By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, March 6, 2009
Ivrit is the Hebrew language. Until the 20th century, however, Hebrew was called lashon hakodesh, the holy tongue, the language of prayer and Torah study.
The early Zionists liked to refer to themselves as Ivrim, Hebrews, to distinguish themselves from the stereotypical humiliated diaspora Jew, an image which embarrassed them. Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880-1940) was typical in declaring, The Yid is trodden upon and easily frightened, therefore the Hebrew ought to be proud and independent. The revived Hebrew language of the Ivrim was, naturally, Ivrit.