Ahad Ha-am

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.

Bibliography

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

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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").
Hoffman emphasizes that this modern effort to reclaim Jesus, not without strong opposition from some Jewish leaders (e.g., Ahad Ha-Am), had a common aim, despite concrete differences in their approach.
The medieval Jewish philosopher, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides, the Rambam), was held in special regard by Ahad Ha-am, who considered him his guide and teacher.
His bellwether poem, which speaks to the downtrodden Jew not to exchange Yidishkeit (Jewishness) for all the emancipation in the world, echoes the lessons of Ahad Ha-Am (7) and Haim Nahman Bialik (8) on enlightenment and pogroms.
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).
The great Zionist philosopher Ahad Ha-am (Asher Ginzberg) called for the establishment of a spiritual center of Judaism in Palestine.
As early as 1891, the eminent Zionist thinker Ahad Ha-am referred to what can be defined as Palestinian-Arab proto-nationalism (though this scarcely existed at the time).
In Tel-Aviv he visited with Ahad Ha-Am. Israel (1925) was his first polemic against assimilation.
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."' Ahad Ha-Am: Essays, Letters, Memoirs, edited by by L.
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. Dubnov was even more skeptical of Herzl's "political Zionism" because he placed his primary emphasis on Jewish cultural and national autonomy in the Diaspora.