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    Theodor Herzl

    Jew Score:



    (Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl)
    May 2, 1860 – July 3, 1904

    Moses, all things great and biblical, was not raised with his Jewish heritage. Instead he adopted it after he saw the plight of his people. As their leader, Moses argued with the Pharaoh to let his people return to their homeland.

    Eventually, Moses was able to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and across the desert. He died on Mount Nebo at the impossible old age of 120, outside the promised land, having taken his people from bondage to independence, leaving the fate of the Jews to other great men.

    Theodore Herzl was born in Austria-Hungary to two Jewish parents who raised him as an assimilated agnostic. Herzl studied law in Vienna, but mostly he bounced around aimlessly from one mediocrity to another.

    After the Dreyfus affair and the rise to power of famed anti-semite Karl Lueger in Vienna, Herzl had a revelation: his people needed their own homeland. He made it his life's work to bring them there.

    Herzl wrote Der Juudenstaat, his tract on the need for a Jewish state, advocating Argentina (?!) and Palestine (nee Israel) as possible locations. He also began politicking with world leaders to gain the influence he would need to make it happen. Mostly, he was dismissed. But Herzl continued his work until his death, making the Jewish state a cause celeb and forever linking himself with the movement.

    Herzl did not live to see the promised land. He died at the impossibly young age of 44, well before World War I, let alone World War II and the establishment of the Jewish state. Herzl is now buried on a mountain in Israel — Mount Herzl.

    A fitting name for the resting place of the modern Moses.

    Verdict: Jew.

    September 12, 2013

    See Also

    Simon bar Kokhba

    David Ben-Gurion

    Maurice de Hirsch


    Isaac Steinberg
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2024.