Ben-Yehuda and the Language Committee

Ben-Yehuda’s work was not confined to journalism. In 1882 he established, with Yehiel Michal Pines, Hevrat Tehiyat Yisrael (the Organization for Rejuvenating Israel), which focused on the revitalization of the Nation of Israel in the Land of Israel, and the rebirth of the Hebrew language.

After almost eight years, in September 1889, Ben-Yehuda founded, with Rabbi Ya’akov Meir (the sometime Rishon LeTsiyon), Rabbi Haim Hirshenson, and Rabbi Haim Kalami, the organization, Safa Brura (Clear Speech), with the goal of “instilling in all the residents of our ancestral land one clear language, the tongue of our early ancestors, which is of upmost sacristy,” as was written in a letter by the leadership in 1889.

A few short months later, at the end of 1890, the Literature Committee was founded by the organization Safa Brura. Ben-Yehuda was chosen as president, and with him served Rabbi Haim Hirshenson, David Yellin, Ze’ev Ya’vets, Avraham Moshe Lunts, Rabbi Ya’akov Meir, and Yehiel Michal Pines. Shortly thereafter, the committee changed its name toVa’ad HaLashon (the Language Committee), which existed until 1891. In 1904, the committee renewed its efforts, and after the establishment of the State of Israel, it served as the basis for the foundation of the Academy of the Hebrew Language.