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Zeman, Ha-

Hebrew newspaper. Published from 1903 to 1915, Ha-Zeman (The Time) was founded and edited by the journalist Bentsiyon Katz. Beginning publication in February 1903, during its first year it was published twice weekly in Saint Petersburg. At the end of 1903, the newspaper faced a financial crisis, and Katz enlisted the help of a wealthy Jewish businessman, Ya‘akov Eliyahu Rivkin, who accepted financial responsibility for issuing the newspaper and appointed his son-in-law, Feivel Margolin, as manager.

In 1904 the newspaper relocated to Vilna, where it became a daily, and from 1907 to 1911 it changed its title to Hed ha-zeman (Echo of the Time). Its publishers also issued a literary quarterly (1903–1905) also called Ha-Zeman, and in 1906 added the Yiddish newspaper Di tsayt (The Time). They also sponsored the highly regarded children’s weekly Ha-Ḥayim veha-teva‘ (Life and Nature), edited by Yisra’el Binyamin Levner (1905–1906).

During those years, when it was the only Hebrew daily newspaper in tsarist Russia to appear regularly, Ha-Zeman reached its peak. It had a large full-time staff, including the writers and journalists Yisra’el Ḥayim Tawiów, Yosef Eliyahu Triwosch, Shemu’el Leib Zitron, Hillel Zeitlin, Shemu’el Tchernowitz, Mosheh Ben-Eli‘ezer, Yesha‘yahu Bershadsky, and Yitsḥak Dov Berkowitz. The newspaper was the first to publish a draft of the Russian constitution during the 1905 October Revolution and was the first to publish the anti-tsarist Viborg Proclamation, which caused Katz to be sentenced to a year’s imprisonment.

Ha-Zeman devoted most of its news space to events occurring in the Jewish world, with particular emphasis on developments in the world Zionist movement, of which its editor was a fervent supporter. At the same time it became the central Hebrew literary forum, attracting, during its first years, talented young writers such as Zalman Shneour, Yitsḥak Katzenelson, Devorah Baron, Yosef Ḥayim Brenner, and Uri Nisan Gnessin. Its greatest literary accomplishment was its publication of Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik’s famous poem “Be-‘Ir ha-haregah” (In the City of Slaughter), written in the wake of the Kishinev pogrom (1903).

Suggested Reading

Benzion Katz (Ben-Tsiyon Kats), ‘Al ‘itonim va-anashim (Tel Aviv, 1983); Zalman Shneour, “Be-Ma‘arekhet Ha-Zeman ha-Vilna’i,” in Ḥ. N. Byalik u-vene doro, pp. 315–322 (Tel Aviv, 1958); Zalman Shneour, “‘Od ‘al Ha-Zeman ha-Vilna’i ve-sofrav,” in Ḥ. N. Byalik u-vene doro, pp. 323–331 (Tel Aviv, 1958).



Translated from Hebrew by David Fachler