Hillel Zeitlin biography

Hillel Zeitlin

Deceased Person

1871 – 1942


Who was Hillel Zeitlin?

Hillel Zeitlin was a Yiddish and Hebrew writer who edited the Yiddish newspaper Moment, among other literary activities. He was born in the Mogilev Governorate of the Russian Empire to a Chassidic Chabad family. Already in his childhood, he was recognized for his particularly sharp and analytical mind. When Zeiltin turned 15, his father died and he decided to become a Hebrew teacher.

His exit from the world of the Yeshiva exposed him to the works of the scholars of the Enlightenment. He began studying in earnest the works of both Jewish philosophers and non-Jewish ones such as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and others.

During this period in his life, he began questioning his religious beliefs and eventually drifted toward secularism.

Zeitlin also grew close to the territorialist movement and lent his support to the "Uganda proposal". Zeitlin was of the opinion that it would be impossible to settle in Palestine without removing the half a million Palestinian Arabs and so the Zionist proposals would fail.

He was a practical territorialist and his writings took on more urgency after the notorious pogroms in Kishinev and Homel.


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on July 23, 2013

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