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THEODOR HERZL (1860-1904)

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 406 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THEODOR HERZL (1860-1904), founder of modern political Zionism (q.v.), was born in Budapest on the and of May 1860, survive the initiation of the somewhat embittered " territorial" controversy. He died in the summer of 1904, amid the consternation of supporters and the deep grief of opponents of his Zionistic aims. Herzl was beyond question the most influential Jewish personality of the 19th century. He had no profound insight into the problem of Judaism, and there was no lasting validity in his view that the problem—the thousands of years' old mystery—could be solved by a retrogression to local nationality. But he brought home to Jews the perils that confronted. them; he compelled many a " semi-detached " son of Israel to rejoin the camp; he forced the "assimilationists " to realize their position and to define it; his scheme gave a new impulse to "Jewish culture," including the popularization of Hebrew as a living speech; and he effectively roused Jews all the world over to an earnest and vital interest in their present and their future. Herzl thus left an indelible mark on his time, and his renown is assured whatever be the fate in store for the political Zionism which he founded and for which he gave his life. (I. A.)
End of Article: THEODOR HERZL (1860-1904)
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