in
 the normative category of Holy Scripture -- the statements in M. Megillah
 may indeed imply that there was some ambivalence at the time concerning
 whether Esther was classifiable as Holy Scripture; and it's obviously no
 accident that it's the only biblical book of which we find no trace at Qumran.
 So I don't think we can make any generalization based on this about whether
 "the" Jews (or any segment of them) did or did not desire to preserve Hebrew
 as the language of Holy Scripture.

>Who spoke Greek? Anyone with half an education. The elite classes
may even have learned Greek before Aramaic. Note, not Hebrew.<

Here you are almost certainly confusing two things: the native language
(whether Hebrew or Aramaic is a matter of controversy) of the Jews of
Judea/Palestine, and the language taught to or studied by the educated elite.
A modern analogy would be the Russians after Peter the Great -- the elite
learned to read and speak French, but Russian was and remained their NATIVE
language.  Your comments seem to reflect the modern, post-Enlightenment bias
which some Jews, notably in 19th-century Germany, developed against the use
of Hebrew and in favor of the use of the national language, as the language
of liturgy - which of course chacterized Reform Judaism from its German origins
through its American development almost until today (but as I said above, that
has undergone a volte face in the last ten to twenty years, during which
progressively more Hebrew has been reintroduced to Reform prayerbooks.

Like it or not, there have always been some Jews who preserved the use of
Hebrew for liturgical and study purposes, and based on personal experience of
several decades of contact with various branches of Judaism, I would say that
usage of Hebrew is currently on the increase, not decreasing as you seemed to
Judith Romney Wegner, Connecticut College