Ahad Ha-am

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Ahad Ha-am

(äkhäd` hä-äm) [Heb.,=One of the People], 1856–1927, Jewish thinker and Zionist leader, b. Ukraine. Originally named Asher Ginzberg, he adopted his pen name when he published his first and highly controversial essay, "The Wrong Way" (1889), in which he criticized those who sought immediate settlement in Palestine, advocating instead Jewish cultural education as the basis for building a strong people for later settlement. After a traditional Hasidic upbringing, he acquired a broad secular education studying philosophy and literature in five languages (Russian, German, French, English, and Latin). He developed a strong rationalist attitude and rejected first Hasidism and then religion itself; he believed the chief obligation of Jewish life to be the fulfillment of the ethical demands of the Old Testament prophets. He did not view the imminent creation of a Jewish state in Palestine to be the most important goal of the Zionist movement; he saw Palestine as the "spiritual center" for a cultural and spiritual revival of the Jewish people. As editor of the journal Ha'shiloah (1896–1902) he was influential in developing the modern Hebrew literary style. In 1907, he moved to London and in 1922 to Palestine, where he spent his last years.


See his selected essays, tr. and ed. by L. Simon (1912, repr. 1962); biography by L. Simon (1960).

References in periodicals archive ?
For example, the Zionist theorist and writer Ahad Ha-Am was convinced that the leadership of Moses was not of a military nature.
These conclusions of Ahad Ha-Am do not appear to be in keeping with a straightforward reading of the biblical text, as indicated below.
Kallen's concept of cultural pluralism developed in conversation with British internationalism and the cultural Zionism of Asher Ginzberg, a Russian Jewish thinker who wrote under the pen name of Ahad Ha-am ("one of the people").
27) Kallen's integration of this vocabulary, however, was expressly mediated through the cultural Zionism of Ahad Ha-am.
1) Ahad Ha-am (pen name of Asher Ginzburg, 1856-1927).
He has published and lectured extensively in the field of modern Jewish history, with special emphasis upon the history of French Jewry, and is the author of A Community on Trial: The Jews of Paris in the 1930s (1977) and Between Tradition and Modernity: Haim Zhitlowski, Simon Dubnow, and Ahad Ha-Am and the Shaping of Modern Jewish Identity (1996).
1) Among the Sadigura Hasidim, with whom Ahad Ha-Am was reared, studying Maimonides was anathema.
5) Attempting to render religion meaningful through reason, as far as Ahad Ha-Am was concerned, was a fruitless effort.
With regard to Jesus' teaching on forgiveness, Ahad Ha-Am wrote, "Judaism cannot accept the altruistic principle; it cannot put the 'other' in the centre of the circle, because that place belongs to justice, which knows no distinction between 'selt' and 'other.
To which the Zionist essayist and ideologue Ahad Ha-Am (1856-1927) replied:
In short, Ahad Ha-Am argued that the Jews may escape their particular Jewish identity by assimilation, but cannot thereby become abstract, universal human beings.
Dubnov began to develop he lineaments of this theory in the 1890s and expressed it forcefully in contrast to the "spiritual Zionism" of Ahad Ha-Am.