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Rav Kook & The Religious-Zionist Aspiration

Essential Texts of Zionist Thought and Modern Jewish Identity
May 23, 2023


May 23, 2023
01:00 pm - 02:30 PM ET
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm CT
11:00 am - 12:30 pm MT
10:00 am - 11:30 am PT
08:00 pm - 09:30 pm ISRAEL
More Time Zones

Religious Zionism has not always been what it is today. Early religious Zionist thinkers and leaders, from rabbis Yehuda Alkalay and Zvi Kalisher to Shmuel Mohliver and Yitzhak Yaakov Reines, made a case for a Zionism that was religiously modest. However, with Rav A.Y.H. Kook, the Zionist movement assumed a messianic, redemptive role. His rich and profound system of thought included an encompassing interpretation of history, a new and original understanding of the secular Zionist rebellion against Jewish tradition, and new aspirations for the nature of religious observance. In this session we will focus on his dialectical view of the evolution of religious observance in the approach to redemption.

In this three-part series, Essential Texts of Zionist Thought and Modern Jewish Identity, Regev Ben-David, Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis, explores the ideas of three highly influential Zionist thinkers of the early 20th century: Herzl, Ahad Ha’am, and Rav Kook. Together, we will examine their views on what it means to be a Jew in the modern world and the impact of their philosophies on the discourse about Jewish identity today.

This program is part of Ideas for Today, curated courses by Hartman Institute scholars on the big Jewish ideas we need to think better and do better.

Other classes in the series Essential Texts of Zionist Thought and Modern Jewish Identity:

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