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Ha-Miẓpeh

HA-MIẒPEH

HA-MIẒPEH (Heb. הַמִּצְפֶּה; "the Watchtower"), a Hebrew weekly newspaper. Appearing in Cracow from 1904 to 1921 (with intervals during World War i), Ha-Miẓpeh was edited by Simon Menahem Laser. Laser, the last editor of *Ha-Maggid, which ceased publication in 1903, wanted to maintain the Hebrew press in Galicia. His new paper had a religious Zionist orientation and was the faithful organ, without official status, of the *Mizrachi movement. At the same time it fought the opponents of Zionism, including both Ḥasidim and assimilationists. Ha-Miẓpeh reached its highest popularity at the time of the elections for the Austrian parliament, when it fought with extraordinary vigor the government-approved anti-Zionist pact between assimilationists and the hasidic rabbis. The paper also combated negative manifestations in the Zionist movement. Laser encouraged literary talents in Galicia. He discovered S.Y. *Agnon (then still known as Czaczkes), Avigdor *Hameiri, U.Z. *Greenberg, and many others who later became famous in Hebrew literature. Apart from Laser's journalistic pieces, the paper published studies, poems, stories, essays, feuilletons, and a humorous section for Purim. It was maintained throughout the years by Laser's efforts and without any subvention, even during World War i when he revived the paper after it had been forced to close. Laser was among the few who understood the nature of the Bolshevik regime's attitude toward the Jews, the problematic nature of the Balfour Declaration, and other political issues.

bibliography:

G. Kressel (ed.), Al ha-Miẓpeh, Mivḥar Kitvei Shimon Menaḥem Laser (1969).

[Getzel Kressel]

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