Cite: Rabkin, Modern Hebrew in the Zionist Project

Rabkin, Yakov M. "Language in Nationalism: Modern Hebrew in the Zionist Project." Holy Land Studies 9.2 (2010): 129-145.




This article examines the history of Israel’s lingua franca as a constituent of the Zionist project. Based largely on recent scholarship, this work sheds light on the role of language in the educational and political efforts to create a New Hebrew Man who, in contradistinction to the European Jew, was to live ‘as a free man’ in his own land. Reflecting Jewish experience in the Russian Empire, these efforts alienated traditional, particularly non-Ashkenazi Jews. The article addresses the question of the uniqueness of the modern Israeli vernacular that contributes to the historical legitimacy of Zionism and the state of Israel.

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