Education: Lightning Before My Eyes

How one obsessed visionary brought a dead language to life

Like some of the wilder prophets of the Old Testament—like Hosea or Micah or perhaps Jeremiah—Eliezer Perelman was a visionary possessed by one irresistible idea. He even spoke once of the transcendent moment in which it came to him: "Suddenly, like lightning before my eyes, my thoughts flew across the Balkans . . . to Palestine, and I heard a . . voice calling to me: The revival of Israel and its language in the land of its forefathers!"

Who was Eliezer Perelman to hear...

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