Hillel Zeitlin

Hillel Zeitlin (הלל צייטלין 1871-1942) was the leading figure of what may be called “philosophical neo-Hasidism” among Eastern European Jews in the pre-Holocaust era. A tireless author, journalist, and polemicist, he published constantly in both the Yiddish and Hebrew presses, offering a bold new vision of contemporary spiritual life grounded in his reading of Hasidic sources. But Zeitlin sought to become an activist as well as a literary figure. He was especially concerned with the situation of the rootless Jewish youth. Throughout his career as a public figure, beginning shortly after World War I, he issued calls for a new organization of Jewish life. In a series of articles published in the 1920s, he sought to form an elite Jewish spiritual fraternity to be called Yavneh, which was the most fully elaborated of his attempts at intentional community. (via his introduction by Arthur Green at In Geveb)


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