Chatting with Rabbi Mike
About This Show
Rabbi Michael E. Harvey of the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, was ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 2015. He earned a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion & a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University. Throughout his tenure at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Harvey served congregations, small & large, in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, & Texas.
Certified as a Prepare & Enrich marital & pre-marital counselor, Rabbi Harvey served as a chaplain at both Norton Hospital & Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. He is committed to interfaith education & social justice, locally & nationally. His dedication to both these areas can be seen in the work he has done with The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education, the American Jewish World Service, The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, & The Chautauqua Institution.
Rabbi Harvey sits as a board member for the United Way of the Virgin Islands, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, Advisory Board of the UVI Center for the Study of Spirituality & Professionalism, & Downtown Revitalization Faith Group. He also serves on the Development Committee for the Family Resource Center & is the founder & president of the newly formed Interfaith Council of the Caribbean. Plus, he proudly serves as a member of The Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise, as part of Rotary International.
Additionally, he is a member of the rabbinic advisory council for the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, “The B’nai Ya’akov Council.” Rabbi Harvey lives happily in St. Thomas with his wife, Barrie, and his son, Asher.
Most Recent Episode
The Difference of Languages within Hebrew and Its Evolution into Spoken Hebrew
Hebrew is a language native to Israel, spoken by over 9 million people worldwide, of which over 5 million are in Israel. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afro-asiatic language family.
Modern Hebrew is one of the 2 official languages of the State of Israel (the other being Modern Standard Arabic), while premodern Hebrew is used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world today. Ancient Hebrew is also the liturgical tongue of the Samaritans, while modern Hebrew or Arabic is their vernacular. As a foreign language, it is studied mostly by Jews and students of Judaism and Israel, and by archaeologists and linguists specializing in the Middle East and its civilizations, as well as by theologians in Christian seminaries.
The Hebrew language is the thread that has bound the Jewish people together for millennia, both in liturgy and literature, and, in ancient times, as a spoken language. In the history of modern Zionism, however, if there is 1 event more miraculous than the establishment of the State of Israel, it is the revival of Hebrew as its common tongue.
To make this revitalization possible, an uncommon organization was formed: The Academy of the Hebrew Language, the Israeli body with legislated authority to study, guard, and guide the development of the Hebrew language.
The miracle of its rejuvenation today is credited to the work of journalist/scholar Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, often called the Father of Modern Hebrew. There were other Hebrew grammarians, scholars, & teachers of general topics. A local scholar of the Hebrew language is our very own Rabbi Michael Harvey who will teach Hebrew at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas campus.