A nibble on Ahad Ha’am

As I pen my address to the Wexner Alumni Institute, these are the three key quotations from Ahad Ha’am that I will be using.

“If, as we hope, there is to be a third (Jewish commonwealth) its fundamental principle, on the national as on the individual plane, will be neither the ascendancy of the body over spirit, nor the suppression of the body for the spirit’s sake, but the uplifting of the body by the spirit.? Ahad Ha’am

Ahad Ha’am warned that Jewish communities outside of Israel do not have “any defense against the ocean of foreign culture, which threatens to obliterate our national characteristics and traditions, and thus gradually to put an end of our existence as a people.?

“Judaism… shall have as its focus point the ideal of our nation’s unity and its free development through the expression of universal human values in the terms of its own distinctive spirit. This is the conception of Judaism on which our education and our literature must be based.?

The key points from the address include:

• The Jewish people are currently suffering from a terrible case of collective amnesia about who we are and why we are.
• Peoplehood needs to be the grand unifying field theory of Jewish life, here, in Israel and worldwide.
• Peoplehood is a return to our historic essence, which was the point that Ahad Ha’am was trying to remind us of.
• Once we wake up and embrace this reality, Jewish life will snap out of our lack of focus and mediocrity and experience a new level of rejuvenation, which will be a much needed blessing to the world.
• We as next generation Jewish leaders can accelerate the pace of acceptance of new strategies, which Jewish life is hungry for.

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Ahad Ha'am's 150, Essays/Ideas, Speeches


 

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