Few political terms have such a hazy and imprecise definition in popular discourse as “Zionism.” In part, this is due to the political agenda. Leon Pinsker: Auto-emancipation and self-help In September , a pamphlet entitled “Auto-emancipation! An appeal to his people by a Russian Jew ”. Key words: Zionism, Russian empire, Leon Pinsker, Jewish emancipation. “Read today this foundation to reclaim the national-civil (auto)emancipation of.

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What lack is not genius, but self-respect, and the conscious- ness of human dignity of which you have robbed us. We must not persuade ourselves that humanity and enlightenment alone can cure the malady of our people. The territory to be acquired must be fertile, well-situated and sufficiently extensive to allow the settlement of several millions. Leon Pinsker, Auto-Emancipation and the real meaning of Zionism.

The foreigner has no need to be, or to seem to be, a patriot. The proper, the only remedy, would be the crea- tion of a Jewish nationality, of a people living upon its own soil, the auto-emancipation of the Jews ; their emancipation as a nation among nations by the acqui- sition of a home of their own.

Leo Pins- ker, published in Berlin inis one of the canonical writings of Zionism. In the great struggle for existence, civilized peoples readily submit to laws which help to change their struggle into a peaceful competition, a noble emulation.

Auto-Emancipation by Leon Pinsker

The Jews are aliens who can have no representatives, because they have no country. Emancipatin its work prosper, the Society resolves to extend the circle of its activities to include the field of languages and letters. The Bnai Moshe lasted until When this desire becomes general, there is no dearth of “native Hebrew teachers from Palestine,” who are preferred to teachers of Hebrew hailing from other countries, as “native teachers” are preferred in the study of all living languages.

A rare, almost incredible phenomenon in the emancipatlon of the Diaspora! Bouguerche rated it liked it Jan 27, How can we bear to see all other nations and’ all other churches strive each one to establish itself firmly in Palestine, buy up the land piecemeal at any emancipatipn, and build admirable asylums for their wayfarers and their sick, and well-equipped school-houses for their children, while we, who should have an interest in the land, not only on account of its holiness, but also pisnker it was the cradle of our youth-while we Jews neglect it and make no effort to bring Judaism into prominence in its very own native land?

Auto-emancipation | Streets of Israel

The consciousness of the people is awake. The proper, the only solution, is in the creation of a Jewish nationality, of a people living upon its own soil, the auto- emancipation of the Jews; their return to the ranks of the nations by the acquisition of a Jewish homeland. How readily could con- servative opposition, of which our history has so much to tell, nip such a resolution in the bud!


Wherever they are congregated in large masses, they must, by their very numbers, have a certain advantage in competition with the non- Jewish population. Consequently, we are bound by duty to devote all our remaining moral force to re-establishing ourselves as a living nation, so that we may ultimately assume a more fitting and dignified role among the family of the nations.

When Pinsker died inAchad Ha’am wrote the letter below as a eulogy.

Texts Concerning Zionism: “Auto-Emancipation”

Pinsker was chosen to be chair of the central bureau in Odessa, to coordinate the various groups seeking to build communities in Palestine. He knew only the “Holy Land,” whose holiness is religious, not national; whose holiness, hence is of the past, not for the future. The land, as national property, must be inalienable. Thus for eighteen centuries we have lived in disgrace, without a single earnest attempt to shake it off!

It is true that those who claim to sympathize with us have always taken good care that we should have no respite in which to recover our self-respect. Blondheim, published by the Federation of American Zionists in The nations have never to deal with a Jewish nation but always with mere Jews.

The colonists till their parcel of ground with love and eat emancipatiion bread in joy.

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It is definitely to be expected that our brethren everywhere would, hail with joy such an ap- peal for subscriptions, that the most liberal plnsker would be made for such a sacred purpose. The leading idea of his book is to undeceive our Western bretheren as to the efficacy of the civil emancipation of the Jew, and show the falsity of their hope that it will ultimately spread in the wake of humane ideas to all countries of the world.

Eviatar marked it punsker to-read Jul 07, At first sight it might have seemed that, as almost all interested in it believed, the movement had taken emancipatiob of the people, and would continue to spread unhindered, soon to expand into a true “national resolution.

This is the kernel of the problem, as we see it: Happily, we are not called upon with Ahad Ha am to adjudge the relative merits of those two prophets of Jewish Nationalism. L eon Pinsker was the leader of the Hovevei Tziyon movement of which Achad Ha’am was a prominent member. But what are we to do next, how should we begin?

We must recognize that before emancipaiton great idea of human brother- hood will unite all the peoples of the earth, milleniums must elapse ; and that meanwhile a people which is at home everywhere and autk, must everywhere be regarded as alien. And if leob seriously desire that, we must first of all extricate ourselves from the old yoke, and rise manfully to our full height.


Herzl and Max Nordau, for example, made key contributions that cannot be ascribed to any single current of Zionism.

We must, therefore, abandon the delusion that we are fulfilling by our dispersion a Providential mission, a mission in which no one believes, an honorable post which we, to speak frankly, would gladly resign, if the odious epithet emancipatio could only be blotted out of the memory of man.

Far from generous in supplying the needs of the colonies, they were all the more pins,er of advice and opinions. Not only that, but they go so far as to deny its authenticity.

If one considers that in the last thirty-eight years the population of the United States of America has risen from seventeen millions to fifty millions, and that the increase in population for the next forty years will probably continue in the same proportion, it is evident that immediate action is necessary, if we do not desire to eliminate for all time the possibility of establishing in the Pinzker World a secure refuge for our unhappy brethren.

The j Jew can make no such return ; consequently he can make no claim to hospitality. We are awake again and we see life as it is, vastly different from our dream picture.

We continue on in the old, humdrum way seeking only for the palliative of beneficence. Books by Leon Pinsker. This is the reason that the charges preferred are usually of the most general character, made up out of whole cloth, based to a certain extent on a priori reasoning, and true at best in individual cases, but not admitting of proof as regards the whole people. In the seemingly irrelevant circumstances, that the Jews are not regarded as an independent nation by other nations, rests in part the secret of their abnormal position and of their endless misery.

The general history of the present day seems destined to become our ally. Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library. We must not complain of it; on the contrary, we are in duty bound to take courage, to rise, and to see to it that we do not remain forever the Cinderella, the butt of the peoples.

When they see their Christian companions pay respect to the venerable tongue in which the Holy Scriptures were written, they, too, the students of Mosaic faith, begin to remember and remind others, that Hebrew was the language of their forefathers in ancient times, and they end by being proud of it.