Monday, May 16, 2011



The "true" Zionism for me is the Zionist interpretation of the AHAD HA'AM, Asher Zvi Hirsh Ginsberg (1856 - 1927). Everybody just jumping onto Theodor (Benjamin Ze'ev) Herzl and seeing in him THE great true Zionist is completely wrong. Herzl was definitely not the best person as we can see HERE !

The Ahad Ha'Am, on the other hand, is called the founder of "Cultural Zionism" whereas Theodor Herzl only stood for the "Political Zionism". Asher Ginsberg grew up in a chassidic home but, later in his life, criticized the dogmatic Orthodox Judaism although he remained loyal to his heritage. According to him, the Zionist movement should return to the HEBREW language. Just as a comparison: Theodor Herzl was planning a Jewish state with GERMAN as the main language. Furthermore, the Ahad Ha'Am visionized a JEWISH STATE and not only a STATE FOR THE JEWS, as Herzl did. 

Moreover, Asher Ginsberg considered maintaining the Jewish heritage as extremely important in a Jewish State. He died in Tel Aviv in 1927 and thus, unfortunately, never saw the future Jewish state. Apparently he wouldn't have liked it too much, as, until today, it is rather a State for the Jews instead of a really proud Jewish State.

The Ahad Ha'Am is buried on the famous Tel Aviv Trumpeldor Cemetery where I found his grave today. Almost every place in Israel has an Ahad Ha'Am Street but Asher Ginsberg himself is not too known anymore. A real pity, as he represents a more positive ideology on Zionism than Herzl ever did. 

Tombstone of the Ahad Ha'Am in Tel Aviv.

In the background: Tombstone of the Ahad Ha'Am next to famous people as the first mayor of Tel Aviv, Me'ir Dizengoff, the famous Zionist leader Chaim Arlozorov or the famous Jewish poet Chaim Nachman Bialik.

Photos: Miriam Woelke

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