David Ben-Gurion is widely remembered for his reading of the Deceleration of Independence of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. Ben-Gurion is an icon of modern Israeli history and is remembered as one of the founders of the modern state of Israel. Although Ben-Gurion described himself as an irreligious person, he referenced the Bible extensively in his work and is quoted as saying, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” Ben-Gurion was born in 1886 as David Grun. It was only in 1912 that he adopted the Hebrew name Ben-Gurion (בן-גוריון) meaning “son of a lion cub” as a sign of his commitment to the revival of the Hebrew language. The above verse highlights one of the many places in the Bible where the word gurion appears. Ben-Gurion preached the significance of “hebraicizing” surnames and was successful in convincing other signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence to adopt Hebrew names with which to sign the document. Many immigrants to Israel continue to follow in Ben-Gurion’s footsteps by adopting a more Hebrew or Biblical sounding name upon their arrival to Israel.

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Source: Israel in the News