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 The sixtieth anniversary of Ahad Ha'am, the foremost Hebrew thinker of his time, is a notable event in Hebrew literature, and will no doubt be by Hebraists all over the world in a manner of the man and of the thinker. Next to Bialik, the great Hebrew poet, Ahad Ha'am is today the most popular Jew among the Jewries of the East and the best known representative of Hebrew thought among Jewish intellectuals in the West. His name is identified with the formulation of the program of Hebrew nationalism and the creation of a Hebrew cultural centre in Palestine. Unlike other thinkers who consider their convictions their own private affair, Ahad Ha'am had the courage of his convictions and defended them against great . He had the courage to take his stand against the giant, Herzl, and the powerful dialectician and publicist, Max Nordau. He knew that the fight against Herzl, when the great leader of Zionism was at his height, would not win him friends, but he had the daring to take up the fight.  
For Ahad Ha'am the question of political Zionism and that of cultural Zionism as represented by himself, were matters of principle and had to be fought out sooner or later. While Ahad Ha'am fought against Herzl and Nordau and against the other powerful representatives of political Zionism, he had no in mind and fought for principles only. The whole position of things was such that Ahad Ha'am could at that time have had no hope to win the struggle because political Zionism was at its height and because Theodor Herzl was the shining star in the of Jewish political life. But disregarding the disadvantageous position in which he found himself, he fought until he believed the danger was passed.
We mention this fight against Herzl and Nordau because it best characterizes the man, Ahad Ha'am. Though his philosophy of life is a philosophy of abstract ideas, he is at the same time a man full of life and , a hard public worker and a political Jew in the best sense of the term. A great deal of his popularity must be ascribed not only to his philosophy and his system of Jewish politics, but also to his and wonderful qualities of character.
As a Hebrew thinker, Ahad Ha'am represents the last point in the line of Jewish thought which can be characterized as Hebrew intellectualism as from Hebrew irrationalism and mysticism, which found its expression in the teachings of the Hassidic .
Since the rise of the theoretical Kabbalah in Spain in the thirteenth century, which must be considered a reaction against the system of intellectualism as laid down by Maimonides, we can observe in Jewish history two spiritual tendencies striving for dominance: Irrationalism in all its forms and Intellectualism in all its . Ahad Ha'am represents the line of development, of Maimonides, the Gaon of Wilna, Krochmal. The parallel line to the theoretical Kabbalah is the practical Kabbalah which began in Palestine in the sixteenth century and Hassidism which originated in Poland in the eighteenth century. The intellectualists maintain that the prime essential of the soul is intellect and that Judaism is based not on metaphysical will but on intel[66]lectual cognition. For our mediaeval intellectualists and those of the eighteenth century, this resulted in the conception of a Judaism which lays more stress on knowledge (Torah) than on the practice of the religious ceremonies (Avodah). It is, of course, understood that the older representatives of Jewish Intellectualism were as God-fearing and observing as their mystical opponents. But basing Judaism on knowledge and cognition, they maintained that the first thing a Jew should do is to study and accept the advice of old: Thou shalt recognize the God of thy fathers.
In to these teachings is the conception of Judaism as represented by Kabbalists and Hassidim. Th............
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