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Dor, Ha-

Hebrew weekly. Ha-Dor (The Generation) was published beginning in 1901 by the Aḥi’asaf publishing house in Warsaw to address the growing needs of its Hebrew readership. It was also offered as an alternative to the monthly Ha-Shiloaḥ (also published by Aḥi’asaf), which at that time focused exclusively on Jewish matters in the spirit of its founder, Ahad Ha-Am.

The editorship of Ha-Dor was assigned to David Frishman, even though the directors of Aḥi’asaf were aware that he harbored reservations about Zionism. Frishman was required to promise to adhere to the pro-Zionist policy of the publishers and had to accept the policy that his name would not appear on the newspaper’s masthead (Yosef Fisher of Kraków, the printer, was listed as editor). Readers, however, were well aware of who the true editor was. Indeed, Ha-Dor fully echoed its editor’s tastes and sensibilities, especially his ambition to instill an appreciation of European aesthetics in his Hebrew readers.

In its first year, 50 issues of Ha-Dor were produced and included pieces by the best writers of the era, among them Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Sholem Aleichem, Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik, Sha’ul Tchernichowsky, Y. L. Peretz, S. Ben-Zion (Simḥah Alter Gutmann), Uri Nisan Gnessin, and Sholem Asch. Its European flavor could be discerned mainly from its critical and scholarly section, which contained essays on prominent writers and philosophers (Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Vladimir Solov’ev, and others). In his weekly editorials, Frishman himself informed his readers of the latest European cultural trends, at the same time venting frustration at what he perceived to be narrow-minded, underachieving qualities in contemporary Jewish readers.

Although Ha-Dor maintained high literary standards, it was unable to attract more than a few hundred subscribers, and by the end of its first year it was forced to close down. Early in 1904, Frishman relaunched the weekly on his own. In its second incarnation, the literary side (including many translations) was given much more prominence and younger writers were granted extra attention, while critical events of the time were deliberately ignored.

In October 1904, after 37 issues, Ha-Dor stopped its publication permanently. In spite of its brief existence, it deserves to be remembered as the first significant modern Hebrew literary weekly, as a superb example of Frishman’s shrewd editing, and as a forum for the best of modern Hebrew literary writing during its classical period.

Suggested Reading

Gedalyah Elkoshi, “Ha-Dor ba-‘arikhat David Frishman,” Gilyonot (Tel Aviv) 26 (1951–1952): 363–370; Menuḥah Gilbo‘a, Ben re’alizm le-romantikah: ‘Al darko shel David Frishman ba-vikoret (Tel Aviv, 1975).



Translated from Hebrew by David Fachler