[Avodah] Hebrew Pronunciation

Prof. Levine larry62341 at optonline.net
Sun Aug 29 15:48:32 PDT 2021

The discussion of the preferable time to say 
selichos has led to a discussion of Hebrew 
pronunciation. For more on this, please see the article

The Real Story of Hebrew Pronunciation

by Rabbi Dr. Seth Mandel at 

 From the article

Given that there is no certainty regarding the 
authenticity of one tradition over another, it is 
not surprising that most posekim, including Rabbi 
Yitzchak HaCohen Kook­despite his nationalistic 
bent and positive feelings toward the revival of 
the Hebrew language­took the position that one 
may not change his ancestral custom regarding pronunciation.

See the above URL for much more.

See also the article

No, Sephardic Pronunciation Is Not More ‘Correct’ Than Ashkenazi

Beider  at 

 From this article

Many people believe that when it comes to the 
Hebrew language, the Sephardic pronunciation is 
the correct one. It’s common to hear that this is 
the reason that modern Israeli Hebrew 
pronunciation is based on the Sephardic one. 
People have told me for instance that the 
phonetics of the Sephardic speech is closer to 
the pronunciation used in the biblical period.

And yet, none of this is accurate. The first 
assertion is senseless from a linguistic point of 
view. The second one is partly incorrect. And the third one is speculative.


Which one of the three ancient dialects, 
“Tiberian”, “Palestinian” or “Babylonian,” did 
Jews speak during the time of King David?

We have no information to help us definitively 
answer the question. But even during the time of 
King David, Jews in different parts of the Land 
of Israel might have pronounced Hebrew 
differently ­ and “the Forward” was not yet 
around to teach them the correct way to do it.

See the above URL for more.

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