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Ḥisin, Ḥayyim


ḤISIN, ḤAYYIM (1865–1932), *Bilu pioneer in Ereẓ Israel. A native of Mir, Belorussia, Ḥisin was roused by the 1881 pogroms and joined the Bilu association, going to Ereẓ Israel in July 1882 with the second Bilu group. He worked in Mikveh Israel and Rishon le-Zion. He joined the Bilu settlement of *Gederah, which he later left because he refused to live on the dole. He tried to support himself and his family by working as a coachman carrying passengers between Jaffa and Jerusalem. In 1887 he returned to Russia and studied pharmacology. In the late 1880s and early 1890s Ḥisin contributed articles to the Russian-Jewish journal Voskhod, including the diary written during his stay in Ereẓ Israel and a description of his visit to the country in 1890. In 1898 he went to Berne, Switzerland, to study medicine. He was active in propagating Zionism among the Russian-Jewish students in Western Europe, attended the early Zionist congresses, and was an active member of the "*Democratic Fraction." He again went to Ereẓ Israel in 1905, this time settling as a qualified physician, and was appointed as the representative of the Odessa committee of the Ḥovevei Zion in Jaffa. He helped to found the first workers' settlements – *Ein Gannim, *Be'er Ya'akov, *Naḥalat Yehudah, and *Kefar Malal. In 1909 Ḥisin was one of the founders of Aḥuzat Bayit, the first nucleus of the city of Tel Aviv. He died in Tel Aviv.

His diary, translated from Russian into Hebrew by S. Herberg under the title Mi-Yoman Eḥad ha-Bilu'im ("From the Diary of a Bilu Member," 1925), is a valuable aid to understanding the period.


Tidhar, 2 (1947), 756–7; I. Klausner, Oppoziẓyah le-Herzl (1960), index; D. Smilansky, Im Benei Dori (1942), 268–72; M. Smilansky, Mishpaḥat ha-Adamah, 2 (1954), 151–8; Sefer Ussishkin (1934), 331–6.

[Gedalyah Elkoshi and

Yehuda Slutsky]

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