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Even Shushan - A Name Every Israeli Knows

Today marks exactly 36 years since Avraham Even Shushan passed away. Even Shushan was a famous Hebrew dictionary writer, and author of the famous Ha'milon Ha'hadash, the Hebrew go-to dictionary to this day.

Avraham Even Shushan was born in Minsk, Belarus, in 1906. After studying in Jewish Orthodox schools as a child, he helped his father translate holy scripture books into Hebrew. Clearly, his love for the Hebrew language started at a young age.

At the age of 18, he managed to escape the Communist authorities and make it to Israel. He eventually made his way to Jerusalem, where he studied and became a certified teacher. For 20 years Even Shushan taught students in years 3 to 8 and even co-published the Itonenu, a children's newspaper (1931-37).

During his teaching years, he studied the Hebrew language at the Hebrew University, and after receiving a scholarship, he went to study education for one year at the University of London. At this point, he realized what a struggle Jewish students were having, as there was a major shortage of Hebrew dictionaries.

A young boy standing at a blackboard writing out the Hebrew alphabet with white chalk
One of the first books to buy when learning Hebrew should be a dictionary!

Between the years 1947-52, the first editions of the Ha'milon Ha'hadash dictionary were published, and quickly gained popularity in Israel and around the world. In 2003, 20 years after Even Shushan's passing, the dictionary's name was officially changed to Even Shushan.

Avraham Even Shushan's life work has helped revive the Hebrew language, and his work helped millions of people with the Hebrew language, from kids to grownups, native Israelis to Olim Hadashim. The Hebrew language has survived to this day much because of Even Shushan. So todah rabah leha, Avraham Even Shushan!


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