Shalom Sesame: The Story of Modern Hebrew

Shalom Sesame is an educational channel for children, but anyone can learn from it and enjoy it. As we can see from world history, the kinds of languages spoken in a region can change over time; the meanings of certain words can likewise change over time. Certain words or phrases that would have been readily understood in one generation may not be understood by younger generations. We don’t always know exactly how these changes came to be.

This short video won't cover the complex history of the Hebrew language; it isn't a complete biography of Eliezer ben Yehuda. Rather, this episode shares one perspective on the life of Eliezer ben Yehuda and the role he played in the development of modern Hebrew in Israel. 

Watching this Shalom Sesame episode offers a glimpse into how just one person can impact their entire society through a shared language. Our language and culture influence the words that we use and what these words mean within our own society; exposure to other languages and cultures can also influence and change how we speak and how we live.

This video reminds us that how we interact with others can greatly impact how they interact with us, in real life or through historical accounts. It is fascinating to see how people we may have never met or even heard of can have a lasting and very present influence in the way we interact with others today. 

After taking the time to watch this story on Eliezer ben Yehuda, maybe we should take time to consider how the words we use around others could be shaping their understanding of God.

  • Are we truly motivated by the desire to understand others better?
  • Do we see others as an audience for our ideas, or are we also invested in listening to others, learning about who they are and how they are doing?
  • What are we communicating to others by how we treat them?
  • How willing are we to step out of our comfort zones and explore new places and ideas?

We can communicate information and values in many ways besides our words, and that is something we should take seriously. We should be proactive in considering the choices we make and how our choices could impact those around us not just today but in the future as well. 

Written by Verna-Lee Small

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