Young Ben-Yehuda

eliezer-ben-yehuda-youngEliezer Yitzhak Perlman was born on January 7, 1858 in Luzhki, which was then part of Vilna in the northwest region of Imperial Russia, today northern Belarus. His early education was acquired in a traditional Jewish heder, or school for young boys. In 1871, after his bar mitzva at the age of 13, Ben-Yehuda was sent to his uncle in Polotsk to study in a yeshiva, or traditional Talmudic academy. The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yossi Bloyker, who secretly was part of the Haskala (Jewish Enlightenment movement), acquainted the teen with Hebrew grammar (which was then forbidden to learn), and Enlightenment literature.