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Handwritten notebook documenting the life of Second Aliyah man Avraham Herzfeld

Opening price: $250

Commission: 23%

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01.29.2024 07:00am

Handwritten notebook documenting the life of Avraham Hertzfeld. Hertzfeld [1886-1973] was born into a warm Hasidic family, a yeshiva student, and later a pioneer of the Second Aliyah, a Zionist activist, one of the founders of the "Ahdut HaAvoda" party and among the initiators of establishing the Histadrut, member of the First to Fifth Knessets. Recipient of the Israel Prize for 1972 for special contribution to society and state. Hertzfeld was known for his activity for settlement in Eretz Israel and his dedication to establishing settlements, mainly of the working settlement, throughout the country. The notebook describes in detail the events of his life starting from his youth in the town of Stavyshche in Kiev as a Hasidic yeshiva student in an atmosphere filled with the splendor of his father's home, his journey following the Kishinev pogroms of 1904 to the Telz Yeshiva and the period he studied there, his move to Vilna and exposure to the Zionist movements active there, his arrest by the Russian authorities, his exile to Siberia, his escape from Siberia to Eretz Israel and his new path of extensive Zionist activity in the country in the 1920s.

The notebook opens by documenting the years of his youth in the Hasidic atmosphere at home and in town, studying with the Rebbe in Heider and the lively childhood that he had, his spiritual experiences in observing the Sabbath and its holiness and observing the Jewish holidays . Further described is his leaving Stavyshche for Berdichov following the pogroms at age 14, and the beginning of his studies at the yeshiva in Berdichov, over dozens of pages he documents the two and a half years he studied at the yeshiva, and his leaving Berdichov following the Kishinev pogroms (1904) and the relocation of his yeshiva studies to Telz yeshiva following a sermon he heard from the Maggid of Telz who came to town one of the times. Further is a detailed description of his life as a student at Telz yeshiva under Rabbi Eliezer Gordon, under stringent order and discipline he was not used to. In Telz he studied for about three and a half years - when the special atmosphere of the yeshiva is described at length in the notebook. When the social ferment in the Jewish street and the nationalist parties that sprang up one after the other also penetrated the confines of the yeshiva, Avraham Hertzfeld began to listen to the "emissaries" who came to the yeshiva from outside. Hertzfeld began reading the pamphlets issued in those days dealing with the solution to the problem of the Jews and presenting a territorial solution in light of socialist values. Under their influence he left Telz and came to Vilna where Zionist ferment was at its peak. In Vilna he met the leaders of the Zionist parties, the Bund, Poale Zion, and left-wing parties. He wavered between continuing his studies at Rabbi Chaim Ozer's yeshiva or joining one of the Zionist movements. In his first days in Vilna he spent most of his time in public libraries reading books and daily newspapers published on behalf of the various parties. He learned Russian, and in a short time decided to join the S.S. Territorialist party (Zionist Socialist ). Due to his activity he was imprisoned by the Russian tsarist authorities for two years in the Lukiszki Prison in Vilna - where his mother and sister visited him in an attempt to convince him to return to the faith of his fathers, but to no avail. His time in prison and the suffering he endured are described at length in the notebook. After his release from prison in 1910 he was sentenced to exile in Siberia - a harsh exile of daily suffering and survival documented in the notebook at length. During his exile in the Irkutsk Province he worked in fishing and gold mines and taught Hebrew and Russian. In 1913 he was among the organizers of a workers' strike at the gold mines in Bilizorovo in Siberia - a strike that was brutally suppressed by the authorities. After some time he began working for the JNF, managed to escape from Siberia using a passport bearing the name Avraham Hertzfeld, a name he adopted, and reach Lithuania from where he immigrated to Eretz Israel in the summer of 1914. Upon his arrival in the country he joined, at the suggestion of David Bloch-Blumenfeld, the "Achva" workers group in Petach Tikva that worked in pruning and orchard processing on contract in the moshava's orchards. The second part of the notebook deals at length with Hertzfeld's time in Eretz Israel, and how he actually began his life anew as an ardent Zionist activist, his assistance to the underground which operated in the country, his political activity within the Poale Zion party headed by David Ben-Gurion, his part in establishing the Histadrut labor federation, and the "Agricultural Center" that he headed, his initiative to establish a mutual aid organization, his many initiatives to create jobs for new farmers, his concern for the residents of Jerusalem in the famine years of 1916, his assistance in the organization of the immigrants in the country, and more.

268 written pages. Light moth marks on the last pages without damage to text. Good condition.

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28. Handwritten notebook documenting the life of Second Aliyah man Avraham Herzfeld