Revealed: Unflattering personal portrait of Ben-Yehuda

MOSCOW – The great-grandson of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda revealed that one of Zionism’s most revered heroes came from a family filled with “dirty secrets,” during a lecture at the Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) Conference in Moscow on Friday.

Gil Hovav, a well-known Israeli television-personality, chef, author, publisher and journalist, attended the Jewish education conference to lecture on the history of the Hebrew language.

“Heavily spiced with dirty little secrets of our family, of which we have many,” he added with a smile.

Ben-Yehuda was a champion of reviving Hebrew as a modern and unifying language in the State of Israel. He helped establish the Committee of the Hebrew language, still in existence today, as the Academy of the Hebrew language. Ben-Yehuda died of tuberculosis in 1922.

“My great-grandfather was an unbearable man, but he was a true Zionist 20 years before Herzl,” Hovav said.