• nextgen82

Passing of R' Yehuda Ben Solomon Hai Alkalai, 1878

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 1, 1878

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFz1xm-F8qJ/

Rabbi Judah ben Solomon Chai Alkalai, a Sephardic Rabbi and an early advocate of an independent Jewish State in Ottoman-occupied Palestine, the ancestral Jewish homeland, passed away #onthisday, 1878.

.

Alkalai was born in Sarajevo and brought up in Jerusalem. He felt that the Jews should not wait for the Messiah to restore them to the Land of Israel but should make every effort to go there themselves as a precursor to his arrival.

.

The outstanding feature of his first book is his revolutionary attitude toward redemption as opposed to the traditional religious interpretations was what made him stand out.

.

Teshuvah ("to return", often translated as "repentance") which, according to the Talmud is the precondition for redemption, is interpreted by Alkalai in its literal sense, i.e. shuvah, the return to Erez Israel.

.

He wrote two books with that prose, in the first, he argued that a physical “return to Israel” was a precondition for redemption (salvation), instead of the symbolic “return to Israel” by means of repentance and resuming the ways of God.

.

This doctrine generated much controversy at the time. After the Damascus Affair, an antisemitic blood libel in 1840, Alkalai emphasized to his fellow Jews that the event was part of a divine design to awaken them to the reality of their condition in exile.

.

In 1852, Alkalai visited England in order to propagate his idea for a return to Eretz Israel, and later traveled to several other West European countries seeking support for his plan.

.

In all, he published 18 pamphlets as well as many articles in Hebrew newspapers.

.

Finally in 1871 he left his congregation at Semlin and went to Ottoman-occupied Palestine, where he created a new organization, a society for settlement of the Land which unfortunately failed.

.

Alkalai’s writings and efforts did ultimately have an effect, particularly—his first in Hebrew—Goral Ladonai (1857; “A Lot for the Lord”) in inspiring future Zionist leaders such as Herzl and R' Kook.

.

✍: @_tikvah

.

#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#rabbijudahalkalai#zionism#israel#return

.

Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/judah-ben-solomon-hai-alkalai

Image Source:

ibid

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All