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Ahad Ha’Am

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Leader of Political Zionism


Max Nordau (1849-1923) was a close confidant of Theodore Herzl and prominent leader of the Political Zionism branch. Born Orthodox but rejecting his identity to become an assimilated German, the Dreyfus Affair re-awakened his identity. He was focused on developing the democratic nature of the Zionist Movement. At the Second Zionist Congress in 1898, he coined the term “muscular Judaism” to describe the new kind of Jew Zionism wanted to develop — one in opposition to the stereotypical weak, pale, intellectual Diaspora Jew unable to defend himself.