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Tower of Babble

Human beings today interact through one of 7,000 languages. In the 1920s and 30s, researchers in linguistics believed that the language one spoke affected cognition as well as emotion. This theory, however, was abandoned in favor of other theories, which held that thought transcended language.

The old theory has been resurrected, though, based on an abundance of evidence that shows that language indeed provides a framework for how people perceive, think and feel. Speakers of different languages differ in the way they experience, describe and interpret events. Depending on the language one speaks, certain mathematical concepts can be easier or more difficult to grasp. And what of those who speak two or more languages? Research has shown that they can mentally shift their worldview, depending on the language they are speaking at the time.

This is all from the scientific perspective. Now on to history. According to our sages, all languages in the world descend from one fundamental language – Hebrew, or Lashon Hakodesh, the Holy Tongue with which G-d wrote the Torah and created the world. This is the language that underlies all of human cognition and experience.

Close to 2000 years after creation, in the wake of the episode of the Tower of Babel, a great change came upon civilization: the formerly unified people became dispersed and began to speak different languages, but with each one retaining, in some semblance, its relationship to Lashon Hakodesh, the seminal language.

In recent years, we have witnessed the opposite phenomenon. The world culture is in the process of converging. Differences between languages, nations and cultures are gradually being blurred, thanks to a platform for worldwide communication and information exchange. The international community that was disrupted due to the incident of the Tower of Babel is now becoming unified once again. By now we have seen everything, experienced everything, and we recognize that there is no benefit to a state of constant friction and competition. We understand the benefits of truth, justice and equality for all of society.

This is no far-off dream for a future yet to be attained. This is our reality, here and now. The process of Redemption is well underway. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe mentioned a number of times, the Redemption is “at the door” and we only need to open the door and let it in. And we do that through increasing in Torah study and acts of goodness and Kindness
 

 


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