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Friedland, Natan


FRIEDLAND, NATAN (1808–1883), rabbi, precursor of the *Ḥibbat Zion movement. Born in Taurage, Lithuania, Friedland studied in various Lithuanian yeshivot. The *Damascus Affair (1840) made a deep impression on him. He believed that the redemption of the Jewish people could be realized gradually, as a natural process, and periods of liberalism and progress should be used to achieve this. The miraculous redemption would ultimately occur with the arrival of the Messiah. Friedland was unaware that some of his contemporaries held similar views (e.g., Judah *Alkalai), and he spread his ideas verbally in Belorussia, Lithuania, and Germany, where he met Ẓevi *Kalischer. In 1859 he published two parts of his work Kos Yeshu'ah u-Neḥamah ("Cup of Salvation and Comfort"), in which he expounded his theories. Friedland met Adolphe *Crémieux and Albert *Cohen in Paris, and presented petitions from Kalischer and himself to Napoleon iii, who granted him an audience. Sir Moses *Montefiore, whom he met in London, refused to cooperate with him. Friedland published a new edition of Kalischer's work Derishat Ẓiyyon, adding his own notes and essays. Friedland was an emissary of Ḥevrah le-Yishuv Ereẓ Israel ("Society for the Settlement of Ereẓ Israel"), established by Kalischer, and collected funds for it in Germany. During his visit to Holland, he handed the Dutch government a petition requesting their support for the restoration of Ereẓ Israel to the Jews. His greatest work, Yosef Ḥen, expounding his views, was published in a shortened version (1879). At the end of his life, he witnessed the beginnings of aliyah to Ereẓ Israel from Romania and Russia. In 1882 he went to Ereẓ Israel from London and died in Jerusalem.


Klausner, in: Ha-Ummah, 18 (1967), 227–45.

[Israel Klausner]

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