New Cells of Society in a Social Desert

Benjamin Harshav

in Language in Time of Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1993 | ISBN: 9780520079588
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912960 | DOI:
New Cells of Society in a Social Desert

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The decisive factor that contributed to the revival of the Hebrew language as a base language of society was the creation of new social cells in a new land perceived by the immigrants as a “social wasteland.” The experiment could be successfully conducted only in a small, controlled laboratory, not in the traditional territory of the millions who spoke another language or the hundreds of thousands who integrated in the language of the State. From the Second Aliya on, almost every new entity created in Eretz-Israel and formulating itself as new and cut off from the past, tried to impose the Hebrew language in its framework. The revolution took place in three complementary ways: from above, from around, and from within. Combining those influences, high-school students also created cells of Hebrew speakers, and many families internalized the frame language of the city and the language of their children.

Keywords: revival; Hebrew; base; language; social wasteland; Second Aliya; Eretz; Israel; revolution

Chapter.  9961 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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