Religious Zionism: History and Ideology

Religious Zionism: History and Ideology

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Dov Schwartz

Series: Emunot: Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
ISBN: 9781934843253 (hardcover) / 9781934843260 (paper)
Pages: 160 pp.
Publication Date: December 2008

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Religious Zionism is a major component of contemporary Israeli society and politics. The author reviews the history of religious Zionism from both a historical and an ideological-theological perspective. His basic assumption is that religious Zionism cannot be fully understood solely through a historical description, or even from social, political, and philosophical vantage points.


Dov Schwartz, a former Dean of Humanities at Bar Ilan University and head of the departments of philosophy and of music, currently heads its interdisciplinary unit, and holds the Natalie and Isidore Friedman Chair for Teaching Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Thought.


This small book is a concise yet successful introduction into the history and worldview of religious Zionism. Schwartz begins his story in 1902, with the founding of the Mizrahi movement and its revolutionary ‘activism of pioneering and political variety foreign to the existing Torah world.’ The majority of the work is dedicated to the movement before 1948 and Israel’s early years. When Schwartz does discuss more recent phenomenon, he tries to highlight how these represent shifts from classic religious Zionist belief. The chapters are short and accessible, and will serve lay readers well to get a valuable introduction into early religious Zionism. . . . This is a valuable contribution to the growing literature in English on religious Zionism.
— Rabbi Shlomo Brody, Tradition