ASP Abridged: Judaism and Human Geography by Yossi Katz

We are pleased to present the latest in a new series of blog posts, ASP Abridged, in which authors give readers a short and sweet introduction to their latest book.

Here, Yossi Katz introduces us to his new book, Judaism and Human Geography.

Tell us what Judaism and Human Geography is about in simple terms.

This book portrays the ways in which Judaism impacts and shapes the geographical space of its believers. The Jewish religion is a religion of practical commandments, and is involved in all spheres of life of the Jewish person: from prayer, Torah study, religious ceremonies and Sabbath observance, to guidelines for building religious institutions and residential houses.

How does Judaism and Human Geography make a unique contribution to the field?

Throughout the ages, Jews have endeavored to shape their communities while taking into account the commandments of the Torah and the Oral Law, but they have been subject to the limitations imposed on them in the countries in which they lived. Upon the renewal of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel beginning at the end of the Nineteenth century, the Orthodox settlers sought to shape their geographical space according to Jewish tradition. This is reflected in all forms of settlement: urban and rural, entire settlements as well as neighborhoods. However, this desire sometimes clashed with the economic and ideological constraints of the renewed Zionist settlement. To complete the picture, several chapters of the book discuss communities of Jews abroad and the ways in which they shaped their human geographical space.

Yossi Katz, winner of the 2016 Israel Prize in Geography, is a professor in the Department of Geography, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Most of Katz’s research work relates to various issues of settlement, society, state, and community in the contemporary history of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel.

Judaism and Human Geography is now available for purchase from ASP or wherever you buy books.