Hurwitz, Saul Israel

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HURWITZ, SAUL ISRAEL (1861–1922), Hebrew writer and critic. Born in Uvarovichi (Mogilev district), Russia, Hurwitz became a successful merchant and banker. After the 1905 revolution, he moved to Berlin, returning in 1914 to Russia where he lost his fortune during the Communist Revolution and after much suffering returned to Berlin in 1921. Here he was a prominent figure in the circle of émigré Hebrew writers and thinkers and was active in Zionist work. Together with Ḥ.N. *Bialik he directed the Kelal publishing house.

From his youth, Hurwitz contributed stories and articles to Hebrew journals, and in 1892 he published the literary magazine Beit Eked. His best known polemic article "Li-She'elat Kiyyum ha-Yahadut" ("On the Question of the Survival of Judaism"), published in Ha-Shilo'aḥ in 1903, questioned all Jewish values and all attempts at resolving the problem of Jewish survival, and he became a central figure in the resulting controversy with *Aḥad Ha-Am's supporters. Hurwitz eventually established his own journal He-Atid (1908–13) to serve as a venue for the clarification of Jewish issues.

Excerpts from his memoirs were published in Ha-Shilo'aḥ and Ha-Toren during his lifetime and posthumously. Some of his articles were collected and published under the title Me-Ayin u-le-An (1914).


Waxman, Literature, 4 (1960), 393–6; Hurwitz, in Haolam, 23 (1935), 211f.; idem, in: Gilyonot, 27 (1952), 207–10 (includes bibliography); Fishman, in: En Hakore (1923), 98–103; M. Glickson, Ishim ba-Madda u-va-Sifrut, 2 (1941), 271–7; idem, Ketavim (1963), 345–50; Mordecai ben Hillel ha-Kohen, Olami, 2 (1927), 321–5; Baal Makhshoves, Sekirot u-Reshamim (1912), 27–36; Y.L. Gorelik, Be-Ereẓ Nod (1944), 62–65; F. Lachower, Rishonim ve-Aḥaronim (19662), 286–9; E. Hurwicz, in: ylbi, 12 (1967), 85–102.

[Getzel Kressel]