Ha-Emet

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HA-EMET

HA-EMET (Heb.הָאֶמֶת, "The Truth"), the first Hebrew socialist periodical, published in Vienna during the summer of 1877. The idea of issuing a socialist organ for Jews originated in the revolutionary circles of Vilna. The editor and publisher (under the pseudonym Arthur Freeman) was Aaron Samuel *Liebermann. After he fled from Russia in 1875, Liebermann had at first attempted, unsuccessfully, to establish a bilingual periodical, Ha-Pattish ("The Hammer"), in Yiddish and in Hebrew, for both the Jewish masses and the maskilim. He received the support of the Jewish students' circle in Berlin, as well as Jewish revolutionaries such as Lazar *Goldenberg, Aaron *Zundelevich, and non-Jewish revolutionary leaders like P. Lavrov and V. Smirnov, editors of the periodical Vperyod. In its prospectus Liebermann announced that Ha-Emet would not concern itself with "religious and national issues" but with "the necessities of life" – "bread and work" and "the spoon and the fork question," which "took precedence over all other contemporary problems." The publication of the newspaper was motivated by "our love for our people solely in their capacity of human beings" and by a particular responsibility felt toward them "being conscious of their lives and their afflictions." As a newspaper issued legally, Ha-Emet maintained a cautious tone. Liebermann himself wrote almost all the articles (which were unsigned). It included poems by J.L. *Levin (Yahalal), who with M. Kamyonski actively promoted the newspaper in Russia. Its agent in Galicia and Ukraine was Rabbi A. Eisner. The publication of Ha-Emet provoked wide controversy in the Jewish press. The newspaper closed down after three issues through lack of funds and the prohibition on its entry into Russia. Its direct successor was *Asefat Ḥakhamim, whose editor M. *Winchevsky was influenced by Liebermann. Photographic editions of Ha-Emet were published by Ẓ. Krol with appendixes (1938), and in Jerusalem (1967).

[Moshe Mishkinsky]

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