Not like a Cypress Historical Context

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Hebrew

Although he had studied classical Hebrew since childhood, when he wrote poetry, Amichai chose to do so in colloquial Hebrew, the language spoken on the streets and in homes. Hebrew is a Semitic language with linguistic roots in the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is similar in many ways to Aramaic and south-central Arabic. Hebrew is an ancient language. Preserved writings of Hebrew date to 3000 b.c.e. , but the language ceased to be spoken around 200 c.e. and was used only in its written, classical form. Hebrew was used to write religious texts as well as legal, scientific, literary, and business documents. In the latter part of the twentieth century, Hebrew was revitalized as a spoken language.

The most influential person in the revival of spoken Hebrew was Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922), who was also instrumental in the Jewish national movement. Before the revival, most Jews were brought...

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