Neil Seeman
A writer conversant in grief, seeking virtue.

Theodor Herzl on College Campus

Theodor Herzl Portrait (Public Domain: Wikimedia Commons)
Theodor Herzl Portrait (Public Domain: Wikimedia Commons)

Once a forum for free speech and debate,

Has the campus now lost its noble state?

Unbound, its purpose gets questioned,

What fuels its freedom goes unmentioned.

Theodor Herzl Portrait (Public Domain: Wikimedia Commons)

Do campus agitators know their foe’s best case?

Have they learned it, confronted it, seen its grace?

Only then can they rightly dissect and refute,

Exposing any flaws in their opponent’s pursuit.


Civility demands that serious minds

Grapple with all views, leaving none behind.

Vanquish them not with jeers or piqued shouts,

Use instead the shining light of reason’s doubts.


A century since Herzl’s visionary dream —

A Jewish homeland, his fervent theme.

Though he died in 1904, how would he see

The battles on campus in 2024?


The Jewish people questioned Herzl’s plan,

But he listened, and Europe began to understand.

He made an existential case, without violence,

Breaking ties with those who sought such defiance.


And yet on college grounds today we fight

Those who would deny the Jewish people’s right

To be, to speak, to claim their rightful place

Under the Creator’s watchful, guiding grace.


Herzl lives on, unbowed by anger or might,

Resolute in defense of hard-won liberty.

Where the battle rages for the cherished right

To be, his voice rings, quietly, but free.


And so Herzl’s legacy endures, a beacon bright –

To meet each challenge through engaged debate,

Confronting each foe with reason’s shining light.

About the Author
Neil Seeman is an author, educator, essayist, mental health advocate, and entrepreneur. Neil is CEO of publishing firm Sutherland House Experts. At the University of Toronto, Neil is an Adjunct Professor and senior fellow at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, the Fields Institute, the Investigative Journalism Bureau, Massey College, and the HIVE Lab. Neil founded technology and Big Data firm RIWI Corp. and he is the author or co-author of several books on mental health topics. He was a founding editorial board member of the National Post and co-founder of the Health Strategy Innovation Cell. Neil’s last book was "Accelerated Minds: Unlocking the Fascinating, Inspiring, and Often Destructive Impulses that Drive the Entrepreneurial Brain" (Sutherland House). Neil is a graduate of the University of Toronto Law School (JD) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (MPH).
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