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Re: Continued active Hebrew use
Some years ago, when I taught the History of Jewish Education, I devoted
some time to this question, and found that in the Middle Ages it was used
for many secular purposes (not only liturgical -- prayer and Torah
reading). Most fascinating of all (I forget whether it was Dinur or Assaf
who brought it), there is even some "Diplomatic" correspondence between
the Ottoman Empire and the European (Latin) world. In this case it
apparently served as the "lingua franca" between the two language worlds.
Also some of the international trade between Jews was in Hebrew, since it
was a common tongue. This was of course in the time period when Europeans
wrote in Latin, but spoke "not Latin". Presumably the same went for Hebrew.
A happy holiday to all -- to each his own ... (Passover is already in the
house, and will soon officially make a grand entrance. When does Easter