Yet Herzl was the first - and herein lies his historic greatness - who was able to breathe a new spirit, the will to act, into the faith and nostalgia of the Jewish people, yearning to be revived. He achieved this thanks to the direct, immediate quality of his expression, the true style of rational clairvoyance, and even more to the gift of political draftsmanship which he showed so notably in calling together the Congress, creating the Zionist Organization with its various institutions, and bringing the Jewish people into play as an active national factor in international politics.
Herzl had grasped the secret of historic activity better than any of his precursors. He had discovered within himself and in the Jewish people the mystery of political efficacy. Herzl transformed the Jewish people, for the first time since its Exile, into a political force, a fighting, creative force, a force capable of shaping its historic destiny by its won will and exertions.
Until Herzl the Jewish people had been no more than an object of history, a plaything in the hands of strangers and political forces who used it for good or for ill. Herzl transformed a pulverized people borne on the currents of history by chance winds, favorable or the reverse, into a people who acted out its national will and established itself as an autonomous factor on the international scene. Herzl was the founding father of the revival of Jewish politics. He set the political of the people in a simple, clear, and challenging phrase, "The Jewish State", and created the instruments, the means, and the power as well, which were required for attaining the goal. Herzl realized that, despite its dispersion and rootlessness, the Jewish people is a power, provided that it can and will organize its capacities and make use of them. The ability and will to do this were the gifts which Herzl himself endowed the people.
 
 

 

 

 

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05 Nov 2007 / 24 Heshvan 5768 0