Skip to comments.How Hebrew came to Yale
Posted on 12/07/2005 5:39:22 AM PST by SJackson
Few Americans have heard of Rabbi Haim Isaac Carigal, but every Yale University graduate has seen the evidence of his influence over the history of that institution. Because of Carigal's relationship with Yale's fifth president, Reverend Ezra Stiles, in 1777 Hebrew became a required course in the freshman curriculum.
Many colonial-era American Christians had a respect for even a fascination with the Hebrew language and Jewish religion. In part, their interest stemmed from a belief that the Hebrew Bible, which they dubbed the "Old Testament," laid the ground for the Christian "New Testament." Educated American Christians, especially New England clergymen, assumed that an accurate reading of the Old Testament was best done in its original language. By the 1720s, it was possible to study Hebrew at Harvard College under the tutelage of Professor Judah Monis.
(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...
"This has proved very disagreeable to a Number of the Students."
I pity anyone who has tried to study Hebrew in the old way (memorizing vowel marks, etc.)instead of as a living language (which has been possible since the re-estblishment of Israel). It must have been tough--especially for freshmen.
But at commencements Yale acutally had orations delivered in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, until sometime in the early 1800s.
Many many years ago I saw Jonathan Edwards' handwritten valedictory (Latin) address as a Yale undergrad. I think Edwards was like 17 when he graduated.
'Twas a bit of a different world back then.
As for the Hebrew requirement, sorry it only lasted a few years. Out of curiosity, I wonder if the letters on the Yale logo came out of the Stiles years.
At any rate, it is sad to see what has become of the great New England universities. Not just the secularism, though that is enough to sicken you. The entiere set of standards are completely gone....makes you hunger for the old days.
"Palestinians" had not yet been invented.
People were actually educated there, once.
Many individuals are learning a little (and a few, learning more) about contemporary, informal Hebrew without the help of universities now. The best teachers are outside of the universities. IMO, most Americans would have an easier time with Sephardic pronunciation, but we shouldn't complain much. [g]
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.