The Surprise Source of Our Alphabet

Even the Old Testament Was Not Written in the Hebrew We Think

In this earliest phase, the alphabet is a quick and dirty tool of foreign workers, scrawled in desolate places: the mines, the gush of terror. There is no high culture there… The alphabet’s first documented use boils down to the most basic and touching form of communication — “I was here.”

Bar-Kokhba’s coins.

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