Throughout Jewish literature, the Hebrew language is referred to as Lashon HaKodesh. Its history, origins, decline, and rebirth are simply fascinating. Furthermore, at its deepest level, Lashon HaKodesh is called such (“the Holy Language”) because it is intrinsically sacred – and is thus unlike any other language known to man.
Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew seeks to understand the holiness of Lashon HaKodesh, follows its history, and focuses on the significance of Aramaic and other “Jewish languages” such as Yiddish and Ladino. An extended section is devoted to Modern Hebrew, its controversies, and its implications from a religious perspective. This unique work delves into the linguistic history of each “Jewish language,” as well as the philological, Kabbalistic, and Halachic approaches to this topic taken by various Rabbinic figures through the ages. The author also compares and contrasts traditional Jewish views to those of modern-day academia, offering proofs and difficulties to both approaches.
As the old saying goes, “Two Jews, three opinions.” In almost every chapter, more than one way of looking at the matter at hand is presented. In some cases, the differing opinions can be harmonized, but ultimately many matters remain subject to dispute. Hopefully, the mere knowledge of these sources will whet the reader’s intellectual curiosity to learn more.
Written by a brilliant young scholar, Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew is ground-breaking, intriguing, and remarkable.
About The Author
Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein is a native of Valley Village, CA. He graduated Emek Hebrew Academy and Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles before going to study at the famed Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem and in Beth Medrash Govoha of America in Lakewood, NJ. He received rabbinic ordination from leading authorities Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, Rabbi Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Lerner, and Dayan Chanoch Sanhedrai. He is also a member of the RCA, an alumnus of Ohr LaGolah, and was awarded a summer fellowship at the Tikvah Institute for Yeshiva Men in 2015. Mosaica Press published his first book, Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew in 2014, and it became an instant classic. Rabbi Klein has also published papers in several prestigious journals, including Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society (New York), Jewish Bible Quarterly (Jerusalem), Kovetz Hamaor (Monsey), and Kovetz Kol HaTorah (London). Many of his writings and lectures are available for free on the internet. Rabbi Klein is currently a member of the Kollel of Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem and lives with his wife and children in Beitar Illit, Israel. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Reuven Chaim Klein has done a great service to us in his work on the Hebrew language, its origins, and inherent holiness. It is the only language of the ancient past that has survived, revived itself, and is in use by millions of people in today’s world. This relatively short work is full of information, tradition, and insights. The history of Hebrew is a microcosm of the history of the story of the Jewish people itself. It is a work to be studied, appreciated, and read by all those who truly wish to understand Torah, holiness, and Jewish survival.”
– Rabbi Berel Wein (Jewish Destiny Foundation, founder)
“…provides a very thorough and intriguing account of the language that secular scholars and laypeople generally call Hebrew as it is presented by Rabbinic scholars in the vast Jewish religious literature from the Talmud up to the present day… a major resource for all who wish to understand traditional Jewish scholarly approaches to Jewish linguistics.”
– Dr. Bernard Spolsky (Bar Ilan University, professor emeritus)
“…I commend the author on this enlightening presentation and recommend this work to all those who want to enrich their understanding of the importance and implications of our holy language…”
– Rabbi Zev Leff (Moshav Matityahu, Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva)
Eli Y –
Very interesting book. A bit clunky at times but worth the read.
Andrea Penn –
A fine and informative discussion of the Biblical Hebrew language, its evolution and its importance in Judiasm.
R. Knapp –
I can’t remember being so excited and engrossed in a book.
Michael G. Samet, Ph.D. –
A brilliant book by a brilliant young author.
A systematic and most revealing treatment of a critical and fascinating topic.
Kol Hakavod to Rabbi RC Klein.