By Leon Simon
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Additional info for Ahad Ha-am - Asher Ginzberg: A Biography
Com 28 Home | TOC | Index Ahad Ha-Am well-furnished editorial sanctum which his imagination had pictured, but in a dark little attic with no furniture except a rickety table, chair and bed not remarkable for their cleanliness; and what survived of his enthusiasm for Haskalah, which had long ceased to satisfy him, was further damped by the supercilious attitude adopted by the Warsaw maskilim towards the unknown young man from the country. In that same year, 1878, he visited Odessa for the first time in his life, and there struck up an acquaintance with another young man staying in the same hotel, who turned out to be educated in the modern sense and well-read in Russian literature.
Com The Furnace of Iron Home | TOC | Index 25 the substitute had an accident, which confined him to bed for some days, and it fell to the young Ginzberg to fill the vacant place. So he became for once in his life an acting Tsaddik; and, although his defection from Hasidism was notorious, the assembled devotees nonetheless went through the normal ritual of snatching bits of food from the dish which the Tsaddik had hallowed by his touch. With his usual reticence, he states the facts without comment in the Reminiscences, and we are left to guess whether he undertook a function for which he was so unsuited because he was too polite to refuse, or out of a nostalgic attachment to Hasidism.
With the appearance of his first published article in 1889, he was at once marked out as a Hebrew writer of quite exceptional quality; and obviously such a born student and thinker as he was would have been more usefully as well as more congenially occupied in writing and instructing public opinion than in buying and selling. In this matter, however, as in others, he was torn by conflicting inclinations, or inhibitions. The desire to escape from “the hateful world of business” was strong in him, but not strong enough to gain a << Chapter >> This Library PDF version is for the use on an institutional computer only.
Ahad Ha-am - Asher Ginzberg: A Biography by Leon Simon