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Bidding Information
Lot #    6034
Auction End Date    11/18/2003 11:30:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by Jacob Israel De Haan
Title (Hebrew)    כתב מהקדוש יעקב ישראל די האן הי'ד
Author    [Ms.]
City    Jerusalem
Publication Date    1923
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1] p., 275:211 mm., light browning, ink on stationary, signed by De Haan.
   Addressed to R. Moshe Blau seeking intervention on behalf of a needy person.

Jacob Israel De Haan (1881–1924), Dutch journalist, was born in Smilde. De Haan was the son of a cantor and the younger brother of the authoress Carry (de Haan) van Bruggen. Abandoning his parents' Orthodoxy, De Haan set out on a career that was to lead him through many spiritual crises and much personal and political turmoil. He flirted with anarchism, socialism, and even Christianity, and in 1907 married a non-Jewish doctor. De Haan's wife financed his study of law, in the course of which he visited Russia and published In Russische gevangenissen ("In Russian Prisons," 1913). After his graduation in 1916 he became a law tutor, but when he failed to secure a chair at Amsterdam University he decided to devote himself to writing. Shortly before World War I, De Haan reverted to strict Orthodoxy, and had begun writing verse of an increasingly religious and mystical nature. He was already a Zionist, and now joined the Mizrahi movement. In 1918, abandoning his wife and children, he settled in Palestine. Here he became the correspondent of the Amsterdam Algemeen Handelsblad and the London Daily Express, and at first adopted a Zionist position. He soon became disillusioned with both the religious and the secular leaders of the yishuv, and joined the ultra-orthodox Agudat Israel, becoming the spokesman of the Jerusalem "Ashkenazi Council" headed by R. Joseph Hayyim Sonnenfeld. He began sending regular anti-Zionist reports to the overseas press, and pro-Agudat Israel memoranda to the British Mandatory authorities and the League of Nations. De Haan's political services to the Orthodox community created a furor: non-religious Jewish students boycotted his lectures at the government law school, and he was repeatedly warned to cease his activities. De Haan ignored these warnings. On June 30, 1924, he was brutally assassinated near the Sha'arei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, where he had attended evening prayers. His assailants were two members of the Haganah, acting on instructions issued by their high command. Like his life, De Haan's death provoked great controversy. The champion of unrelenting orthodoxy, De Hahn was successfully interceding with irreligious Zionist aspirations - they killed him in cold blood!

   A. Z. Ben-Yishai, Ha-"Kadosh" De Haan. Hayyav u-Moto (1925)
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica