A reader writes:
This is a question I’ve been wondering about for a long time – where did the modern Hebrew pronunciation come from? From what I know, when Hebrew was revived by the Haskalah and the Zionists, they chose a “Sephardic” pronunciation – but it still doesn’t explain in my mind the accent.
What I mean is this – if you listen to the founders of Israel – they still sound like Eastern European Jews when they speak Hebrew (בן גוריון בראיון שהיום היה נחשב ימני קיצוני, תוכנית מוקד עם מנחם בגין). Furthermore, on your blog there was a question I asked about why certain Israeli singers like Meir Ariel or Naomi Shemer rolled their R’s, and the answer from your commenters was that it was the prescribed pronunciation for all artists, radio/TV etc. So for the Sabras, if their parents spoke with a European accent, and the media was rolling R’s, where did they get the current Israeli accent?