Orientalism: Herzl and His Beard

Artur Kamczycki. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. Volume 12, Issue 1. March 2013.

Before Zionism entered the political arena, Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) struggled with many issues concerning his appearance, which were connected with the contemporary dilemmas of Jewish emancipation and stereotypes about the Jewish look. Herzl identified with the Vienna cultural circle and manifested a full approval of its values, for example, by wearing sideburns distinctively modelled on those of the Emperor Franz Joseph. But during his stay in France (1891-1896) Herzl began to consider Austrian anti-Semitism as a new political power. Along with the shift of his views on the Jewish Question, Herzl changed his appearance. He cut off his sideburns and grew a long, black, Assyrian beard instead. This new look alluded to ancient Jewish roots which had gained interest within the context of Orientalism that had become popular thanks to the archaeological discoveries in the Middle East, especially those of images of Assyrian rulers. Thus, the phenomenon of Orientalism understood in aesthetic and historical categories was an important factor behind the formation of Jewish identity. This conclusion constituted a significant argument on the way to embracing elements of Eastern culture and identifying them with Jewish elements in a new, Zionist, incarnation.

Theodor Zeev Benjamin Herzl (1860-1904) was the founder of the Zionist ideology that changed the image of Jewishness in the twentieth century. In his works, in particular Der Judenstaat, he developed three main Zionist ideas: the need for establishing a movement or an organization to found a state governed by Jews, the necessity for unified leadership among Jews and the need for the Jewish national character (image) to be improved. Herzl decided to present his plan to representatives of various Jewish communities all over the world, which led to the First Zionist Congress held in 1897 in Basel, where the World Zionist Organization was founded.

Many participants in the first congress were graduates of European universities and some of them studied at schools of fine arts. Therefore, apart from the problems of immigration, international diplomacy and the funding of Herzl’s project, they also discussed questions of aesthetics and art related to the situation of the Jews. It should be noted that the early Zionists considered art, in the broad sense of the term, as primarily a repertoire of visual messages which could convey the idea of “return,” an important element of Zionist ideology. Zionism was supposed to be transmitted not only by texts but also by images, so that art was considered to be a medium that potentially best suited the Zionist project. As the movement needed an icon to identify with, it is no wonder that Herzl’s visage soon became a key emblem of Zionism.

Thus, through his image, Herzl turned into the icon of the movement. His iconography functioned as a multidimensional vehicle of meaning, which is why it became an element of many motifs and visual sequences most characteristic of Zionism. His portrait became the main component of Zionist visual propaganda spreading the idea of the transformation of Jewry and popularizing his doctrine. However, before Zionism entered the political arena, Herzl made an attempt to deal with the problem of his own representation, which was connected to the contemporary problems of the emancipation of Jews who had to address the dilemmas and stereotypes related to so-called Jewish representation. His image, which played such an important role in promoting Zionism, was a result of the adaptation of Oriental conventions. Herzl’s new “incarnation” featuring a luxuriant Assyrian beard was the end product of a long process of his own aesthetic and psychological transformation. A convincing explanation of this process must first take into account a number of historical and cultural circumstances.

On 28 April, 1879, the Jewish community of Vienna gave a silver medallion to Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. The medallion, designed by Joseph Tautenhayn, showed the imperial couple’s double profile, with the face of the Emperor in the foreground. Herzl’s family, which had moved to Vienna about six months previously, was among those who handed the medallion to the monarch. Two years after their arrival, in September, 1878, Herzl began studying law at the University of Vienna.

There are three relevant pictures of Herzl from that period. All of them show him with characteristically modelled sideburns and pointed, slightly raised, moustache tips. The photograph is from the early 1880s and presents Herzl as a Gerichtspraktikant while the other two pictures are slightly earlier and show him with smaller sideburns and a centre parting. This style of the beard, or rather, sideburns, resembles the standard representations of Franz Joseph who was often portrayed similarly, for example, on the 1879 medallion.

The style Herzl adopted while in Vienna was not only the result of fashionable trends, but first and foremost referred to Viennese culture and demonstrated his full approval of its values. It was an attempt to “merge” with the characteristic style of the non-Jewish, Germanic culture and to conceal his Jewish identity. Herzl shared the integrating tendencies that stemmed from the emancipatory spirit of the Haskalah prevailing among the Jews at that time. He was raised in the atmosphere of the emancipation favouring social prestige. According to Herzl’s parents, Jews needed to modernize their image, appreciate German national ideology and assimilate with the Habsburg monarchy to become its respectable citizens. The education that Herzl received at home was based mostly on German classics. His mother even wanted him to become a German writer (Deutsche Schriftsteller).

As a son of a respected banker, Herzl indulged in the privileges of the bourgeois lifestyle and was, according to Ruth A. Bevan, a sort of a dandy or snob who despised and distanced himself from the Jews whom he thought were not modern enough and looked “different.” The problems of the “Jewish physiognomy” and the general negative perception of the Orthodox Jews, both by the Gentiles and by those Jews who followed the ideals of emancipation, concerned him as well. As early as in 1885, after a business dinner at the Berlin branch of his father’s company, Herzl sent in a telegram to his parents: “Yesterday there was a Grande soiree at Treitel’s. Thirty or forty ugly little Jews and Jewesses. Not a consoling sight.” When German youth associations started to manifest their anti-Semitic feelings more and more often (with anti-Jewish demonstrations in the streets of Vienna from 1876), Herzl, as Steven Beller points out, did not consider the protests to be aimed at him or his social sphere, but at the Jews who did not integrate, the so called shtetl type; petty, very often religious, shopkeepers, that is those who had not abandoned the characteristic “Jewish look.”

When Herzl was a member of the German nationalist fencing association Albia (1882), Eugen Dühring published an anti-Semitic treatise titled Die Judenfrage als Frage Rassencharakters und seiner Schädlichkeit für Existenz und Kultur der Volker which the future leader of the Zionist movement believed exemplified the kind of anti-Semitism he himself represented. It should be noted that Herzl’s views at that time were common among Jews. They were called Selbsthast and expressed open criticism of traditional Jewish culture by the Jews themselves. Herzl considered Dühring’s work to be obligatory reading reflecting the negative image of the Jews who were not emancipated: “[W]hat history [ghetto] spoiled, history can fix by emancipation [assimilation].” In Dühring’s view, the problem was the irreparability of the Jewish race. Herzl, however, believed that since emancipation was progressive, it could soon put an end to European anti-Semitism and become a method of the Jews blending into the surrounding communities.

Despite the Jews’ efforts to “modernize” themselves by following European styles and patterns of behaviour, their origin was still recognisable and Gentiles continued to perceive them as ethnically different in a negative way. Emancipation and acculturation could only make them less conspicuous but could not change them. Herzl, just like many other Jews of his time, did his best to adopt a lifestyle, customs, mentality, ambitions and appearance that would make him invisible as a Jew, and that was where his “Austrian appearance”, showing a tendency towards acculturation, came from. On the other hand, the call for exhibiting and highlighting one’s ethnic features grew stronger, but Herzl claimed that acculturation “might play a vital role in the improvement of the Jewish ‘contemptible physiognomy’ that had been distorted by the ages of living in isolation and endogamous upbringing.” Herzl manifested this view not only by his “Austrian appearance,” but also by touching upon the problem in his Zionist, and to a large extent autobiographical, drama Das Neue Ghetto (originally entitled Das Ghetto). The main character, Jacob Samuel, who is based on Herzl himself, tells his mother that although his wife is Jewish she does not look like a Jewess (as Herzl’s wife did not) and that “her Christian looks will add a new quality to our blood …. I hope that our children will take after her.” Thus, as Jacques Kornberg notes, Herzl’s ideal of beauty was German while Jewish traits were to him “ugly and stigmatic.” The drama addresses the iconization of the Jews at that time and the reception of their image by both Gentiles and the Jews themselves. It also discusses the mental and psychological dilemmas triggered by the ideas of emancipation.

As Steven Beller writes, cultural anti-Semitism was replaced in Herzl’s time by ethnic anti-Semitism, with Jewishness no longer treated as a matter of religion, but as Orientalism and race. This new criterion of iconization and representation of national and ethnic groups also concerned Herzl who, despite the camouflage of his “Austrian appearance”, remained recognizable through his ethnic features. He was insulted in the streets of Munich and Vienna where people shouted at him Hep Hep and Saujude. It was then that he realized that he was still regarded as a typical Jew and that his ethnic “otherness” was easily identifiable. However, when as a correspondent for Die Neue Freie Presse he went to Paris, his “Mediterranean complexion was not that conspicuous.” Herzl writes in his diary from that time, “In Austria and Germany I could hear ‘Hep Hep!’ almost everywhere but here, in Paris, I can walk among people at ease, unnoticed.” It seems that his words express a strong resentment of anti-Semitism.

The problem of the Jewish look in fin de siècle culture was an important subject of discussion, with many contemporary theoreticians claiming that the distinctive anatomical features of the Jews continued to be visible despite the disguise that included new clothes, hairstyle, gestures and other elements. The Jewish ethno-aesthetic problem was also addressed by Sigmund Freud and called unheimlich. According to Freud, it constituted a “secret quality of Jewishness that has been echoing constantly over the ages of history.” The Unheimlich is nothing other than the inability to overcome the burden of the Jewish appearance, an inability that evokes a certain “fear of unmasking.” Herzl solved this problem during his stay in Paris when he was also in touch with Austria. When Karl Lueger, a professed anti-Semite, became mayor of Vienna in 1890, with his overtly anti-Semitic right-wing party entering the Parliament, Herzl no longer considered Austrian anti-Semitism to be a remnant of the medieval mentality but a new political force. The fact that the Jews were rejected by those who represented the same lifestyle and ideology as he did stung his pride and resulted in psychological ostracism, aggravating his identity problems and placing him among the so-called Grenzejuden.

Two years later Herzl was assigned to report on the Dreyfus affair, which strengthened his conviction that emancipation only marginalized the Jews instead of improving their status. In 1893, while writing Das Neue Ghetto, he said in a conversation with Samuel Beer that the Jews had to transform their own identity by rejecting their vices and discover sources of their pride and self-respect. From then on, he decided to follow the opposite direction, that is to highlight his stigmatized otherness and endow it with positive values. However, he decided not only to revise his standpoint on the Jewish Question but he also significantly changed his appearance. He shortened his hair, shaved off the sideburns and grew a long beard which became a permanent component of his look. His new appearance referred to the ancient roots of the Jews and was a result of Oriental elements becoming increasingly popular in the mid-nineteenth century.

Orientalism was a complex phenomenon. Not only was it a question of politics, culture and physical appearance, but it was primarily an aesthetic concept rooted in archaeological findings in France, England and the Middle East at that time. It was the Assyrian reliefs from Nineveh and Nimrod that sparked interest in that culture and from the moment they were brought to Europe they evoked the image of the European Jews as heirs to the ancient world of Mesopotamia. Moreover, what was of great importance in the analysis of the archaeological artefacts was the Judaic (and biblical) context, which played a crucial role in the revival of Jewish culture. The terms “Orient” and “Orientalism” should be understood as referring to historical and archaeological artefacts, as well as to the art inspired by “Oriental” cultures. The area of biblical geography was the territory where research was being carried out, with the findings from Eretz Israel interpreted by some as anticipating the coming of the Messiah. These discoveries were welcomed in the Jewish world and sparked much enthusiasm among the Jews. They were also often discussed in the Jewish press, for example the English Jewish Quarterly Review and Jewish Chronicle, the German Die Welt and Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, the Polish Izraelita and Hajent and many others. Moreover, a certain new idea emerged in the context of the historical studies developing in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was based on Heinrich Schliemann’s works and postulated that the findings were a step in the process of retrieving the lost cities of Western Asia which were the missing links in European history.

Significantly, the Jews were perceived by the Gentiles not only as heirs to their ancient ancestors but also, as Felix von Luschan claimed in the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung (1892), “those who represent the youngest of the lost civilizations.” On the other hand, in the context of the ethnological and anthropological studies at the turn of the twentieth century, Elias Auerbach wondered why Jews were the most popular subject of anthropological research in Europe. He answered the question himself, saying that they were ethnically the oldest group and that they could be examined by historical and anthropological means. Such an explanation was welcomed by the Jews. Moreover, Auerbach claimed that the “true character of the Babylonians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Arabs and Jews is the same–Semitic. It is not only the common appearance that proves it, but also language, legends, architecture, religious rites, costume and many other aspects of culture.” Herzl and the Jews in general regarded this suggestion as another confirmation that they were heirs to an ancient civilization and that there was an ethnic and cultural bond between them and the peoples of the Middle East. Thus, archaeology inspired aesthetics and then also contributed to research on the historical actuality of the Bible.

It should be stressed that the new perception of Assyria, that is, the images of the Assyrian rulers, could have inspired Gustave Courbet to paint The Meeting, also known as Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet, 1854, and, a year later, the painting Atelier. He commented on both works, saying, “In the pictures of myself, I outlined the Assyrian profile of my own head”. Linda Nochlin suggests that Courbet had been inspired by a folk wood engraving while painting The Meeting. The motif he used came from a folk woodcut which depicted the Wandering Jew and also revealed the painter’s Judaic inspiration. Still, the figures in the engraving are modelled on the fashion of eighteenth-century France and none of them is wearing a beard.

The Assyrian mode of representation is employed to an even larger extent in a caricature of Courbet by Nadar (Gaspar Felix Tournachon), 1858. It emphasizes the way Courbet modelled his beard by stretching it forward. Importantly, the work resembles an Assyrian stone relief, which reveals the artist’s Orient-inspired vision. Courbet initiated a kind of fashion among men. It was motivated by the Assyrian models and lasted for over four decades with its peak in the 1880s and the early 1890s. The so-called Assyrian beard became, as Frederic Bohrer writes, the most distinctive feature emerging from ancient Assyria in nineteenth-century French culture.

Herzl went to France in 1891 when the change in his appearance took place. It is evident that not only Parisian fashion, but also elements inspired by Assyrian culture had a great impact on his appearance. Still, applying “Oriental” elements to one’s appearance was not unique (see figure 5). There is a portrait of a French symbolist Josephin Peladan (1859-1918), 1891, by Alexandre Seon, where Peladan, who is shown in profile, has a beard similar to Courbet’s. Peladan’s beard, however, is slightly shorter, darker and more pointed. In a letter to Seon, Peladan expressed his gratitude for an “accurate representation of his Chaldean features.” That visual form of the “adapted legacy” was very important in creating his myth, as in the case of Herzl.

Peladan was introduced to the esoteric doctrines and religions of the Middle East by his father whereas his brother familiarized him with Assyriology. He considered himself to be a magus, assumed the name Sar, which in Old Persian means “magus” while in Hebrew and Aramaic it denotes a prince, he wore a unique velvet tunic and high boots and modelled his hairstyle on the images of the Sumerian ruler Gudea from antiquity. Mesopotamian culture provided inspiration for his 21 short stories, novels and many dramas, for example, Gudea, 1892. The latter was influenced by a statue of this Mesopotamian ruler displayed in the Louvre. The main character of the drama says, “It was I who sculpted this statue of myself in hard diorite with my bare hands,” which again shows that the character alludes to the image of Peladan himself. He staged his plays in the Theatre de l’Ambigu which attracted mainly Wagner enthusiasts, such as Claude Debussy, Theodore de Wyzewa, Charles Lamoureux and Eduard Schure. Bearing in mind Herzl’s passion for Wagner’s operas, as well as his aspiration to become a playwright, it is not surprising that many of his reports for the Neue Freie Presse (1891-1895) concerned the repertoire of Parisian theatres, for example, the Theatre de l’Ambigu. Apparently, Herzl was aware of the message conveyed by Peladan’s plays. He could also see how Peladan’s intentional image was constructed but, above all, he knew about the role that the Mesopotamian artefacts played in Peladan’s works, and how these works were received at the time. Thus, from then the new Assyrian look that Herzl adopted permanently entered the field of iconography and denoted many aspects of Zionist ideology.

It should be remembered that the religious tradition of wearing a beard referred to Numbers (19:27 and 21:5) which stated that trimming the beard was prohibited so that the Jews could remain distinct from other nations. Therefore, from the early Middle Ages until modern times Jews grew beards which set them apart from other European ethnic groups. With time, however, the trend was abandoned due to the changing fashion. Still, hasidic and Arab Jews, and the Jews of Eastern Europe in general, would not trim their beards.

The portrait of the Zionist leader with a long black beard inspired by Assyrian images and made a characteristic feature of the Jewish physiognomy allowed the emancipated European Jews, as well as religious Jews representing traditional Judaism, to identify with him. The new “Parisian” or Assyrian image of Herzl was a conscious aesthetic effort of immense significance for the popularization of the Zionist ideology. Herzl was supposed to personify the people of the future national home for the Jews, with his icon embodying Zionism and expressing its ideas. His face and posture became well known throughout the diaspora. These images showed him as a man who seemed “serious, proud, intelligent, noble, attractive, unique and the same time recognizably Jewish.” The sense of attractiveness was very important for the dissemination of his ideas and effectively promoted the doctrine, allowing masses of Jews to identify with the leader. His Assyrian beard was the most important element of his new appearance. In 1900, after the fourth Zionist congress in London, Sir Francis Montefiore organized a banquet during which one of the officials said to Herzl’s deputy, David Wolfson, “I guess the publicity of Zionism wholly depends on your president’s beauty. If Herzl cut his beard, he would put an end to Zionism.” Wolfson replied by saying that it might be true but Zionism would be revived soon anyway.

This picture should be compared with a portrait of Herzl made by Herman Struck at about the same time. The sketch disregards the costume and focuses on the face, highlighting the right-angled beard which, as in the other picture, merges with the thick moustache. Moreover, the lack of a collar, cravat and other elements of clothing makes it resemble a kind of stone sculpture.

Thus, Herzl’s beard became not only a topic for discussion, but also a subject of artistic exploration or even “aesthetic celebration.” Some artists present his beard in a way that did not reflect its actual shape, which, consequently, lead to its iconization. Two other works from the turn of the twentieth century, a bust of Herzl by Arpad Jaray and a painting by Bruno Marmorstein, should also be discussed at this point. In both cases, the beard of the Zionist leader is not a direct reference to the reliefs or to his actual face. The beard is much longer and wider, and constitutes a sort of parody resulting from a loose interpretation of his image, combined with Oriental elements. Such a pro-Western iconization was to be a driving force in fostering the restitution of Jewishness. Herzl’s image was an important Zionist medium and became subject to further reinterpretations which employed typically Oriental aesthetics, including the clothing and other elements.

Ephraim Moses Lilien was one of those artists who pictured Herzl in the new Oriental mode. In 1899-1903 he worked as a graphic designer and photographer for the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung which, at that time, was the largest German paper in which the most important archaeological findings in Babylon were reported. At the same time, Lilien was working on illustrations for Juda, a philo-Semitic poetry collection published in 1900 by the Lügenbaron Borries von Münchhausen who based his poems on the Hebrew Bible. In 1902 Lilien was preparing pictures for the Songs of the Ghetto by Morris Rosenfeld and, after going to Palestine in 1907, started working on illustrations to stories from the Bible for the Westermann publishing house in Braunschweig. This last series of pictures features numerous representations of Herzl, some of them directly referring to the so-called Assyrian convention. The “Expulsion from Paradise” is an interesting example. Here, his beard is plaited after the Assyrian model, explicitly referring to the canon of the Assyrian mode of representation. Importantly, when approached in the context of the Zionist ideas, the exile from Eden is suggestive of the Jews’ moving from the diaspora to the Promised Land. Therefore, this Oriental convention not only highlights the pro-Western aesthetic features, but also evokes much more complex aspects of Zionism, that is, the idea of the return to Eretz Israel.

The characteristic tiny plaits can also be found in another etching of the same series, showing Herzl as Joshua, which was later reproduced in calendars, on postcards and in Zionist periodicals, with its meaning depending on the context.

There is also a series of illustrations by Lilien which identify Herzl with Moses, with his beard presented in yet another way. Two such examples are included in the Book of the Bible, one with Herzl-Moses holding the Decalogue and the other showing the smashing of the tablets. In the latter, Herzl is shown in profile and has a long beard that streams down his chest to become narrower in the lower part. However, in the other illustration his beard is wide, vertical and right-angled with its lower edge cut evenly. The same style is employed in the representations of the Assyrian rulers such as Ashurbanipal or Salamanasar in the Louvre and the British Museum.

There is still another work by Lilien where Herzl resembles Moses. It is the design of a stained glass window from the B’nai B’rith building in Hamburg, dated 1912. Again, the beard is clearly based on Assyrian imagery.

The Oriental character of those representations of Herzl is the result of the way his beard has been modelled. However, the role of the clothing in these pictures should not be underestimated. Lilien employs the so-called Oriental convention in most of these works and shows Herzl wearing the same robes as those found on the ancient reliefs and sculptures that depict Assyrian rulers, that is, a long gown with tassels arranged spirally around the figure and going upward. While in the Hamburg stained glass window Herzl is presented without any headgear, in the Bible illustrations he is wearing two types of high mitre. The mitre from the scene of the smashing of the tablets seems to be referring to the representation of Assurbanipal (seventh century BCE) from the relief that was brought from Nineveh to the British Museum in 1852. On the other hand, the illustration where Herzl-Moses is holding the Ten Commandments features a mitre that seems to evoke the representations of the bull-sphinxes from Nimrod (ninth century BCE) and Nineveh (1850), where three pairs of horns are winding around the mitre.

During his stay in Palestine, Lilien took dozens of pictures and sketches of the local ethnic types and various Arab costumes. However, the Assyrian dress from the reliefs is different from that worn at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Thus, it seems that the artist based his Herzl-Moses images on the Kostuemkunde handbook of 1860 by Herman Weiss. It was easily available at that time and included the Assyrian drawings from the British Museum and pictures of contemporary Arab costumes. The Zionists of that time considered those characteristic ethnic outfits to be direct references to the culture of the Bible era. The relation between the Arab style and the Bible was evident, with the Oriental elements viewed as elements of Jewish culture. Therefore, Lilien represents Herzl as, for example, Joshua with the Arab kefiya on his head and wearing the galabiya, a striped robe that was also combined, in the sense of painting, with the tallit (prayer shawl).

Herzl’s portrait was one of the most important iconographic motifs used to reinterpret the images of ancient Jewish heroes, not only for Lilien, but also for a number of other artists. Such parodies were a kind of historic mimesis that explored the problem of physiognomy and contributed to the dissemination of the Zionist ideology. It should be stressed that it was not only due to the fascination with Orientalism that the religious representation of Zion, with a long tradition in Jewish mysticism, was reformed and its values revised. It was mainly thanks to the archaeological findings in the Middle East, the revival of historical studies and the attempts at a new interpretation of the Bible that this process could begin. The ideological, or theological, aspect of ancient Israel was gradually transformed, first, through demythologization and cultural “modernization” and second, thanks to the “Zionization” of Jewish culture. On the other hand, the “secularized” aspects of Zionism and contemporary politics could easily reach the ghetto communities in a mythologized form, with the Oriental style and conventions endowing them with a new quality. Those were mostly representations of historic and legendary figures belonging to the national pantheon. They were important especially for the religious Ostjuden who based their cultural communication on the spiritual sphere that had its roots in legends and Biblical histories. This crucial cultural aspect is also relevant for a number of representations of Herzl. His image was a kind of malleable icon incorporated into many biblical contexts. He was portrayed not only as Moses or an angel but also as Aaron, Jacob, David, Solomon, Judah, Judas Maccabeus, and many others. Apart from their Oriental style, those incarnations often referred to biblical iconography and alluded to Assyrian aesthetic conventions.

Consequently, it can be said that the research on the Orient and its reception contributed to the growth of Jewish national identity which constituted the most important step in Zionist mobilization. It must be remembered that it was not a rapid development but a very slow and gradual process which continued for almost half a century. In a way, Zionism was its result and a significant force behind the modification of the Jewish image. Thus, Herzl’s conscious modification of his own image evoked this process of visual restitution and cultural redefinition in which the leader became an embodiment of the movement and no longer represented only himself but Jewishness as a whole.

Orientalism, understood in aesthetic-historical terms, was an important factor in the formation of Jewish identity, with the style of the Orient considered to refer to the ancient roots of the Jews. Such an approach triggered the adoption of those elements of Eastern culture which were viewed as Jewish or, to be precise, Zionist. Therefore, from then on Herzl’s new image was to emphasize his ethnicity–Jewishness or the Oriental character of the Jewish people. He had tried to hide his ethnic background in Germany and Austria, where he was recognized as a Jew. In France, however, he was indistinguishable and highlighted his characteristic Jewish features. Thus, Herzl found a remedy for this predicament of being trapped between his Jewishness and assimilation. He did it by creating a new type and a new image of the Jew, by incorporating this “German module of dignity” into the redefined ancient Jewishness. The new Jew, filled with new Jewish pride, was no longer required to seek recognition in the eyes of the Gentiles, but fully deserved it. As Kornberg notes, Herzl would never have become a leader of the Jewish national movement if he had not revised his views on assimilation and the “assimilatory” representation of himself. In spite of the instrinsic visual differences, the Orientalist projection worked as a kind of cultural, political, social and ethnic catalyst. Its postulates were supposed to encourage the Zionist exodus of Jews from Europe and complete the Semitic unification of the Jewish people in the Promised Land, while the image of Herzl was meant to be the “ideal” original type (Urjüdischer Typus) unifying all the intrinsic differences among Jews.