Waves Ginzburg Sharon

  • Issue: December 1996
  • Designer: D. Goldberg
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 299
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

Asher Zvi Ginzburg, later known by the pen name Ahad Ha'am, was born in the Ukrainian village of Skvira. He grew up in a Hassidic home and received a Jewish religious upbringing. In 1884, Ahad Ha'am settled in Odessa and joined the Hibat Zion movement. Five years later, his name first became known among members of the movement after his article, "This Is Not The Way", was published. In this article he attacked the movement and laid down guidelines for an ideological alternative, later to be defined as "Cultural Zionism". After the Hibat Zion movement gained popularity, he became one of their central speakers. In 1889, Ahad Ha'am established the secret order of Bnei Moshe (Sons of Moses). Members of the association, Hibat Zion's elite, sought to realize the movement's ideology.

In 1891, Ahad Ha'am visited the Land of Israel for the first time. His visit was followed by the publication of a very critical review, Truth From the Land of Israel, in which he expressed sharp criticism of the new Jewish settlement in Israel and called for the reconsideration of the structures concerning the settlements and the existing social, economic and cultural structures. The article aroused serious discussion, and resulted in much debate concerning the type of settlement suitable to the Land of Israel. When Herzl established the World Zionist Organization in 1897, Ahad Ha'am became his greatest foe. Ahad Ha'am did not believe in Herzl's ability to realize his ideas, and was very critical of his actions as the leader of the World Zionist Organization.

In 1907, Ahad Ha'am left Odessa for London. During the First World War, he was close to Chaim Weizmann and supported his activities, which resulted in the Balfour Declaration. In 1922, he emigrated to the Land of Israel and resided in Tel Aviv until his death in 1927.

Ahad Ha'am is considered one of the founding fathers of Zionist ideology. The central idea in this ideology was that the solution to the Jewish problem must come in stages. In this he was opposed to Pinsker and Herzl, who believed that the solution to the Jewish problem should be solved in a single stage, by establishing a Jewish state. Ahad Ha'am believed that the "training of the nation's hearts for statehood" must precede the establishment of a state. He claimed that since the days of the Second Temple, Jewishness had evolved from a religion dictating a national way of life in the Land of Israel to a series of religious obligations in which the national element had been repressed. In a series of articles published in the Hebrew press which caused tremendous reverberations, Ahad Ha'am claimed that the current role of Zionism was to educate the Jews regarding their national identity. Only after the Jews believed that they were a nation like all other nations would the motivation to establish their own state emerge. Accordingly, a cultural center had to be established in the Land of Israel, to guide the way and serve as a center for the national training of the Jews. Only following this training period would their national state be established.

Together with his political and journalist activities, Ahad Ha'am was the center of extensive literary activity. He was considered a leading member of the national literary school, which was opposed to the literary school represented by Bardechevsky which believed in combining Jewish literature with international literature. The pinnacle of Ahad Ha'am's literary career was his post as editor of the Ha-Shilo'ah periodical. Ahad Ha'am regarded his literary activity as indivisible from his national activity, hence he sought to recruit the general literary circles, Ha-Shiloah in particular, for this activity.

In the first issue of Ha-Shiloah, published in Berlin in 1896, Ahad Ha'am claimed that the goal of the periodical was to "know ourselves, understand our lives and prepare wisely for our future", and as is quoted on the first day cover "we direct our hearts to the entire nation, that they may find nourishment for their souls and other necessities in this periodical, to close the gaps and rebuild from the ruins'. The stamp shows the headline from the periodical: MONTHLY PERIODICAL FOR SCIENCE, LITERATURE AND VITAL ISSUES.

Over time, Ha-Shiloah became the most important Hebrew language periodical. The greatest authors and poets published their works in the periodical - Mendele Mocher Sfarim (Mendele the Book Vendor), Brenner, Bialik, Fichman and Agnon. The finest journalists regarded the periodical as a most important venue for literary expression.

In 1902, Yosef Klauzner replaced Ahad Ha'am as the editor of Ha-Shiloah. Ahad Ha'am's followers practised his ways until 1926, when the last issue of the periodical was published.

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100 years "Ha-Shilo'ah" periodical