February 16, 2015
By Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins
Pioneers of Religious Zionism describes the lives and philosophies of the most important rabbinical Zionists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Yehuda ben Shlomo Alkalai (1798–1878), Zvi Hirsch Kalischer (1795–1874), Samuel Mohliver (1824–1891), Jacob Reines (1839–1915), Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) and Judah Leib (Fishman) Maimon (1875–1962). They joined secular Zionists in the struggle for the re-establishment of a Jewish national home – an unusual act for their time – and had to contend with fierce opposition and condemnations from many rabbis in Eastern Europe, who believed that the return of the Jewish people to its ancestral homeland of Israel depended upon the arrival of the Messiah. In their lives and writings, Rabbis Alkali, Kalischer, Mohliver, Reines, Kook and Maimon provided the foundation on which modern religious Zionism was built. Read the rest of this entry »
October 14, 2012
by Bonna Devora Haberman
Rereading Israel: The Spirit of the Matter refreshes current conversations about Israel, while setting aside vitriolic debates and worn postures. This book opens Jewish sources to interpret Israel in critical, innovative, and inspiring ways. Rereading Israel presents an opportunity to engage ethically, intellectually, and emotionally — challenging us to apply our finest resources to grapple honestly and creatively with land and people, history, text, and spirit. Especially when Israel is embattled, this book peels open fruitful and compelling perspectives.
Sigmund Freud persuaded modern culture about the deep unconscious layers of the human mind. Through analysis of unconscious experience, people can achieve greater self-understanding and capability to choose our life paths willfully. The psychoanalytic tradition encourages people to probe their early family histories and relationships, and to interpret effects on their lives. Interactions with parents and siblings form the dynamic and backdrop of personal biography. Understanding early experiences, patterns, unresolved connections, dreams and desires frees people to live more intentionally.
Similarly to the way each individual belongs to his or her personal family context, every person also belongs to a cultural context, to a people or peoples. Just as primary family relationships are significant even at unconscious levels, so also are the ties of peoplehood and culture. Theodore Herzl, parent of modern Zionism, lived and studied in Vienna from 1878, at the same time that Freud was Read the rest of this entry »