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Achad Haam Explains Attitude to Hebrew

April 10, 1923
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“Fanaticism is useful and necessary, but I have never been a fanatic”. Achad Haam gives this as his explanation for his lapses into other languages than Hebrew in the streets of Tel-Aviv.

“During the whole of my life,” continues the Jewish author, “I have spoken and written to others in the language in which they write or speak to me. I consider that I have no right to be a fanatic in this matter of Hebrew speaking especially in view of the fact that it is impossible for me to speak Hebrew in my own house because my wife knows hardly any Hebrew and it is difficult for her to start learning at her age. The letter which you mention was not written by me. I do not know how to write an official letter so I asked one of the Tel-Aviv officials to write it in my name, and he wrote it in English.”

The explanation of the famous author was in reply to a query by the Jewish weekly “Al Hamishmar”.

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