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Zionism originated as a secular movement, fought at first by both Orthodox and Reform Jews. But the Holocaust forced the Jewish people to shift their priorities. Noted lecturer Berel Wein examines how Zionism brilliantly harnessed the deepest yearnings of the Jewish people for the land of Israel, and how it translated those yearnings into a political and national state.
Political Zionism - Rabbi Wein gives a comprehensive picture of the origins of political Zionism, from the daily terrors the Jews faced in Eastern Europe to the birth of Herzl's vision at the Dreyfus trial. By tracing the pervasive influences of the secularism and communism within the Zionist movement, Rabbi Wein puts its successes and failures into clear perspective.
Culture of Zionism - Rabbi Wein minces no words in his descriptions of the anti-religious ideologies that shaped the character of the Zionist movement. The Yiddish culturalists, with their plays depicting rabbis in the worst light imaginable, were second only to the communists in their hatred of Judaism. Attempting to replace Torah with a reinvented "Jewish culture," the secular Zionists made the fatal mistake of underestimating the tenacity of religious Jews.
Zionism and Religion - Over half a century before the birth of political Zionism, religious Eastern European Jews began settling the Land of Israel. But religious life inevitably raises questions and - all too frequently - disagreements. From the practical matter of how to farm during shemittah to the basic issue of whether settling the Land of Israel is permissible in the first place, Rabbi Wein presents the differing rabbinic arguments that split the Jewish world then and now.