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Don-Yaḥia (Donchin), Yehudah Leib


DON-YAḤIA (Donchin), YEHUDAH LEIB (1869–1941), rabbi, one of the earliest religious Zionists, a founder of the *Mizrachi movement. Don-Yaḥia was born in Drissa, Belorussia, and from 1902 was rabbi to various Russian communities. He began his Zionist activity while still a yeshivah student and in 1902 was one of the four rabbis who founded the Mizrachi movement. In 1901 he published Ha-Ẓiyyonut mi-Nekuddat Hashkafat ha-Dat ("Zionism from the Religious Point of View"), which ran into several editions. In it Don-Yaḥia attempted to prove to Orthodox circles that political Zionism and settlement in Ereẓ Israel were religious duties. He remained a Zionist even under the Soviet regime and settled in Tel Aviv in 1936. His responsa on matters of halakhah, sermons, and articles on topical subjects are collected in Bikkurei Yehudah, 2 vols. (1930–39).

His cousin shabbetai don-yaḤia (1909–1981) settled in Palestine in 1931 and became active in Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi. When the daily Ha-Ẓofeh was founded, he joined the staff as a columnist, becoming its editor in 1948.


eẒd, 1 (1958), 637–43; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 539–41.

[Getzel Kressel]

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