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Language in Time of Revolution$
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Benjamin Harshav

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780520079588

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520079588.001.0001

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The Miracle of the Revival of Hebrew

The Miracle of the Revival of Hebrew

(p.81) Seventeen The Miracle of the Revival of Hebrew
Language in Time of Revolution

Benjamin Harshav

University of California Press

The unprecedented revival of the ancient Hebrew language and the creation of a new society on its base was perceived as a miraculous event. This chapter shows that there was an intricate combination of social and historical factors, of collective willpower and accidents of history which brought it about. The importance of this renaissance is not just in the miracle of language and all that a language means to its users; it created the base on which a new, secular-type Jewish society and culture could emerge again and give life to that burnt phoenix, that “fossil” of history, the Jews. It gave its users a vehicle for expressing a totality of twentieth-century experience in a language of their own, and a new social identity, irrespective of their various countries of origin and views in politics.

Keywords:   revival, Hebrew, language, society, culture, identity, politics

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