Michael Halperin


Michael Halperin intrigued his contemporaries, the early pioneers of the 1st and 2nd Aliyah, excited some and inspired them all. Following his death, his memory was called upon to become a central figure for the two fundamental movements in the Jewish Yishuv, the Zionist Movement, and subsequently the State of Israel - the Labor Movement and the Revisionist Movement, to establish a sense of legitimacy for both.

An observation of Halperin’s personality and his reincarnation, over more than a century, are intertwined with the historical phenomenon that are the first waves of immigration and subsequent Zionist growth. The spectrum of reactions to his personality and activity shines a light at processes that occurred in the struggle between the two movements during the period of the Yishuv and the establishment of the State, as well as the stage in which they chose to join forces against the erosion of the Zionist ethos. The uniqueness of the legend that is Michael Halperin stands at the center of this study, and it is its presence over the years that remains an unresolved controversy.