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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

 Language Wars and Other Wars

 Language Wars and Other Wars

(p.213) 10 Language Wars and Other Wars
Becoming Hebrew

Arieh Bruce Saposnik

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the “language war”—the effort to establish Hebrew as the language of instruction in Haifa's Technion and its high school—as a defining struggle for the Yishuv's national culture. Together with the fight against missionary institutions that preceded it, this was a battle for institutional and organizational autonomy (in particular, from the German‐Jewish Hilfsverein), for the hegemony of the Hebraist nationalizing elite in Jewish Palestine, and for the supremacy of that group's vision of national culture. Bearing quasi‐religious overtones of cataclysmic conflict, the undertaking was incorporated into new holidays such as “Flower Day” and transformed traditional celebrations. Frequent conflations of educational struggle with escalating national conflict and the fallen of Ha‐Shomer* proved formative for new Hebrew masculinities and femininities. By the outbreak of WWI, a distinct culture had emerged in which an altered distribution of power between the Yishuv and the Diaspora was an essential component.

Keywords:   Celebration, Christian missions, Gender, Ha‐Shomer, Hebrew, Hilfsverein (der deutschen Juden), Holidays, Language, Language war, Technion

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