AUCTION 35 | Tuesday, November 21st, 2006 at 1:00
Books, Manuscripts, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 223


Ben-Yehudah, Chemdah. Nos’ei ha-Degel [“The Standard Bearer”: biography of the authoress’s step-son, Itamar Ben-Av”i]. (Jerusalem, 1944). Hebrew. pp.(4), 327, (3), 37. * Bound with: Ben-Avi, Itamar. Avi [biography of the author’s father, Eliezer Ben-Yehudah]. (Jerusalem, 1927). Hebrew text in Latin characters. pp.16,4,106 Cloth with dust jacket. Sm 4to

Est: $800 - $1,200
Two important and complimenting biographies. This, a significant association copy. Eliezer Ben-Yehudah (1858-1922) was the founder of Modern Hebrew. His son Itamar Ben-Avi (1882-1943) was the first child whose mother tongue was Modern Hebrew. In maturity, he adopted the surname Ben-Av”i, “Son of Eliezer Ben-Yehudah” in acronymic form. From 1924, he was editor of the English-language daily Palestine Weekly. Despite a brief flirtation with religion, at which point he entered into dialogue with various rabbinic figures in Eretz Israel, Ben-Avi very much resembled his father in terms of his often radical and innovative approach to issues. Thus, he advocated that Modern Hebrew be written in Latin - rather than - Hebrew characters. (Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, did the same for Turkish, which had formerly been written in Arabic characters.) See EJ, IV cols.469-70; 564-9 Chemdah Ben-Yehudah (1873-1951) was Eliezer’s second wife, sister of his deceased first wife Deborah. Chemdah greatly aided her husband in his literary work, both during his lifetime and after his demise