“Speak up the language of the Hebrew man
Loud and clear, the language of the Hebrew man
It is the language of the prophets, of the sign up on the wall
It is old and sacred, it will open up your soul”
The Language of the Hebrew Man (by Israeli rock star, Ehud Banai, original, ironically, in English…)
The relationship between the Masorti Movement and the Hebrew language – From the Emet Ve´emuna Statement
In 1845 a meeting of modern rabbis convened in Frankfurt. On the third day Rabbi Zechariah Frankel left the meeting in protest against a proposed resolution that declared that the Hebrew language was not
“objectively necessary” for Jewish worship, but should be retained “in deference to the older
generation”. When in 1857 the Jewish Theological Seminary, the first modern institution for the
training of rabbis, was founded in Breslau, Frankel was appointed its Rector. Within a few years
the institution became the dominant intellectual force in the religious life of central and western
European Jewry and beyond.
Conservative Jews, like Jews throughout the centuries, pray largely in Hebrew. Religion employs
intellectually abstract and emotionally powerful terms to convey its message. Such terms, when
translated, tend to change both in denotation and connotation. Hence we pray in Hebrew to
preserve all the original nuances of meaning. Hebrew has always been the primary language of
Jewish worship leshon ha-kodesh (the holy tongue). As a result, through Hebrew prayer we link
ourselves to Jews praying in all times and places. One who learns the Siddur and its music
develops an emotional attachment to the very sounds and rhythms of the words and music.
For all of these reasons, the Conservative movement urges contemporary Jews to master the art
of traditional Jewish prayer, including its Hebrew words and its music.
The second mark of the ideal Conservative Jew is that he or she is a learning Jew. One who
cannot read Hebrew is denied the full exaltation of our Jewish worship and literary heritage. One
who is ignorant of our classics cannot be affected by their message.
Melitz Sessions and Articles about the importance of the Hebrew Language