Schur, Zev Wolf

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SCHUR, ZEV WOLF (William ; 1884–1910), pioneer Hebrew writer and journalist in the United States. Born in Lithuania, he settled in the United States in 1888 and spent most of his life in poverty. A friend of Abraham *Mapu, Schur devoted himself to Hebrew literature, traveled and taught in many countries, including the Far East, and wrote about his voyages in the periodicals Ha-Meliẓ, Ha-Yom, and Ha-Shaḥar. His travelogues were collected in two books: Maḥazot ha-Ḥayyim (1884) and Masot Shelomo (1886/7). He was an ardent pioneer of the Hebrew press in America and, later, of political Zionism, participating in the Fourth Zionist Congress. Under his editorship the periodical Ha-Pisgah (1889–99), in which *Tchernichowsky made his literary debut, attracted the best Hebrew writers in America and some Hebrew writers from abroad. After it ceased publication, it was continued as Ha-Teḥiyyah (1899–1900). Schur wrote several novels in Hebrew. His most important book is Neẓaḥ Yisrael (1897), a defense of Judaism against Christian attacks, against Reform Judaism, against socialism and anarchism. It affirms the twin axiom: the eternal existence of Jewry and the eternality of the Torah. Supporting nationalism, it was the first Hebrew work in America to react favorably to political Zionism.


ajyb (1904–05), 183; J. Kabakoff, Ḥalutzei ha-Sifrut ha-Ivrit ba-Amerikah (1966), 131–210; Waxman, Literature, 4 (19602), 1266, 1299.

[Eisig Silberschlag]