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Eliezer Ben Yehudah

Ben Yehudah, Eliezer (ĕlĭĕˈzər bĕn yĕhōˈdă) [key], 1858–1922, Jewish scholar and leader, b. Lithuania. He settled in Palestine as early as 1881, where he dedicated himself to the revival of Hebrew as the national language. His outstanding scholarly achievement is the Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew (16 vol.), which includes all the Hebrew words used throughout the various periods of Hebrew literature, omitting the words of Aramaic and foreign origin and adding new words that he coined to meet modern needs. He also founded the Hebrew Language Council, an institution devoted to promoting and regulating the development of the Hebrew language. In 1953 it was transformed into the Academy of Hebrew Language.

See R. St. John, Tongue of the Prophets: the Life Story of Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1952).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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