- Oct 2017
It is fascinating that, from the University's founding, Hebrew was taught as one of the "antient" languages. As a current student in the Modern Hebrew program here at UVa, and as someone who has lived in Israel during a gap year, I have been exposed to contemporary Hebrew in a variety of settings. The ancient, Biblical Hebrew is much different than modern Hebrew, and undoubtably provides a unique perspective on the Jewish religion. Oddly enough though, the ancient Hebrew that the first students at UVa were studying was probably Aramaic, and not Hebrew, as that is the language seen in most Jewish ancient texts. Considering Hebrew as an ancient language places a historical and religious label on the language that is much different from the Hebrew spoken in Israel and across the world today.