How Religious Zionism Was Transformed from a Political Movement to a Messianic One

August 17, 2017 | Micah Goodman
About the author: Micah Goodman is the author of six bestselling books and one of the founders of Beit Prat in Israel. In 2017, he was named by the Jerusalem Post one of the 50 most influential Jews.

Among the earliest leaders of Zionism were several rabbis who went on to become some of Theodor Herzl’s most dedicated supporters. They eschewed the talk of creating “a new Jew” or revolutionizing Judaism that came from some Zionist thinkers, seeing such an approach as a threat to Orthodoxy. Instead, they saw the movement in practical terms as a way of ensuring the Jews’ physical survival. But this all changed with Abraham Isaac Kook, an Orthodox thinker who argued that Zionism was part of the divine plan and who laid out a vision of the rejuvenation of Judaism. Micah Goodman explains these ideas, how Kook’s ideology rose to prominence in the 1970s, and the threat to these ideas posed by the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. (Video, 70 minutes. Audio is available for streaming and download at the link below.)

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