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Monday, August 19, 2019 - 18 Av 5779
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A Universal Tongue
Baby talk is universal. Language experts have found that no matter which country or language, we all talk to babies in similar ways, which include using a higher-pitched voice, exaggerated emphasis and various nonsense terms to express pleasure or disapproval.

Studies have shown that babies around the world respond in similar ways to baby talk. Babies prefer listening to baby talk in a foreign language than regular talk in their own language. They will also relate better to a stranger speaking in baby talk than to a familiar person speaking in regular talk.

Jewish sources explain that G-d created the world with speech. G-d’s speech is recorded in the Torah in the “Holy Tongue,” the language of Tanach. The letters and words that G-d chose to create the world are the foundation of existence. Through various combinations of these letters and words, everything came into being, just as we can choose our words out of an infinite combination of letters. The importance of the Holy Tongue is not just that it is the foundation of many other languages, but the basis of existence itself.

It’s interesting that today we have discovered that DNA, the language of life, is likewise composed of various combinations of “letters” and “words.” Physicists have also recently proposed that all of existence is composed of waves of various frequencies. This hypothesis is known as string theory, a musical language of its own.

Many years have passed since Creation and the world has been steadily going downhill. We have lost touch with the primordial heavenly voice that created us and sustains us to this day. For generations we have held fast to our Holy Tongue, using it as the language of prayer and Torah study. It is our mother tongue, the language that feels most natural and comfortable in times of stress.

Our sages assure us that when Moshiach comes the Holy Tongue will once again reign supreme. As the prophet Zephania states, “Then I will transform all nations to be pure of tongue, to call in the name of G-d and serve Him as one.” All other languages are place-holders and will no longer be relevant. We will all express ourselves fluently in the one unifying language, the language of G-d.


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