Étan Levine’s article “Writing in Hebrew” focused on the resurrection of the Hebrew language from its original archaic version. In its original context, the Hebrew language was not only Israel’s primary tongue, but also its source of religious and cultural history. It was the language chosen by God and the primary source of language for the Bible. Like most ancient dialects, such as Latin, Old Norse, and Middle English, the Hebrew language around the age of CE was a form of speech and writing that needed translation. Despite its outdated speech and textual language, Jewish families continued to study Hebrew in its original format. The retention of the language kept the close nit community alive. Hebrew not only kept the Jewish lifestyle from losing its essence, but also preserved Jewish boys and girls own since of self- awareness and cultural inheritance.
Though Hebrew has undergone many transitions from its original format, the idea and idioms behind the phrases and words are the same. Because the Hebrew dialect was a language founded on the unity of a nation under a singular God, the connotations behind the words and phrases have undergone little change. Modern Hebrew, like its original form, is a unique language whose words circle around the idea of community and religion (an idea important to Zionists).
With the influx of new words many people saw the updated version of Hebrew as a watered down version that was a linguistic tool for the immigrant rather than for the true nationalist. The assimilation of other outside languages with the Hebrew language weakened the dialect. Everything from a sentences grammar, syntax, and pronunciation altered. The hybrid version of Hebrew not only lost its uniqueness it also began to lose some of its cultural essence.
Despite the fear that the new form of Hebrew would lead to a dissimilation of nationalism and would lead to a corruption in the Jewish culture, the language did transform into a modernized version that was easier to read and learn. With the changes also came a new generation of writers. Authors of prose and poetry, fought to save the culture connotations in the new form of Hebrew. Writers such as S. Y. Agnon or Abraham Schlonsky are perfect examples for the modern Hebrew writer. He intermeshes Biblical texts with history, yet he does it in a way that keeps the language pure and new. He, like so many other authors, has managed to bring back vitality to...