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Ha-Tsefirah (Hebrew: הצפירה‎‎, "Epoch"; also Zefirah, Hazefirah) was a Hebrew language newspaper published in 1862 and 1874–1931.[1]


Chaim Selig Slonimski

The first issue of Ha-Tsefirah appeared in Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire in 1862, edited by Chaim Selig Slonimski (known by his Hebrew acronym Hazas). [2] Ha-Tsefirah was the first Hebrew paper with an emphasis on the sciences. [2]The paper closed down after six months when Slonimski became principal of the rabbinical seminary in Zhytomyr and the government began censorship of Hebrew books.[3] It reopened in 1874 in Berlin. In September 1875, it began to be published in Warsaw. Coverage of news and politics was introduced after the First Zionist Congress.[2] From 1886, the paper began to appear as a daily. The driving spirit behind this change was Slonimski's assistant, Nachum Sokolov, who was later appointed editor-in-chief.[2][4]

Ha-Tsefirah became part of a network of important Hebrew periodicals, among them Ha-Shahar, He-Asif, Ha-Shiloah. Some of the greatest names in early modern Hebrew literature published their work in Ha-Tsefirah, including Mendele Mocher Sforim, Y.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem.[2]



  • Oren Soffer (2004) Antisemitism, Statistics, and the Scientization of Hebrew Political Discourse: The Case Study of Ha-Tsefirah
  • Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, and Society Winter 2004, Vol. 10, No. 2: pp. 55-79
  • Oren Soffer There is No Place for Pilpul! Hazefirah Journal and the Modernization of Socio-political Discourse (in Hebrew), Mossad Bialik & the Center for the Study of Polish Jewry at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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