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  • Belarus town honors Eliezer Ben Yehuda, father of modern Hebrew

    Dozens of people, including a number of Israelis, gather in Glubokoe to celebrate life of ancient language reviver

    By JTA in Times of Israel

    Eliezer Ben YehudaA ceremony honoring Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, was held in the presence of Israeli dignitaries in a Belarussian town connected to his past.

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    The ceremony, which launched the second Jewish learning conference in Belarus of Limmud FSU, was held Thursday at the main square of Glubokoe, located 100 miles north of Minsk, where Ben Yehuda, who died in 1922 in pre-state Israel, learned Jewish studies and where his wife was born.

    Israelis attending the gathering of a few dozen people near a statue honoring Ben Yehuda, which was erected in 2010, included Ambassador to Belarus Yosef Shagal and Gil Hovav, Ben Yehuda’s great-grandson, a celebrity chef and food critic in Israel.

    “Beyond being a great man and a visionary, my great-grandfather was also a man who was very much preoccupied with being respected,” Hovav said in his speech, which was delivered in Hebrew. “He would get into fights with people who he thought should show him more respect, and he rarely won in his lifetime.”

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