Waves Sharon 595

  • Issue: April 1999
  • Artists: Hovav Rashelbach, Ad Vanooijen, Ruth Beckman, Daniel Goldberg, Masha Yozefpolsky, Mario Sermoneta
  • Designer: Ad Vanooijen
  • Size: 20 mm x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 349, Sheet of 6 stamps, Tabs: 6
  • Printers: Government Printers.
  • Method of printing: Offset

Towards the end of the 18th Century, Jews began to undergo an emancipation that likened their legal status to that of all other citizens.
This process, which began in post-Revolution France and in the United States, spread to other West European countries, and finally, together with the Russian Revolution, reached Eastern Europe as well, gradually bringing down the material and spiritual ghetto walls that had separated them from the cultures of their respective surroundings. Traditional Jewish culture has always demonstrated a special respect and encouragement for education and learning, and as a result, an ever-increasing number of Jews now began to play a significant role in the sciences, the arts and in social and political life. Jews were prominent not only in the theoretical sciences, philosophy, the social sciences, music and literature; but they also took up prominent positions in various arts that were not traditionally nurtured in the framework of Jewish culture, such as the theater and the material arts. In social and political life, Jews began to fill prominent leadership positions in the liberal-democratic, central, political parties, as well as in the socialist and communist left, parties that had raised the banner and had struggled - in a declarative manner at least - for equality and against discrimination. This series of figures certainly does not exhaust the issue. The selection was made with the intention of emphasizing the multifaceted nature of the Jewish contribution to general culture.

Martin Buber (Vienna, 1878 - Jerusalem, 1965)

Religious philosopher, man of the anthropological and sociological schools
of thought, Zionist leader and prolific writer. Buber was one of German
Jewry's most prominent intellectuals. However, his inspiration spread far beyond the borders of central Europe, influencing the Jewish and Zionist youth movements in the West, in Eastern Europe and in the Land of Israel, religious and social thinking in all the countries of Europe, and literature and the arts as well. In 1925, Buber and Franz Rosenzweig translated the Bible into German. Buber was one of the founding fathers of the Hebrew University; he bravely fought against nationalism and for a Jewish-Arab understanding. For many, Buber's immigration to Israel, his public work and his Hebrew writings in the country, alongside his continued writing in German, symbolize the fact that the State of Israel is the legacy and historical successor of the Jewish people throughout time.

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Sigmund Freud (Vienna, 1856 - London, 1939)

Doctor, psychologist, philosopher and the founder of psychoanalysis, Freud's clinical work involving research into states of hysteria and other disorders led him towards achieving a new breakthrough in the theory and practice of therapy. Freud turned the subconscious, an age-old notion in the field of philosophy, into a defined, scientific concept, with the help of which he proposed a number of new models for the understanding of human behavior in general in both the ill and the healthy. The argument over the validity of these models and the extent of their implications still continues to this very day. In his later teachings, Freud also tried to understand, from his own unique perspective, the general phenomena of religion art and culture. Freud was a liberal in his social perspective, and he fought anti-Semitism from a position of pride in his Judaism, which he never once denied. The Nazis burnt his writings and finally forced him, at the age of 80 and in a desperate state of health, to leave Vienna to spend the last year of his life in London.

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Emile Durkheim (Lorraine, 1858 - Paris, 1917)

Descendant of a family of Rabbis who held the position of First European Chair of the Social Sciences. Durkheim considered the father of modern scientific sociology, edited the first journal dedicated to the subject. His principal, methodological notion is that "collective images" - a term coined by Durkheim himself - that represent the entire society can be found both within the individual's soul, as well as outside it. In these two forms, the "collective images" guide the behavior of the individual. Durkheim published a series of exemplary studies on sociological methodology, work distribution in society, religious life and the suicide phenomenon around this central idea. Durkheim was the quintessential liberal and democrat in his social perspectives.

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Rosa Luxemburg (Lithuania ,1870 - Berlin, 1919)

As the daughter of an assimilated Jewish family in Lithuania - a country
which during her youth was sometimes part of Poland and sometimes
part of Russia - Rosa Luxemburg saw herself as "belonging" not to
the Jews, nor the Poles, nor the Russians nor the Lithuanians, but rather to
the working class. From a young age, she believed in the need for a worldwide, socialist revolution, and for this purpose, she worked in the social-democratic parties of Lithuania, Poland and Germany. Being considerably educated in economics, history and literature, she became a major theoretician of Marxism.She criticized the right-wing faction of the German social-democratic party for its submission to the belligerent, nationalistic mood of the time, and she led the left-wing faction - "The Spartacus Group" - in active opposition to the war. She criticized Lenin and the Bolsheviks for the undemocratic methods they adopted both prior to and following the revolution. Rosa Luxemburg was murdered on the street by a German nationalist who became a hero of the Nazi movement.

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Prof. Menahem Brinker

Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Paul Ehrlich (Selezia, 1854 - Hamburg, 1915)

Considered one of the greatest medical researchers of the early 20th
century, Ehrlich's research led to important developments in the field
of bio medical research such as immunology histology and hematology. Ehrlich contributed to the diagnosis of stomach typhus and tuberculosis, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1908. His most notable contribution was the discovery of Salvarsan, a medicine for the treatment of syphilis (1909). This discovery was the first step in the development of a new treatment known as chemotherapy - the treatment of infection diseases using chemicals that attack the source of infection without affecting the host. Ehrlich supported the Zionist idea and was particulary active in the establishment of the Hebrew University.

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Norbert Wiener (Colombia, 1894 - Stockholm, 1964)

Wiener, a mathematical prodigy, published many important papers in
applied mathematics, as well as in pure mathematics and in mathematical
logic. He was one of the spiritual fathers of the "electronic brain", the computer. Together with John Von Neuman and Alan Turing he was one of the basic developers of computer science. Wiener served for many years as a professor of mathematics at MIT in Massachusetts, USA. In the 1920's he contributed to the development of a mathematical theory called Banach Space, the origin of the modern theory of spaces. After World War I, Wiener branched out into the theory of communication. He became famous primarily after publishing his book on Cybernetics (1948) a book in which he laid the foundation for a new interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of control and communication in animals and machines.

Prof. Nitsa Movshovitz-Hadar
Director The National Science Museum
Technion, Haifa

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Jewish contribution to World Culture in the Modern Era (II)