Tag Archives: korea

Koreans Learning Hebrew and Studying the Bible

I recently wrote an article about a Korean TV crew’s visit to Ponevezch Yeshiva.  I’ve researched a little more and found some other interesting articles.  Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, published an article in November 2008 called, “Korean’s Dominate in Bible Studies in Hebrew U.”  Hebrew University awarded 328 doctoral degree in 2008, of which only six where in Biblical studies.  Among the six, two were Israeli, one American, and three were Korean.

Young Sik Cho wrote a doctorate about “concepts of wealth in the Book of Proverbs.” Yun Ho Chong examined the “factors which created a negative stance toward the Golden Calf cult in the Bible.” Song-Yun Shin investigated the “language of Hagai-Zecharia-Malachi and its place in the history of the Hebrew Bible.”  Additionly, Song Dal Quan completed a doctorate in the Hebrew Language Department which pertained to “use of ‘haya (to be)’ syntax in biblical language.”   A 2010 Y-net article, “The Korean girl in Bible class“, mentioned one Korean girl who is fluent in Hebrew.  One student advisor in Hebrew University remarked about the increasing number of Korean and Japanese students and the diligence to Bible, Judaic Studies, and the Hebrew language.

Most of the students are motivated by a strong Protestant or Catholic faith and wish to explore the roots of their religion.  After the completion of their degrees many hope to return to home, to Korean or Japan, and teach Hebrew or Bible. 7MRPZM5TCGH9

Korean TV Crew Visits Ponevezh Yeshiava

A TV crew from South Korean paid a visit to Ponevezh (Ponovitch) Yeshiva in Bnei Brak in order to film and learn about the study of Talmud. The yeshiva has well over one thousand Talmidim, and is one of the leading Lithuanian-style yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel today  The film crew interviewed students and Rabbis in the Yeshiva about their experiences learning Gemara and other Jewish texts.
“The reason why we came was to see the real Talmud. Jewish people are known for [a high percentage of] Nobel prizes. The Korean people are curious about how Jewish people started and why Jewish people are so smart,” the Korean journalist told Channel 10 TV. The TV crew also interviewed the yeshiva’s Rabbi Meir Volk.
I’ve also noticed a high level of traffic from google.co.kr, South Korea’s version of Google.  It seems that thereis a large number of Koreans searching for terms such as Hebrew grammar, Hebrew vocabulary, and Hebrew lessons etc.  Koreans realize that in order to learn Chumash, Talmud, and other texts they need to understand the language.  I’m sure there isn’t a large amount of books written to help people who speak Korean learn Hebrew, let alone material specifically written in Korean.  I’m interested in seeing if we could start a joint project to help more Koreans learn Hebrew.
Here’s the youtube video of the December 2011 visit:

Korean TV Crew Visits Ponevezh Yeshiva<