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Ha-Yom

HA-YOM

HA-YOM (Heb. הַיוֹם, "the Day"), the first Hebrew daily newspaper. Published in St. Petersburg for 25 months, Feb. 12, 1886, to March 12, 1888, Ha-Yom was edited by Judah Leib *Kantor, who enjoyed the regular help of David *Frischmann and Judah Leib *Katzenelson. The Hebrew press had existed for 30 years when Ha-Yom appeared, and the Hebrew newspapermen of that time regarded the venture with skepticism and even derision. But Kantor's persistence overcame all obstacles and the paper appeared daily, in large format, with news gathered by telegrams received directly from the Russian telegraphic agency.

Another innovation was Ha-Yom's simple and clear style, by means of which Kantor hoped to dislodge the stilted Hebrew still dominant in the press. The editor proved that a Hebrew paper could report on political and social events as efficiently as a paper in any other language and Ha-Yom actually became a European-style daily. The editorials and political articles were usually written by Kantor, while Frischmann regularly published feuilletons as well as the first of his famous literary letters, and Katzenelson contributed articles on science. Reporters from London, the U.S., and other Jewish centers contributed to the paper, which also printed substantial reports from Ereẓ Israel. However, the paper could not hold its ground owing to the rivalry with Ha-Meliẓ and Ha-Ẓefirah, which by the admission of its editors, Judah Leib *Gordon and Nahum *Sokolow respectively, reluctantly became dailies in order to compete with Ha-Yom. Another cause for its failure was its reserved and even cool attitude toward the Ḥibbat Zion movement. The paper proved, as Kantor said in his introduction to the first issue, that "the Hebrew language had the resources to discuss everyday life as it did in the old days."

bibliography:

N. Sokolow, Ishim (1958), 153–91; R. Malachi, in: Ḥerut (Dec. 31, 1965); Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 781; J.S. Geffen, in: ajhsq, 51 (1961/62), 149–67.

[Getzel Kressel]

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