A.D. Gordon Figurine
Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922) | A farmer, thinker, one of the founders of Hapoel Hatzair and the spiritual father of the pioneers of the Second Aliyah. Born in Troyanov, Russia (now Ukraine), he studied both religious and secular studies and learned several languages on his own. For years he held an administrative position on Baron Ginzburg's estate in Ukraine, and in 1904 at the age of 48 he immigrated to Eretz Israel. Although he was an intellectual and physically weak, he refused to do clerical work, instead choosing agricultural labor. Gordon worked in the field by day and wrote his essays at night. His central philosophy was the “conquest of labor” and man’s return to nature. He claimed that the Jewish nation’s moral right to the land would be acquired through physical labor, by Hebrew laborers conquering various industries. He viewed working the land as the key to reform of the individual, the world, and reviving the Jewish nation in its land. Gordon’s philosophy and work inspired the pioneers of the Second Aliyah and the Labor movement, significantly shaping the pioneer settlement movement in Eretz Israel. Nicknamed “the Old Man”, Gordon passed away in Degania at 66 of cancer.