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The town of Shakhty, the Rostov region, 85-B Pobeda Revolutsii Str., 3rd floor, office 5

Office tel./fax: +7 (8636) 279-161. Mobile phone numbers: +7 (918) 529-09-62, +7 (903) 437-42-26

e-mail: info@jbs-ltd.com 

The Hebrew language

Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such as the Samaritans. Modern Hebrew is spoken by most of the seven million people in Israel while Classical Hebrew has been used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world. The language is attested from the 10th century BCE to the late Second Temple period, after which the language developed into Mishnaic Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is one of the official languages of Israel, along with Arabic.

Ancient Hebrew is also the liturgical tongue of the Samaritans, while modern Hebrew or Arabic is their vernacular, though today about 700 Samaritans remain. As a foreign language it is studied mostly by Jews and students of Judaism and Israel, archaeologists and linguists specializing in the Middle East and its civilizations, by theologians, and in Christian seminaries.

The core of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible), and most of the rest of the Hebrew Bible, is written in Classical Hebrew, and much of its present form is specifically the dialect of Biblical Hebrew that scholars believe flourished around the 6th century BCE, around the time of the Babylonian exile. For this reason, Hebrew has been referred to by Jews as Leshon HaKodesh, «The Holy Language», since ancient times.

History

Hebrew belongs to the Canaanite group of languages. In turn the Canaanite languages are a branch of the Northwest Semitic family of languages.

Hebrew flourished as a spoken language in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah during the 10th to 7th centuries BCE. Scholars debate the degree to which Hebrew was a spoken vernacular in ancient times following the Babylonian exile, when the predominant language in the region was Old Aramaic.

Hebrew was nearly extinct as a spoken language by Late Antiquity, but it survived as a literary language and as the liturgical language of Judaism, evolving various dialects of literary Medieval Hebrew, until its revival as a spoken language in the late 19th century.

(from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia)