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BILU Definition

BILU - Student Proto-Zionist organization for immigration to the land of Israel (Aliya), part of the First Aliya. The name consists of initials of the words in verse in Isaiah II:5, "House of Jacob, come, let us go." (Beyt Yaakov Lechu Ve -Nelcha). This movement grew out of the Chovevei Tziyon  movement in Kharkov Russia following pogroms in that country. The Bilu arrived in Turkey, where tried to enlist the help of Robert Oliphant unsuccessfully. They issued a manifesto in Constantinople that called on Jews to emigrate to the land of Israel, and announced their intent to ask the Sultan for national rights. Nothing came of that project, but they proceeded to Yaffo nonetheless. 

They were backed by Karl Netter when they arrived in the land of Israel. They trained for a brief period at  Miqveh Yisrael, then worked in Rishon Letziyon, and eventually founded settlements in the center of Israel, especially Gedera.  They served as a model for later pioneering immigrants, living communally while working at Miqveh Yisrael and Rishon Letziyon, but they were generally unable to overcome harsh conditions. At their peak, they numbered no more than 60 members. Only one of the BILU settlers lived to see the foundation of the State of Israel.

BILU - Proto-Zionist movement.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information: BILU Manifesto

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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