Eliezer ben Yehuda is considered the father of “Modern Hebrew”.
Ben Yehuda left his native
and sailed to Lithuania in 1881 where he settled in
the Jewish quarter of old Palestine .
In 1890 he helped create the Hebrew Language Council (ועד הלשון העברית / va3ad halashon ha3ivrit)
whose stated purpose was to disseminate works in Hebrew and establish Hebrew as
the official language of the Yishuv. Jerusalem
Although Ben-Yehuda was not a religious Jew, he dressed as a traditional Sephardic Jew, sported a long untrimmed beard and regularly attended the local synagogue. It wasn’t long however until he managed to arouse the ire of the Jerusalem Sephardic Rabbinate who responded with 3 separate bans against his and his newspaper “Hatsvi”.
Ben-Yehuda particularly disliked the Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ya'akov Shaul Elyashar and considered him be from the old generation of Jews who were hopelessly stuck in the “galut [exile] mentality”. He did however form close ties with Elyashar’s successor, Rabbi Ya'akov Meir who was highly sympathetic to Ben-Yehuda’s ambitions and the former was instrumental in introducing the modern Hebrew language into the schools of the Sephardic community in