Jewish anarchism

Jewish anarchism

Jewish anarchism is a general term encompassing various expressions of anarchism within the Jewish community.

Secular Jewish Anarchism

Many people of Jewish origin, such as Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Martin Buber, Murray Bookchin and Noam Chomsky, have played a role in the history of anarchism. However, as well as these individual anarchists of Jewish origin, there have also been specifically Jewish anarchist movements, within the Yiddish-speaking communities of Eastern and Central Europe, and the Western cities to which they migrated, from the late nineteenth century until the Second World War. All the members of the first anarchist group in the Russian Empire, which was formed in 1903 in Białystok, were Jewscite book
authorlink=Moshe Goncharok
title=Век воли. Русский анархизм и евреи (XIX-XX вв.)
publisher=Mishmeret Shalom
language=ru icon
] . Yiddish-speaking Jews participated to the International Anarchist Congress of Amsterdam in 1907.

Jewish anarchist movements tended to stress the internationalist character of the movement, but many of them also supported their national culture and focused on specifically Jewish issues. Yiddish anarchist literature flourished since 1880s till 1950s and, on much smaller scale, till 1980s; the last Yiddish periodical publication, "Problemen" was published in 1991. In addition to many original books, pamphlets, poems and essays, all the major works of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, Henry Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, Max Stirner and other anarchists were translated into Yiddish. Rudolf Rocker, a non-Jewish German anarchist, had studied Yiddish and authored many Yiddish books, pamphlets and articles. Most Jewish anarchists were anarcho-syndicalists, while a few others were individualist anarchists.

Different anarchist groups had different views on Zionism and the Jewish question. Bernard Lazare was a key figure in both the French anarchist movement and early Zionist movement. The later Territorialist movement, especially the Freeland League, under the leadership of Isaac Nachman Steinberg, was very close to anarchism. Some others, such as Martin Buber and Gershom Scholem, advocated non-nationalist forms of Zionism, and promoted the idea of creating a binational Jewish-Arab federation in Palestine. Many contemporary anarchists support the idea of what has been dubbed the "no-state solution". [cite web
title=From Mutual Struggle to Mutual Aid: Moving Beyond the Statist Impasse in Israel/Palestine
work=Borderlands E-journal
] Noam Chomsky has said that, as an anarchist, he ultimately favours such a no state solution, but in the short term feels a two-state solution is the best way out of the present conflict. [Noam Chomsky [ "Advocacy and Realism: A reply to Noah Cohen" ZNet, August 26, 2004] ]

Religious Jewish Anarchism

While many Jewish anarchists were irreligious or sometimes vehemently anti-religious, there were also a few religious anarchists and pro-anarchist thinkers, who combined contemporary radical ideas with traditional Judaism. Some secular anti-authoritarians, such as Abba Gordin and Erich Fromm, also noticed remarkable similarity between anarchism and many Kabbalistic ideas, especially in their Hasidic interpretation. Some Jewish mystical groups were based on anti-authoritarian principles, somewhat similar to the Christian Quakers and Dukhobors. Martin Buber, a deeply religious philosopher, had frequently referred to the Hasidic tradition.

The Orthodox Kabbalist rabbi Yehuda Ashlag believed in a religious version of libertarian communism, based on principles of Kabbalah, which he called altruist communism. Ashlag supported the Kibbutz movement and preached to establish a network of self-ruled internationalist communes, who would eventually 'annul the brute-force regime completely, for “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”', because 'there is nothing more humiliating and degrading for a person than being under the brute-force government'. []

A British Orthodox rabbi, Yankev-Meyer Zalkind, was an anarcho-communist and very active anti-militarist. Rabbi Zalkind was a close friend of Rudolf Rocker, a prolific Yiddish writer and a prominent Torah scholar. He argued, that the ethics of the Talmud, if properly understood, is closely related to anarchismcite book
authorlink=Moshe Goncharok
title=ПЕПЕЛ НАШИХ КОСТРОВ, Очерки Истории Еврейского Анархистского Движения (ИДИШ-АНАРХИЗМ)
language=ru icon
] .

During biblical times as recorded in the book of Samuel (Shmuel) God suggests that the people DO NOT take a king like all the other nations and remain in a state of political Anarchy.Fact|date=December 2007

Anarchists in contemporary Israel

There are a number of anarchist groups in Israel. In the past decade, the Israeli group known as "Anarchists Against the Wall" became widely-known in the ongoing struggle around the creation of the variously-called Separation Wall/Fence/Barrier on the West Bank.

While most of them are ethnically Jewish, members of the group do not define themselves as being "Jewish anarchists".

Jewish anarchists

See List of Jewish anarchists

Jewish anarchist newspapers

*Arbeter Fraynd
*Chernoe Znamja (Black Flag)
*Die Freie Gesellschaft
*Fraye Arbeter Shtime
*Kagenna Magazine
*V Pomoštš’ – Der Hilf-Ruf

See also

*Anarchism and religion
*Black Repartition
*Christian anarchism
*Czarny Sztandar (Black Flag)
*History of anarchism
*Jewish resistance movement
*Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine
*Jewish left
*List of Jewish American activists
*History of anarchism
*List of Mexican Jews
*List of Russian Jews
*Anarchism in Spain
*New Jewish Agenda
*Hilltop Youth
*History of the Jews in Latin America
*Bavarian Soviet Republic
*Past and present anarchist communities
*History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
*Lower East Side, Manhattan
*History of anti-Semitism
*Anti-globalization and Anti-Semitism
*International Solidarity Movement


External links

* [ Jesse Cohn "Messianic Troublemakers: The Past and Present Jewish Anarchism"]
* [ Orthodox Anarchist] (blog)
* [ Anarcho-Judaism] (blog)
* [| Yiddish Anarchist Bibliography at Kate Sharpley Library]
* [ The Israeli group "Anarchists Against the Wall"]
* [ "Jewdas" Radical Voices for the Alternative Diaspora]
* [ It's All Lies

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