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Herzl 150 years
By Micah Halpern

Friday February 12, 2021
I’ve Been Thinking:

Friday February 12, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Theodor Herzl’s spectacular work. Der JudenStaat. was published in February of 1896.

In this pamphlet Herzl presented his plan for changing the Jewish people through the creation a state. Herzl argued that a state will transform the Jewish people.

The title Der Judenstaat is most often mistranslated. Whereas as “The Jewish State” is the translation we most often here, it is fundamentally a wrong translation of Herzl’s idea. The best translation of Der Judenstaat is the “State of Jews”.

Herzl wanted Jews to come together, he wanted to create a mini-Switzerland in the Middle East. Herzl did not want a state imbued with Judaism.

Herzl proposed that, rather than one language, all languages be spoken in the new state. That way, he felt, it would bring the culture of the world to the new state.
He warned that two languages should not be spoken.

Those languages were Hebrew and Yiddish.

About Hebrew he said: who among us knows enough Hebrew to order a train ticket. And About Yiddish he said: Yiddish is the language of the ghetto, the new state is a rejection of the ghetto.

Herzl actually went to the Sultan of Turkey and offered to balance his books in exchange for giving Jews land in Palestine. Obviously, the deal never went through.

Theodor Herzl is the father of modern Zionism. This year commemorates the 125th anniversary of one small publication that changed the world. Not just the Jewish world, the entire world.

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15 February 2021 09:48 PM in Thoughts

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