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Soviet Jewish Editor Indicates Shift in Attitude Toward Hebrew Tongue

A switch in the doctrinaire Soviet opposition to Hebrew appeared to be indicated in a lengthy article in the current Sovietisch Heimland, a Yiddish bi-monthly, by its editor-in-chief. Hebrew has always been treated by the Russian communists as a “tool of Zionism and capitalism.”

Editor Samuel Vergelis declared in the article that it was “silly” to treat Hebrew as part of reactionary paraphernalia. He wrote that Hebrew is used by “progressive” Israeli writers “fighting for a better order of society.” The fact that Bialik wrote in Hebrew, Vergelis declared, must not be considered as diminishing from his value as a Jewish poet. The article was considered as pointing to a possible official divorce of Hebrew from politics in the USSR, and to its possible treatment in Russia as just another language.

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