Statement of Purpose
The undergraduate Hebrew minor program develops appreciation for the Hebrew Bible and competence to read prose with a high degree of comprehension and poetry with an intermediate degree of comprehension. The program is designed to provide students with habits of study that they may enjoy a lifelong exploration of the Hebrew Bible. The program is calculated (together with the Ancient Near Eastern studies major) to prepare students for further study in graduate programs and other career options. Biblical Hebrew students gain a heightened sensitivity of their own scriptural tradition, and an awareness of the contributions of ancient prophets, the formation and transmission of the Hebrew Bible, and the principles of textual criticism. Biblical Hebrew serves as a facilitator for the learning of Qumran, Mishnaic, Medieval, and Modern Hebrew. It provides a foundation for the learning of related Semitic languages (Babylonian, Assyrian [Akkadian], Arabic, Ethiopic, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Phoenician) and dialects of the Jewish dispersion that have Hebrew roots (Judaeo-Greek, Judaeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Persian, Ladino, Yiddish, Judaeo-Aramaic). The Hebrew section seeks to retain faculty who are examples of faith, intellect, and character, and who instill in students the desire to pursue lifelong learning in professional and religious aspects of life.
Program graduates will be able to:
- Speak Modern Hebrew at intermediate levels, demonstrating an ability to communicate with others.
- Read and comprehend intermediate level texts in Modern Hebrew, including newspapers and Modern Hebrew literature.
- Express thoughts and ideas in writing Modern Hebrew at the intermediate level.
- Appreciate and value the modern Israeli cultural tradition (including music, art, and literature).
- Read and translate biblical historical narrative texts with limited use of a lexicon.
- Compare and contrast Hebrew readings from the critical apparatus of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.
- Analyze and categorize the verbal system: pa’al, piel, hiphil, hophal, niphal, pual, and hithpael.