6 January 2017

Published January 4, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 


PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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Genre: I’ll take Historical Fiction for 100, Alex


Hemda mourned when her sister succumbed to consumption, but how could she honor Devorah’s final wish to go to Jerusalem to marry her grieving widower, Eliezer the heretic?

“Israel,” he insisted, “must have one language.” 

The rabbis seethed. “One uses the holy tongue for prayer—not idle chitchat.”

Nonetheless, Hemda dedicated herself to her husband as, side-by-side, they activated the wheels of change. Together they developed a modern Hebrew dictionary.

Her heart swelled when 30,000 attending his funeral proclaimed him a national hero.

British historian Cecil Roth later wrote: “Before Eliezer Ben-Yehuda Jews could speak Hebrew; after him they did.”



אליעזר בן יהודה ואשתו חמדה עובדים על מילון עברי






122 comments on “6 January 2017

    • Dear Jane,

      Thank you for the read and the comment.

      It’s still Wednesday here. 😉 The original reason for posting the prompt on Wednesday was to give writers time to write and polish their stories by Friday. By the time I joined four years ago it had already become a race to post early. When I took over I kept the name Friday Fictioneers in deference to the creators of the challenge. Not to mention it was pretty well known by the name. In other words, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

      Shalom and Happy Wednesday,


      Liked by 1 person

  • I love the idea that Hebrew was only used for prayer and other languages for everyday. People are endlessly inventive with their linguistic rules. It reminds me of what I discovered, and used as the basis for one of my stories, that in early nineteenth century Scotland, English was only used in school and Scots in everyday life. If you spoke English outside school it was a sign you’d lost your temper

    Liked by 3 people

  • Dear Neil,

    Language fascinates me. If I could speak them all I would. Thank you for sharing that tidbit about Scots.
    As for the Hebrew, I still remember the old men at my synagogue in the lat 60’s arguing. Not only had Israel chosen to use the prayer language as the spoken language, but had also chosen the Sephardic (Mediterranian) pronunciation which is different than the Ashkenazik.(Eastern European).
    Interestingly, Theodore Hertzl, the father of Zionism thought German should be Israel’s national language. Go figure.
    In any event, thank you for coming by to read and leaving a nice comment.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear J hardy,

      I had to look up Czeslaw Milosz. Now I’ll have to read some of his works. You’ve broadened my horizons with your compliment.

      It’s never too late to tweak and I’m never above it. That’s what I love about this exercise. Thank you.




  • Can’t have been easy, to be with a man determined to change an entire state, the way a religion views itself! She must have been as extraordinary as her husband. Thanks for this, Rochelle – a fascinating tale of people making history.

    Liked by 3 people

  • The bravery to make such a seminal change always impresses us and rightly so. But every new idea with merit always generates its share of naysayers. How impressive his change is and how glad I am to know about it now. My knowledge of such is very limited. Thanks for the knowledge adding 100 word story.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Fascinating stuff, as usual Rochelle. I think I might be too tired to read well today, but the first paragraph took me a couple of readings to work out who was who – originally I thought the dead girl wanted her body to be taken to Jerusalem, which seemed really quirky! I got it figured out in the end though

    Liked by 2 people

  • Thank you for another delightful, enlightening, bite-size history lesson Rochelle, I have learned so many interesting things from your stories. I hope when the fruits of your writing have filled your table you will continue to entertain and indulge us with your beautiful tales. Happy New Year 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Courtney,

      I only recently learned this bit of history myself. I knew there had been some controversy over using the ‘Holy Language’ for everyday conversation, but I knew little about the ‘instigator.’ Happy to share. Thank you. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Mary Tyler More-or-Less,
    Hemda could have done much worse. She could’ve gotten stuck with someone like me who ain’t yet mastered Hillbillese after 60 years. We would entitle that story, Wheel of Misfortune.
    Where’s Vanna White when you need her?

    Dr. Ben Case-Uvem

    Liked by 2 people

  • Remember when we were at the McDonald’s and I read “meelk-shehk?” One of the highlights of trying to glean something “grand” out of a word, I guess, and it turns out to be something I could have read at home. Oh well …

    Fun story, appropriate irony.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Rochelle I would have to say having a unified language for a country is very important, especially when it comes to things such as religion. The situation in your story presented this well and it made me think of history in the Middle Ages where the common peasant or even the Lords couldn’t read. The Catholic Church only spoke the Bible in Latin and nobody but Church related people understood it. They could tell them anything they wanted and the people were not the wiser. Hence, indulgences etc… A very important topic and a wonderful take!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle

    That bit of history, unknown to me before, is such an inspiration on many fronts. I love stories that demonstrate tireless dedication to achieving a goal, and the way Hemda stood by Eliezer’s side to help him complete his monumental task. How wonderful that he ended up acknowledged as a National Hero.

    Fabulous stuff.

    All best wishes

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sarah,

      This was one of those where I’ve passed on what I only recently learned. I’m happy that you enjoyed my story. There’s always so much to try to cram into 100 worlds so when it comes across the way I want it I’m pleased. Thank you for reading and leaving such a wonderful comment.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I cast another vote for loving the “wheels of change” line that ties this into the prompt. So fun, how a prompt can take people in so many different directions — and especially fun when I get to learn a little history because of it!

    Liked by 2 people

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