Slavery in Freedom

One of the fathers of modern Zionism, the Hebrew essayist and thinker, Asher Ginsberg (1856-1927), who wrote under the pen name Ahad Ha-Am, has an essay called “Slavery in Freedom.” In it he described assimilated West European Jews who gave up their inner Jewish values and identity to conform to the non-Jewish secular values of the countries in which they lived. Though living in external freedom, in comparison to their persecuted East European co-religionists, they were internally enslaved.

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