Gordon Aharon David (1856-1922)

Hebrew writer and Zionist was a leader of the movement for settlement on the land (the halutzim).

Strongly influenced by the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, Gordon believed that man's intelligence, though vital for survival, tended to isolate him from the Universe as a whole. He saw religion as the means by which man could restore his unity with nature. God could not be known to the intellect, but could be constantly experienced in His mystery by a life linked to the land.

Gordon saw the hope of restored Israel as a potentially vital example to humanity of his philosophy in action: "We were the first to proclaim that man was created in the image of God. We must go farther and say: the nation must be created in the image of God. Not because we are better than others but because we have borne upon our shoulders and suffered all which calls for this. It is by paying the price of torments the like of which the world has never known that we have won the right to be the first in this world of creation."

Believing as he did that Jewish salvation could only come about through individual effort, Gordon avoided politics, and was not enthusiastic about the Balfour Declaration or the setting up of a Jewish Legion. Through his personal example and his numerous writings on the "religion of labor," he exercised a profound influence on the Jewish labor movement all over the world. The Gordonia Youth movement, founded in 1925, was named after him and based on his ideas.

Entry taken from "Junior Judaica, Encyclopedia Judaica for Youth" CD-ROM

by C.D.I. Systems 1992 (LTD) and Keter.

 

 

 

 

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02 May 2005 / 23 Nisan 5765 0