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Becoming HebrewThe Creation of a Jewish National Culture in Ottoman Palestine$
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Arieh B. Saposnik

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331219

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331219.001.0001

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 A Mother Tongue in the Fatherland

 A Mother Tongue in the Fatherland

Transforming a Jewish Community into a Hebrew Yishuv

Chapter:
(p.65) 4 A Mother Tongue in the Fatherland
Source:
Becoming Hebrew
Author(s):

Arieh Bruce Saposnik

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331219.003.0005

This chapter begins with the centrality of the Hebrew language in the creation of the Yishuv's culture. Aside from the goal of establishing linguistic unity in a multilingual reality, the language was also deemed critical in molding the character of Palestine's “Hebrews”—the men and women who were to constitute the new nation. Accent and mannerism were considered reflections of central elements of the new culture, shaping new masculinities and femininities and placing the Hebrews in their new “Oriental” environment. Educational institutions, new popular songs, journalism, fashion, theater, and more were all enlisted in the effort to fashion a new Hebrew‐speaking person in a national Hebrew public sphere. Rooted in part in Jewish mystical tradition in which Hebrew was deemed a cosmically creative force, the Hebrew language emerges as a leading tool in the formation of the nation.

Keywords:   Education, Femininity, Hebrew, Language, Masculinity, Public culture, Schools, Theater

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