Samuel Hugo Bergman
(1883 - 1975)
Samuel Bergman studied philosophy in Prague and Berlin. It was as a student
in Prague that he joined the Bar Kochba Zionist student group. Soon after, he began to publish Zionist articles; during
this period he met Martin Buber who had a strong influence on him.
Bergman was librarian at the University Library in
Prague, 1907-1919, except during World War I, when he served in the
Austrian Army. He came to Eretz Yisrael in 1920 and became first director
of the National and University Library, a position he held until 1935.
In 1928, he became a lecturer in philosophy at the Hebrew
University, in 1935, he became a professor, and was the university's
first rector from 1935-1938.
Bergman was the general philosophy editor for the Encyclopaedia Hebraica and was an editor of "Iyyun,"
the philosophical quarterly. He was also a member of HaPoel HaZair and
later of Brit Shalom. In this capacity he headed the Jewish delegation
to the Pan-Asiatic Conference in New Delhi in 1947.
Bergman's two main interests were science and religion.
He wrote in Hebrew on Kant, Maimon and other major thinkers of the 20th
century. He was awarded the Israel
Prize for Humanities in 1954, particularly for his work "Introduction
Bergman's views on faith and religion were influenced
by Martin Buber and Franz
Rosenzweig, as well as Christian and Indian philosophers. His thoughts
on religion are expressed in his book, "Thinkers and Believers."
He also wrote an introduction to modern Jewish thought called "Faith
Authority for Jewish Zionist Education