RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 028064459 LA English T1 A dream come true A1 Ben-Yehuda, Eliezer,, Mandel, George,, PB Westview Press PP Boulder YR 1993 SN 0813316723 9780813316727 0813316405 9780813316406 AB Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922), a Russian Jew, was the leader of the movement to revive the Hebrew language - the only attempt we know of that succeeded in restoring an archaic language to use in everyday speech. This memoir is an account of his life until 1882, a year after he settled in Jerusalem. It contains a description of his early life in the Jewish Pale of Settlement, which shows him moving away from traditional Jewish religious beliefs toward the Hebrew. enlightenment and then into revolutionary socialism. The last part of the book gives a glimpse of life in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem's Old City in the early 1880s. But most interesting, perhaps, is Ben-Yehuda's account of his conversion to Jewish nationalism while he was still at school. This took place in 1877, four years before the pogroms and nearly twenty years before Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, appeared on the scene. The reasons for the change had. nothing to do with anti-Semitism. Ben-Yehuda was one of very few Jews who became "Zionists" (in his case, two decades before the word was invented) prior to 1881, and he is the only one who left a memoir of the process that led him to his belief. In every other case there is an element - usually very large - of guesswork in trying to explain why the conversion happened. Ben-Yehuda's is a fascinating account of that intellectual process.