I've heard that many Rabbis (including the Lubavitcher Rebbe) say that one shouldn't use Lashon Hakodesh (hebrew) as a daily language, because hebrew is too holy for mundane speech. It sounds very logical, but despite this many Rabbis and religious people (specially in Israel) tend to talk about anything in hebrew.

Is there an argument against this prohibition?

  • 4
    Sounds logical??? Is it logical that 2500 years ago no one spoke in Hebrew except for matters of Torah? Or perhaps back then people only spoke in matters of Torah?
    – Double AA
    Oct 19 '15 at 2:38
  • 2
    hebrew is not Lashon Hakodesh, it is a modern variation of it
    – Menachem
    Oct 19 '15 at 5:06
  • 3
    @Menachem Mishnaic Hebrew is also a then-modern variation of it, but the gemara still treats it with respect. So yes for all intents and purposes modern Hebrew is our leshon hakodesh, even with its linguistic nuances.
    – Double AA
    Oct 19 '15 at 12:52
  • @DoubleAA Indeed R. Herschel Shachter notes that every language evolves and that in contradistinction to the the view of the Satmar Rav, modern Hebrews is considered "Hebrew" or "L'shon Hakodesh" for all intents and purposes.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 19 '15 at 15:04
  • The Satmar Rebbe wrote a paphlet on the subject of not using Hebrew vernacular. Oct 20 '15 at 17:56

Is there an argument against this prohibition?

It contradicts an explicit Gemara in Shabbat 40b:

"והאמר אביי "דברים של חול מותר לאומרן בלשון קודש, של קודש אסור לאומרן בלשון חול

To which Rashi elucidates:

דברים של קדש. דברי תורה: אסור לאומרן. במקום הטנופת ואפי' בלשון חול:‏

In an unclean location one may chat in Lashon Hakodesh, whereas one may not speak Torah there, in any language.

So you see that the Gemara takes it for granted that one may use Lashon HaKodesh - even for mundane speech, even in a bathroom.


The halacha is that while one may not bring words of Torah into a beit hakiseh (loosely: outhouse) because of their sanctity, one may bring Hebrew writing without any problem. Arguably, then, one may also speak it without fear that it's too holy.

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