Landau, Shemuel Ḥayyim

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LANDAU, SHEMUEL ḤAYYIM (1892–1928), religious Zionist. Landau conceived the idea of "Torah va-Avodah" (Torah and Labor, the basic ideology of religious Zionist pioneering in Ereẓ Israel). Descended from a famous Polish ḥasidic family, he studied in Lukow and in Czemierniki, Galicia. At the beginning of World War i he was taken as a hostage by the invading German armies and later was suspected by them of being a spy for the English. He was eventually sentenced to death but escaped execution. Later the Polish authorities accused him of being a Bolshevik and again he was condemned to death, but after many local Poles testified on his behalf, he was released. He lectured in various Mizrachi branches in Warsaw, and in 1919, at the second conference of the Mizrachi Organization, he participated as a delegate from the Czemierniki branch. He published ideological articles and also participated in the convention in Warsaw in 1921 which created the organizational framework for the Ẓe'irei ha-Mizrachi (Young Mizrachi) Organization. He was elected to the Central Committee and was appointed editor of its newly created Hebrew publication Ha-Kedem. A delegate to the 12th Zionist Congress (1921), he became the recognized leader of the Ẓe'irei ha-Mizrachi, and its ḥalutz movement, and was elected to the Zionist General Council at the 13th Congress. In 1925, at the world conference of the Mizrachi in Vienna, he was elected to the world center of the Mizrachi as a representative of the "Torah va-Avodah" movement. In 1926 he immigrated with his family to Palestine and settled in Jerusalem. He succeeded there in reuniting the two dissident factions of Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi. He continued to develop the doctrine of "Torah va-Avodah" and called for a "holy rebellion," as he designated the spiritual revolution among Ereẓ Israel youth. This call became the watchword of the leaders of nationalist-religious youth.


S. Don Yaḥya, Ha-Mered ha-Kadosh, Shemuel Ḥayyim Landau u-Fo'olo (1960); eẒd, 3 (1965), 226–40; S. Daniel, Shemuel Ḥayyim Landau (Heb., 1938).

[Itzhak Goldshlag]