Saving the Jews vs. Saving Jewish Character: The Conflict between Political and “Therapeutic” Zionism

In the first of a series of lectures on Zionism’s early thinkers, Micah Goodman contrasts two competing visions within the ranks of its secular adherents. The first, the primarily political approach of Theodor Herzl, focused on protecting Jews from anti-Semitism and the moral decay of assimilation by creating a Jewish state. The second—associated with Nachman Syrkin, Micha Yosef Berdichevsky, and Yosef Ḥayyim Brenner—saw the Jew as spiritually degraded by subjugation to the Gentiles and by Judaism itself, and aspired to create a new, liberated Jew. Goodman proceeds to explore a third alternative, espoused by Ahad Ha’am, that embraced the “therapeutic” version of the second group without advocating a complete break from the Jewish past. (Video, 53 minutes. Audio versions for streaming and download are available at the link below.)

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Read more at Tikvah

More about: Ahad Ha'am, Berdichevsky, History & Ideas, Nachman Syrkin, Theodor Herzl, Zionism

 

Israel Experiences a Resurgence of COVID-19, but This Time with No One to Blame

During the past two weeks, the Israeli government has been gradually reopening schools, restaurants, and beaches, leading to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, the reclosing of some schools, and the quarantining of hundreds. The new outbreaks, for the most part, have spared the ḥaredi communities so severely affected by the initial waves of the virus. But, writes Ruthie Blum, there has been no parallel expressions of anger akin to what was directed at the ultra-Orthodox two months ago:

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More about: Coronavirus, Israeli society, Ultra-Orthodox