Why learn Biblical Hebrew?
· Hebrew and Aramaic were the languages Jesus spoke
· It is the original language in which the Bible was written
· Israel is one of the most visited Countries in the World
Hebrew is the language of a region with a very different culture situated in the Middle East
Do you want to learn Hebrew and read the Bible in its original language? Would you like to better understand the language and world of Abraham, Moses, David, and even Jesus? Studying Hebrew with Dr. Tarsee Li is more than learning one of the world's oldest languages, it is learning about the ancient history and culture of Israel and its neighbors.
The modern state of Israel has its roots in the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), a concept central to Judaism since ancient times, and the heartland of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to which modern Jews are usually attributed. After World War I, the League of Nations approved the British Mandate of Palestine with the intent of creating a "national home for the Jewish people.” In 1947, the United Nations approved the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel declared independence and this was followed by a war with the surrounding Arab states, which refused to accept the plan. The Israelis were subsequently victorious in a series of wars confirming their independence and expanding the borders of the Jewish state beyond those in the UN Partition Plan. Since then, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in several major wars and decades of violence that continue to this day. Since its foundation, Israel's boundaries and the State's right to exist have been subject to dispute, especially among its Arab neighbors and their many Palestinian refugees. Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, though efforts for a long-lasting peace with the Palestinians have so far been unsuccessful.
Israel was established as a homeland for the Jewish people and is often referred to as the Jewish state. The country's Law of Return grants all Jews and those of Jewish lineage the right to Israeli citizenship. Just over three quarters, or 75.5%, of the population are Jews from a diversity of Jewish backgrounds. Approximately 68% of Israeli Jews are Israeli-born, 22% are immigrants from Europe and the Americas, and 10% are immigrants from Asia and Africa (including the Arab World). The religious affiliation of Israeli Jews varies widely: 55% say they are "traditional," while 20% consider themselves "secular Jews," 17% define themselves as Orthodox Jews"; the final 8% define themselves as "Haredi Jews."
Making up 16.2% of the population, Muslims constitute Israel's largest religious minority. Arab citizens of Israel, who comprise 19.8% of the population, contribute significantly to that figure as over four fifths (82.6%) of them are Muslim. Of the remaining Israeli Arabs, 8.8% are Christian and 8.4% are Druze. Members of many other religious groups, including Buddhists and Hindusmaintain a presence in Israel, albeit in small numbers. Christians make up 2.1% of the total population of Israel and consist of both Arab Christians and Messianic Jews.
The city of Jerusalem is of special importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians as it is the home of sites that are pivotal to their religious beliefs, such as the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the Al-Aqsa Mosue and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Culture of Israel
Israel's diverse culture stems from the diversity of the population: Jews from around the world have brought their cultural and religious traditions with them, creating a melting pot of Jewish customs and beliefs. Israel is the only country in the world where life revolves around the Hebrew calendar. Work and school holidays are determined by the Jewish holidays, and the official day of rest is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Israel's substantial Arab minority has also left its imprint on Israeli culture in such spheres as architecture, music, and cuisine. Israeli music contains musical influences from all over the world; Yemenite music, Hasidic melodies, Arabic music, Greek music, jazz, and pop rock are all part of the music scene. The nation's canonical folk songs, known as "Songs of the Land of Israel," deal with the experiences of the pioneers in building the Jewish homeland. Among Israel's world-renowned orchestras is the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which has been in operation for over seventy years and today performs more than two hundred concerts each year. Continuing the strong theatrical traditions of the Yiddish theater in Eastern Europe, Israel maintains a vibrant theatre scene. Founded in 1918, Habima Theatre in Tel Aviv is Israel's oldest repertory theater company and national theater.
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is one of Israel's most important cultural institutions and houses the Dead Sea scrolls along with an extensive collection of Judaica and European art. Israel's national Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, houses the world's largest archive of Holocaust-related information. Beth Hatefutsoth (the Diaspora Museum), on the campus of Tel Aviv University, is an interactive museum.
The Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Israel was established as a homeland for the Jewish people and is often referred to as the Jewish state. The country's Law of Return grants all Jews and those of Jewish lineage the right to Israeli citizenship. Just over three quarters, or 75.5%, of the population are Jews from a diversity of Jewish backgrounds. Approximately 68% of Israeli Jews are Israeli-born, 22% are immigrants from Europe and the Americas, and 10% are immigrants from Asia and Africa (including the Arab World).
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