Achad Ha’am and the forming of secular Judaism

New Insights in Zionism - Six Thinkers Who Shaped Israel

Gepubliceerd op: 28 oktober 2021

In the series of lectures New insights in Zionism, we will examine the responses of Jewish thought to the challenges of the modern world. The encounter with profound change in social and political conditions provoked a reexamination of old paradigms which where the foundations of Judaism for centuries.

The thinkers and writers whose works we will read have committed themselves to find new ways of giving meaning and direction to modern Jewish life thus approaching the past from the perspective of the present. Their achievements, dialogue and disagreements are very stimulating efforts to address issues with which the Jewish people still struggles.

Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg (18 August 1856 - 2 January 1927), primarily known by his pen name Ahad Ha'am (meaning literally 'one of the people' (Genesis 26:10), was a Hebrew essayist, and one of the foremost pre-state Zionist thinkers. He is known as the founder of the cultural Zionism. With his secular vision, he saw Israel as a Jewish spiritual center. Achad Ha'am strived for "a Jewish state and not merely a state of Jews."

One of his most famous quotes is: "More than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews." In this lecture Regev Ben David will introduce us to the man, his vision and the profound influence his thought had in the forming of secular Judaism in modern Israel.

Regev Ben-David (1982) is a lecturer, researcher, and facilitator of beit midrash learning. He is a graduate of the program for Israeli Rabbis, established by the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the Midrasha at Oranim. He is currently enrolled in Ph.D studies in Jewish Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, where he focuses on Zionist thinkers' relation to Jewish tradition. In his Master's Degree thesis he explored hybrid Jewish identities in contemporary Israel. He teaches at various institutes in Israel, such as Kolot, Beit Prat, and others. Regev is a graduate of the Mandel program for leadership in Jewish Culture, the Tikvah year-long Fellowship in NYC, and he is a member of Schusterman's ROI global network of Jewish activists, artists, and educators.


Volg ons en blijf op de hoogte! Schrijf je hier in voor onze nieuwsbrief en wij zorgen dat je niks mist.

Bekijk nieuws overzicht


Crescas kan niet zonder jouw steun. Met elke donatie, hoe klein ook, steun je onze activiteiten en zorg je dat wij nog meer voor Joods Nederland kunnen betekenen.