For The Land and The Lord: The Emergence of Jewish Fundamentalism in Historical Perspective, by Ian S. Lustick


The Emergence of Jewish Fundamentalism in Historical Perspective


The most important political resource for any state or regime is a pervasive and deeply felt belief among the people it governs that its authority over their lives is legitimate. Lacking this, governments must either purchase or coerce compliance with their decisions, though neither approach can be sustained on a long-term basis. Fundamentalist movements seek radical transformation based on beliefs that substantially contradict the myths under which prevailing political institutions legitimize their power. Such movements are likely to enjoy success to the extent that their own comparative advantage over political competitors becomes important-that is, to the extent that they are able to present a dramatic, inspiring, authenticated alternative to the legitimizing ethos of their society.

To explain the rise of Jewish fundamentalism in contemporary Israel, we must identify the general conditions likely to be propitious for any fundamentalist movement and then show that they were present in Israel. First, behavior of a regime or of dominant elites or groups must be able to be convincingly portrayed as contradicting their own legitimizing myths. Second, discrepancies between the distinctive myths preserved by the fundamentalist elite and those associated with the prevailing political and social order must be dramatized. Third, mobilizable sectors of the population must be available and be led to interpret events as existential threats to their perceptions of the worthiness of their society, their own self-worth, and the capacity of the society to provide for their basic human needs. Under such conditions the particular comparative advantage that religious elites enjoy vis-a-vis others becomes politically important. That advantage is their authoritative access to symbols bearing on transcendental or cosmic concerns-reassuring symbols of ultimate purpose and meaning that resonate with an undeniable authenticity for the community, symbols that must ultimately be used to justify the exercise of state power.

To take advantage of available opportunities, a politically astute fundamentalist elite must exist. This elite must be capable of presenting itself not only as the legitimate expression of authentic and overarching symbols and values, but also as untainted by, and a credible substitute for, the old, dominant elite. One should not underestimate the difficulty faced by a fundamentalist elite in translating its particular kind of abstract and invisible resource into real political power. Only by exploiting carefully cultivated, well understood, and powerful beliefs that large numbers of people share-beliefs capable of justifying heavy sacrifices for virtually unrealizable ends-an this elite overcome the obstacles that usually confront political movements not capable of furnishing direct material incentives to their followers. The skill of the movement's leaders as political entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on their particular comparative advantage will be crucial in determining its degree of success. They will have to identify those dimensions of their society's mythic repertoire to which they have special access and that cannot be explicitly rejected by the regime or dominant elites. They can then emphasize these dimensions and use them to design and protect militant actions-actions that implicitly or explicitly contradict prevailing doctrines or policies. These actions must have a dramatic aspect that cannot be ignored by the regime and that can be effectively cast as expressive of consensually accepted sacred, or "authentic," values.

In this chapter and the next, I will attempt to explain how previously obscure elites successfully used the historic success of Zionism and the consequences of both the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War to revitalize ancient Jewish myths, thereby advancing their own political fortunes and shifting the agenda of Israeli politics from pragmatism toward redemption. 1

Jewish Fundamentalism and Zionism: A Historical Perspective

The reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel is a true revolution in the structure of Jewish life. As with any revolution, Zionism has had consequences that its architects never anticipated-indeed, that they would have shuddered to contemplate. The crystallization of a deeply rooted and effective Jewish fundamentalist movement is one such consequence. The immediate catalyst for the contemporary emergence of Jewish fundamentalism was the Six Day War in 1967. The initial stage of the movement's development ended seven years later, in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, with the establishment of Gush Emunim. Before considering the relationship of the wars to the specific ideas and political processes that produced Gush Emunim, it is necessary to understand the historical implications of Zionism for creating conditions under which activist messianism, long suppressed by rabbinic Judaism, could reemerge as a powerful expression of Jewish peoplehood.

Long before the Romans brought an end to Jewish independence in Palestine and banished or killed most of the Palestinian Jewish population, a majority of Jews lived outside the Land of Israel. Ancient Jewish communities, located in Persia, Egypt, and Turkey, could usually find some way to accommodate themselves to prevailing cultures and political systems. Generally, these communities were able to do so without giving up their faith or their cultural, religious, and economic ties to the Land of Israel, the Yishuv itself, the Temple in Jerusalem, and the priests who maintained the Temple cult. But inside the Land of Israel, Jews apparently found it much more difficult to reconcile their beliefs with the absence of what we would now call national sovereignty.

In the framework of the power and myth upon which political authority in ancient Israel was based, certain biblical motifs were central. These specified the Jews as God's chosen and holy people, charged with and ultimately destined to play the central role in a divinely orchestrated redemptive drama. The organization of the community and its performance of rituals according to God's law, including regular pilgrimages to Jerusalem and elaborate sacrifices at the Temple, were necessary if the people of Israel were to inherit all the land they had been promised and to draw sustenance from it. Rule over the land was, in turn, important evidence that the authority wielded over the Jewish people, in their land, was legitimate.

Had the God of the Jews been as tolerant of other gods as were those worshipped by other ancient peoples, it might have been possible for Jews to accept the severe limitations powerful empires imposed on the structure of their life in the Land of Israel. But the Jewish God was extremely jealous. The God of Israel was not only also the Lord of the Universe, he was the only god. God's injunction to his chosen people was to enforce his Law as interpreted by the anointed King and the priestly caste, and thereby to maintain their special holy status, preserve their rights to the land, and contribute to their redemption and that of mankind.

From the time of the early prophets, in the eighth century B.C.E., to the destruction of the last vestiges of Jewish political autonomy in Persia and Palestine, in the fifth century C.E., beliefs in and struggles to achieve God's redemption of his people formed the mythic core of Jewish political life. 2 The redemption itself, whether brought about solely by spiritual repentance and ritual observance or in combination with political and military activity, would be signaled by the return of Jews from Exile to the Land of Israel, the establishment of Jewish sovereignty over it, territorial expansion, reconstruction of the Temple, and economic prosperity particularly in times of crisis or oppression, factions or classes eager to wield political power were required to characterize their values and preferences as appropriate, if not imperatives for the advancement of the redemptive process. In other words, especially for Jews living in the Land of Israel, the content of Jewish political mythology systematically advantaged those aspirants to power who could evoke images of an imminent redemption and credibly exploit divine imperatives to enforce exclusive Jewish rule according to Jewish law over the whole land. It was thus very difficult for Jewish politicians to adopt elements of the conqueror's "civilized" culture or to accept the occasional introduction of idolatrous practices, and still be counted as legitimate candidates for political leadership within the Yishuv.

An excellent example of the dynamic that grew out of this kind of political environment is the Maccabee (Hasmonean) defeat of the hellenized Jewish aristocracy in l65 B.C.E. Declaring themselves motivated by a pure and authentic faith in the God of Israel and his commandments, rough-hewn Jews from the hill country, in league with lower class urban dwellers, took up arms in 166B.C.E. against rule of the country by the Syrian-Greek (Seleucid) Empire. Despite the apparently overwhelming superior strength of the Syrian-Greeks and their hellenized Jewish allies, the Maccabees were victorious. The war culminated in the formal rededication of the Temple, the inauguration of 200 years of Jewish sovereignty, and unprecedented territorial expansion. The Hasmoneans were not descendants of the house of David and therefore restrained themselves from declaring their own kingdom as messianic. Nonetheless, they were, they said, preparing the way for the Messiah and would deliver the kingdom to him when he appeared. 3

In Roman-ruled Judea during the first century C.E., the Zealots advocated immediate rebellion against Rome on behalf of a reconstituted Davidic kingdom that would herald the advent of the redemption. For contemporary Jews, exposed to both the cosmopolitan influences of a world empire and the sudden, but repeated, imposition of religious restrictions and various repellent forms of emperor worship, it was difficult to resist their appeals. In hindsight, the arguments of those who warned against challenging the Roman Empire, which was at the height of its power, may seem utterly persuasive. 4 But this perception ignores the implications of the heavily apocalyptic Jewish political culture and the evocative memories of the stunning success of the last such fundamentalist upsurge, two and a half centuries earlier.

Within the space of seventy-five years, two major revolts against Rome erupted in Judea, the Great Revolt (66-73 C.E.) and the Bar Kochba Rebellion (132-135 C.E.). 5 Each was based on fundamentalist appeals that God's direct commandments to his people regarding Jewish independence in the Land of Israel and the integrity of the Temple cult made compromise impossible. The first revolt, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple, is estimated to have reduced the Jewish population of Judea by 25 percent. The second was led by Simon Bar Kochba and endorsed by the leading rabbi of the period, Akiva, who is reputed to have declared Bar Kochba the Messiah, announcing that the redemption had begun. The Bar Kochba Rebellion ended in the death of more than a half-million Jews, the mass enslavement of survivors, and the elimination of a Jewish majority in the Land of Israel. 6

According to most students of Judaism and Jewish history, the rabbinic reaction to these events was decisive in the subsequent survival of Jews as a people, a faith, and a political community. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., Rabbi Yohanan Ben-Zakkai, who had opposed the Great Revolt, received Roman permission to found an academy in Yavneh, a small city on the coastal plain. He taught his disciples that in the Diaspora and in the absence of the Temple, Judaism could survive only if prayer and righteous behavior were substituted for Temple sacrifice; if study of the Law were emphasized instead of its observance in spheres where events had made such observance impossible; and if active messianic redemptionism were replaced by a doctrine requiring Jews effectively to withdraw from history, to wait passively for God to bring redemption, and meanwhile to accept the sufferings of his people. Not only redemptively oriented actions ("pushing the end"), but even attempts to "calculate the end," were eventually proscribed. To protect Jews from the terrible consequences of fundamentalist politics, messianic/redemptive ideas had to be removed from the center of Jewish consciousness. "If you have a sapling in your hand," taught Rabbi Yohanan, "and it is said to you, 'Behold, there is the Messiah'-go on with your planting, and afterward go out and receive him." 7

But despite Rabbi Yohanan's Ben-Zakkai's enormous prestige and the influence of his teachings, his most revered student, Akiva, found it impossible to resist the fundamentalist impulse. As noted, sixty-five years after the Jews' defeat in the Great Revolt, he declared Simon Bar Kochba the Messiah and led the Jewish people to a second catastrophe.

However, in the aftermath of this defeat, with the destruction of organized Jewish life in most of the Land of Israel and the gradual shift of Judaism's center of gravity to the Diaspora, the rabbinic rejection of Jewish political messianism took root. The Jewish people, taught the rabbis, had been administered formal oaths not to calculate the end of days, seek to advance its arrival, or organize a mass and forcible return to the Land of Israel. Apocalyptic elements in holy writings and in the oral tradition were systematically deemphasized or censored. Bar Kochba himself was rarely mentioned, and when discussed was characterized as a sinful, if heroic, false Messiah. 8 He typically was referred to not as Bar Kochba (Son of a Star) but as Bar Kochba (Son of a Lie). 9 The sages even used legends ascribing extraordinary powers to Bar Kochba to prove the utter futility of military and political action to hasten the redemption. 10 The early rabbis thus used all the exegetical skills at their disposal to accomplish what Nahum Glatzer has characterized as a transformation in Jewish messianism "from activist and militant into passivist and peaceful; from an urgent expectation of change into a distant, quiet hope; from a history-centered doctrine into a meta-historical one." 11

But despite sustained rabbinic opposition to apocalyptic, messianic, and redemptionist themes, exilic Judaism was never purged of operational expectations of the "dawn of Redemption. " 12 Jewish mysticism dealt heavily in eschatological speculation and honored virtuoso attempts to hasten the redemption through direct communion with God. The Jewish calendar contained fast days and other ritualized remembrances of the Temple and Jewish life in the Land of Israel. The structure of daily liturgy was based on the Temple service and contained detailed accounts of sacrificial worship. Inextricably linked to all Jewish contemplation of the redemption was belief in the eventual end of the Exile and the rebuilding of the Temple. The return to Zion was, in fact, "the cornerstone of the Jewish Messianic ideal." 13

For the rabbis, the most worrisome aspect of Jewish redemptionism was the tendency during times of severe persecution for false Messiahs to arise. Deeply troubled times might always signify "the birth pangs of the Messianic age." Jewish communities down through the centuries, in Yemen, Persia, Poland, and elsewhere, produced in such times charismatic figures whose followers were willing to forsake their homes, their livelihood, and even the halacha itself to join in the long-awaited return to the Land of Israel. Such episodes usually involved challenges to rabbinic authority and ended in despair, economic dislocation, or antinomian excesses. "The Rabbis," Gershom Scholem wrote, 'were well aware of the "anarchic element in the very nature of Messianic utopianism; the dissolution of old ties which lose their meaning in the new context of Messianic freedom." 14

No rabbinic authority was more aware of the seductiveness of apocalyptic redemptionism or its dangers than Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), the dominant figure in medieval Judaism. But Maimonides also knew that some form of messianism, some hope and expectation of a redemptive end to the Exile and of the fulfillment of God's promises to his people in the Land of Israel, was a vital part of Jewish life. His solution was bold. To discourage false Messiahs, eschatological obsessions, and apocalyptic thinking, he taught that only God could bring about the advent of the messianic age, at a time that only God could know. No human being could calculate or advance the time of the redemption through mystical manipulations of the ineffable Name of God, gematria (numerology), prayer, or miracles. The true Messiah would, eventually, demonstrate his identity by following all the commandments, leading the Jewish people as a whole to perfect observance of Jewish law, and accomplishing the political and military tasks involved in reconstituting Jewish authority in the Land of Israel-regathering the Jews into their land and rebuilding the Temple on its ancient site. Maimonides intended such mundane but readily testable criteria, by their apparent impossibility, to prevent false Messiahs from attracting large followings among Diasporan Jews and to reinforce his fundamental message:

No one is in a position to know the details of this and similar things until they have come to pass. . . . Therefore no one should ever occupy himself with the legendary themes or spend much time on Midrashic statements bearing on this and like subjects. He should not deem them of prime importance, since they lead neither to the fear of God nor to the love of Him. Nor should one calculate the end. Said the rabbis: "Blasted be those who reckon the end". One should wait [for his coming] and accept in principle this article of faith. 15

Nonetheless, Maimonides' worst fears were realized in the late seventeenth century. After the massacre of 300,000 Jews in Eastern Europe by Cossack marauders, the most important of all post-expulsion false Messiahs emerged-Shabbatai Zevi. From 1665 to 1667 a wave of messianic enthusiasm swept over world Jewry. Responding to reports of the Messiah's appearance in Palestine in the person of Shabbatai Zevi, accompanied by "his prophet," Nathan of Gaza, majorities of Jews in virtually all major centers of the Jewish world-from Poland to Amsterdam, Italy, Turkey, Yemen, and Persia-publicly repented of their sins and took other extraordinary steps to welcome the imminent redemption and honor the Messiah. While certain traditional fast days were abolished and new festivals proclaimed, extended personal fasts, flagellation, and other types of mortification were embraced as outward signs of repentance. Economic activity was suspended, and preparations to leave for Palestine undertaken. In feverish communication with one another, Jewish communities all over the world rejoiced in the excitement of the hour. Calendars were changed to mark the onset of the messianic age, gentiles were warned not to dishonor the name or person of the Messiah, and liturgies were rewritten. Rabbis and scholars who questioned the authenticity of Shabbatai Zevi as the Messiah, and the truth of the mystical framework within which his appearance and his words were being interpreted, were vilified. 16

Concerned by unrest within his empire, the Sultan imprisoned Shabbatai. When presented with a choice of conversion to Islam or death, Shabbatai chose apostasy. while this resulted in bitter disillusionment on the part of most Jews, the Sabbatian movement continued, basing itself on mystical doctrines of the "repair of the world," which entailed processes of " Redemption through sin." A new Torah, the "Torah of Redemption," Sabbatians argued, would replace the old. Even the laws against incest would no longer apply. The Frankists, named after Jacob Frank, a late eighteenth-century Jew who proclaimed himself the reincarnation of Shabbatai Zevi, put elements of this antinomian system into effect in the orgiastic practices for which they became notorious. 17

In the early nineteenth century Jewry still felt the effects of the spiritual earthquake of Sabbatianism. The rabbis had let their guard down. Most had allowed themselves to be caught up in the messianic enthusiasm surrounding Shabbatai Zevi and his apocalyptic message of imminent and miraculous salvation. The result had been deep schisms within the community, despair, mockery and persecution by the gentiles, challenges to the permanence and authority of the Torah, and bizarre mutations of Jewish belief and religiosity.

It is against the background of long-standing rabbinic opposition to active redemptionism and the rabbis' particular revulsion toward the Sabbatian movement and its consequences that Orthodox Judaism's negative reaction to political Zionism can be understood. David Vital, in his detailed study of the origins of Zionism, describes the "furious resistance of leading rabbis. The great mass of Orthodox rabbis, he says, who at the turn of the century represented 90 percent of Eastern European Jewry, embarked upon a fight "aimed at the destruction or, at the very least, the crippling of the movement. It was maintained with great fixity of purpose and it was informed by deep, undisguised, and at times venomous hostility." 18 The rabbis interfered greatly with Zionist fund-raising activities and condemned cooperation with the secularist sinners who dominated the Zionist movement.

The overwhelming majority of early Zionists emphasized secular nationalist appeals and the simple need to rescue Jews from persecution to justify their program. They avoided metaphysical or religious appeals. Nonetheless, in a traditional Jewish context, no attempt to bring an end to the Exile of the Jewish people by returning them to the Land of Israel could be clearly distinguished from active redemptionism. Vital explains as follows.

Orthodoxy's fundamental objection to Zionism was theological. It followed from the Zionists' intention to reverse the course of Jewish history and remake the Jewish people-in effect, to redeem them-through mere human agency. It was the settled Orthodox view that the condition of the Jews in their Exile, with its attendant miseries, had been divinely ordained and that to seek to alter it without divine sanction was blasphemous and, of course, futile. The Jews were, on the contrary, under a primary religious obligation to await redemption at the hands of the Messiah, in God's good time, with patience and submission. 19

The most eminent Talmudic sage of the late nineteenth century, Rabbi Haim Soloveichik, wrote of the Zionists in 1899 that "each and everyone of them is of an evil reputation in his own locality. . . And their purpose, as they have already announced and published it, is the uprooting of the foundations of the religion." 20 In a formal rabbinical proclamation at the time, the Zionists were vilified as "new deceivers," who teach the young "licentiousness and insolence" and who are "liable. . . to bring upon our nation a greater material disaster than all the disasters brought upon the people by false prophets and disseminators of lies about the redemption of Israel [in the past]." 21

As Zionism developed in the early twentieth century, Orthodox Judaism's opposition remained strong. Samson Raphael Hirsch, the founder of post-Enlightenment "neo-Orthodox" Judaism, warned that Jews must "attempt no action on their own initiative to restore their sovereignty, but must pursue their mission in Exile, awaiting the redemption solely through divine intervention." 22 Agudat Yisrael, the organization of "Torah-true" Jews established in 1912 partially as a counterweight to the World Zionist Organization, adopted the same position. Although some traditionalists were willing to support and even participate in practical programs to help Jews live observant lives in Palestine, Agudat Yisrael and the leading sages of traditional Judaism condemned political Zionism as a dangerous attempt to "push the end" and as a modern form of idol worship. 23

Even that minority of Orthodox rabbis who initially supported Zionism did so despite grave misgivings about the appropriateness of working side by side with Jews who had abandoned observance of the halacha. When the Zionist movement added educational and cultural programs to its agenda, most of these rabbis left the movement. The majority of those who remained sought to emphasize an interpretation of Zionism as a mundane "rescue" effort for Jews based on the heightened need for a "secure refuge" that had become apparent amid renewed persecutions in Russia and Eastern Europe. Even religious Zionism, in other words, explicitly denied any spiritual significance to the Zionist program. Mizrahi voted in support of Theodore Herzl's 1903 proposal to accept Uganda as an alternative to Palestine. Although the state to be created might be governed by Jews, it would represent in the eyes of religious Zionists no more than another "host" environment within which the righteous remnant of observant Jewry, maintaining a more or less hostile attitude toward nonreligious Jews, could preserve its existence. 24

This was a stance that most Agudists also came to adopt. During World War II the vast majority of traditionalist, or ultra-Orthodox, Jews was annihilated. Many survivors established themselves in Palestine. In this context even the Agudat Yisrael movement came to terms with the establishment of the Jewish state. In 1948 Agudat Yisrael and the Mizrahi movement (which became the National Religious Party) struck a bargain with the dominant Labor Zionist party, Mapai, according to which the question of the official status of religion would be deferred by dispensing with a written constitution; Orthodox rabbis would control marriage, divorce, and adoption; the state would honor the Sabbath; and kosher food would be served in state institutions. In return for commitments to preserve this religious "status quo," and even though Agudat Yisrael continued to oppose Zionism on ideological grounds and refused to join the World Zionist Organization, the religious parties agreed to join with secular parties in governing coalitions.

The majority of religious Zionists maintained this politically pragmatic attitude until 1967. To be sure, more than 200 Israeli rabbis signed a declaration published before the first parliamentary elections in 1949 characterizing the establishment of the state as atchalta degeula (the beginning of the redemption). 25 But after the first flush of excitement, life settled down to politics as usual, Tammany Hall-style, for the leaders of the religious parties, both Zionist and non-Zionist. The mobilization of religious sentiment along fundamentalist/redemptionist lines, representing a dramatic reversal of Orthodox Judaism's attitude toward Zionism, did not begin until after the catalyzing impact of the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War.

Both opponents and supporters of the fundamentalist movement acknowledge the crucial influence of these wars. Many liberal and Labor Zionists argue that Jewish fundamentalism is a freak and tragic consequence of the wars, an unnatural distortion of what Zionism was meant to be-and would have been-in their absence. 26 But a longer perspective recalls the tendency of Jewish political life in the Land of Israel to attach itself to messianic themes, taking note of the chronic eruption of active, mystically based redemptionism, even in the Diaspora. The view that the emergence of Gush Emunim was a natural, if unintended, consequence of political Zionism's success is therefore at least as plausible as the perception that Jewish fundamentalism in Israel is a weird and accidental aberration of Zionist development.

Contemporary Origins of Jewish Fundamentalism

There is no doubt that the Six Day War was a watershed in Zionist! Israeli political history. 27 The juxtaposition of a terrifying period of siege and depression in May of 1967 with a lightning military victory and the dramatic, emotionally exhilarating reunion with the Old City of Jerusalem, Hebron, Beit-El, and other locations of biblical importance triggered an upsurge of romantic Zionist and religious sentiment. This corresponded with a challenge already under way by the National Religious party's Young Guard, who were dissatisfied with the logrolling and patronage-oriented politics of the party's aging leadership. In the vibrant aftermath of war, the Young Guard, led by Hanan Porat, Zevulon Hammer, Yehuda Ben-Meir, and Rabbi Haim Druckman, emerged as the dominant faction within the National Religious Party, and, hence, within religious Zionism. It did so by projecting images of patriotism, pioneering settlement, and religious observance.

Politically, if not organizationally, this was the beginning of Gush Emunim. The group's phenomenal success required unprecedented levels of cooperation between religious and nonreligious activists, dedicated to the practical political task of incorporating the whole Land of Israel into the State of Israel. This cooperation and Gush Emunim's success are in turn understandable only in the light of three interrelated factors:

--The ideas developed by the first chief rabbi in twentieth-century Palestine, Rav [Rabbi] Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935)
--The leadership and ideological elaboration of those ideas by his son, Tzvi Yehuda Kook (1891-1982)
--The political ascendance of Revisionist Zionism, under the leadership of Menachem Begin and his Likud coalition, dominated by the Herut party.

Rav Abraham Isaac Kook (Rav Kook the Elder). Most Jews in the national religious camp, following the lead of the Young Guard, now embrace Zionism and the State of Israel as the central factor in the long awaited process of redemption. In their minds this will eventually entail the return of all Jews to the Land of Israel, extension of Jewish rule over the entirety of the Promised Land, reestablishment of the legal dominance of the halacha, reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the appearance of the Messiah. It is difficult to overemphasize the extent to which this fundamentalist, explicitly redemptionist stance, which ascribes sacred meaning to the consequences of Jewish political action, represents a revolutionary reversal of traditional Orthodox Jewish attitudes (whether non-Zionist or Zionist) toward political action as a whole, and toward Zionism in particular.

Though triggered by the events of 1967, this dramatic reversal has an important ideological basis in the thought and work of Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, appointed by the British in 1921 to serve as Palestine's Ashkenazic chief rabbi. He served in that capacity until his death in 1935. Rav Kook's efforts to give organizational expression to his radical reinterpretation of secular Zionism came to naught, but the legend of his saintly holiness and the power and originality of his ideas served more than thirty years after his death as the theoretical and ideological foundation for the contemporary emergence of Jewish fundamentalism.

Rav Kook articulated his approach in the vocabulary of the same long-standing but repressed doctrines of Jewish mysticism that surrounded the Sabbatian movement. He taught that the mundane, sensible world of ritual observance, rationality, and scientific inference is important as, but is no more than, a vehicle for preparing human beings to approach and eventually apprehend a much more fundamental spiritual reality. This other realm, immanent within the outer world of sensation and cognition, is pervaded by the pulsating illumination of the "Divine psyche." 28 For most peoples, at most times, the spiritual energy flowing continuously from this realm is displaced and distorted into various forms of idolatry because they cannot absorb "the light emanating from the universal spiritual psyche." 29 The "distinctive excellence" of the Jewish people consists in the presence of "the Divine sensitivity at the core of its being," which permits Jews, as individuals and as a collectivity, to experience and express the divine illumination in pure, non idolatrous form. 30 Zionism, for Rav Kook the Elder, was significant as a movement of Jews returning from a long and spiritually purgative exile to reassume their "Divine vocation" 31 and achieve "the splendor of redemption." 32

The repair of the world would naturally require contact with the mundane, if not the profane. Thus, "the external trappings of the nation's life," including language, political consciousness, and practical work, only set the stage for "a new surge of Divine inspiration." 33 After 2,000 years of exile, he welcomed a return of Jews to manual labor, physical culture, and military valor, even if most broke Torah commandments in the process.

In times of redemption insolence is on the increase... They rebel against everything. . . they break and they discard; they seek their nourishment in alien pastures, embracing alien ideals and desecrating everything hallowed. . . These passionate souls reveal their strength so that no fence can hold them back... Truly heroic spirits know (however) that this force is one of the phenomena needed for the perfection of the world. 34

In sharp contrast to most observant Jews of the early twentieth century, Rav Kook was not disturbed by the flagrant rejection of Jewish religious law by secular Zionists, nor even by their often loudly declared atheism. Concerning young Jews who had left the tradition, attracted to revolutionary socialist and socialist Zionist causes, he scolded an unforgiving rabbinical colleague:

To reject those children who have strayed from the ways of the Torah and religious faith, having been carried away by the raging currents of the times-I say unhesitatingly that this is not the way God wants. The inner essence of Jewish holiness remains hidden in their hearts. . . 35

Rav Kook's willingness to tolerate, cooperate with, and even see positive value in secular Zionism made him a resource of inestimable value to the Zionist movement, eager to improve its credibility among the observant Jewish masses of Eastern Europe. Accordingly, its leadership honored him and welcomed his installation as chief rabbi. But while secular, mainly Labor, Zionism was seeking to use him; Rav Kook himself understood secular Zionism as, ultimately, an instrument of his brand of religious Zionism.

Secular Jews, he argued, had an important contribution to make to the redemptive process. Nor was it necessary for them to believe that what they were doing had or would have any divine meaning or redemptive value. Simply by settling in the Land of Israel, working its soil, and developing its potential for habitation by larger numbers of Jews, the Zionist movement was carrying out the divine plan-a plan to redeem not only the Jewish people, through its restoration in its own land and the coming of the Messiah, but, through them, the gentile nations as well. Eventually, in communion with religious Jews and with the Land of Israel itself, secular Zionists would begin to appreciate the true spiritual and redemptive meaning of their accomplishments.

Resolute in body and spirit, and stirred by a deep and living passion, the young Israelite of the future, in viewing the renaissance of his people and his land, will speak proudly of the Holy Land, and glory in the God of Israel. A spiritual force of intense vitality will stir the dry bones that drew their sustenance from cold logic, lifeless metaphysics, and the decadence of skepticism. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy. 36

Thus, forty years after his death, Rav Kook's thought and his celebration within the Zionist movement provided the intellectual and spiritual basis for Gush Emunim to integrate a substantial and highly motivated minority of secular ultranationalists within its predominantly religious framework. Gush Emunim's primary focus on redemption through the settlement, inheritance, and "redemption" of the "liberated areas" also echoes the singular importance and unique qualities that Rav Kook ascribed to the Land of Israel and the mystical significance of renewed contact between the Jews and their land.

Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] is part of the very essence of our nationhood; it is bound organically to its very life and inner being. Human reason, even at its most sublime, cannot begin to understand the unique holiness of Eretz Yisrael... The hope for the Redemption is the force that sustains Judaism in the Diaspora; the Judaism of Eretz Yisrael is the very Redemption. 37

We are commanded to bite deeply into the delightful sweetness of the land of Israel's glorious, invigorating holiness. "That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breast of her consolations; that ye may drink deeply with delight of the abundance of her glory." (Is. 66:11) And we must announce to the entire world, to those who languish pitifully in dark exile, that the channel through which courses the full life, the abundant light and the pleasant holiness of our lively land has begun to open up. 38

For Rav Kook, as, in a sense, for Labor Zionism, living and working in the Holy Land was a mitzvah (divine injunction) equivalent in value to all the other religious commandments combined. On this basis, religious Jews could joyously tolerate the lack of religious observance by most Zionists. They were confident that exposure to the Holy Land, complemented by their own sensitive and tolerant persuasion, would eventually lead the nonreligious Zionist majority to acceptance of the halacha and understanding of the redemptive meaning of Zionism. It is also on this basis that Gush Emunim can justify its program of de facto annexation, designed to force the majority of Israeli Jews into a permanent relationship with the entire Land of Israel, despite their refusal or inability, as of yet, to appreciate the rewards of that circumstance.

In one additional specific respect, Rav Kook the Elder's thought has had direct significance for the evolution of Gush Emunim. The rabbi emphasized the crucial role of charismatic personalities as conduits for spiritual energy, self-confidence, and redemptive guidance.

. . . the functioning of spiritual inspiration will restore to the nation its ancient honor by restoring the patriarchal dignity of Israel's princes, who were distinguished by a personal spiritual quality of a high order. The adherence to zaddikim [righteous, charismatic men] with devotion and enthusiasm, through constant contact, raises the spiritual stature of the nation. The psychic fusion effected through the living contact of souls in the existential reality of life, merges the inner light in the psyche of the higher person, the true man of God, with the other souls that are attached to him... a personal influence that draws its inspiration from the domain of the spiritual in all its fullness which is fed by a surviving remnant of prophecy. 39

In building a movement to lead the people of Israel toward goals to which the people as a whole did not yet even aspire, Gush Emunim activists benefited greatly from the validation for their activities provided by charismatic personalities, including rabbis, outstanding pioneer settlers, and gifted writers. Of all these, by far the most important was Rav Abraham Isaac Kook's son, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook.

Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook (Rav Tzvi Yehuda). Secular Zionists honored Abraham Isaac Kook for offering a basis for cooperation between religious and nonreligious Jews. But they ignored his proposals for establishing institutions for the spiritual guidance of the Zionist enterprise. The yeshiva that the elder Kook had established in Jerusalem to carry on his work, Merkaz HaRav (the Rabbi's Center), slipped in stature not too long after his death; despite the presence there of his son, Tzvi Yehuda. Indeed, Merkaz HaRav barely managed to survive into the 1960s as an ordinary seminary with no more than twenty students.

However, in the mid-1960s the younger Kook attracted an important following among an elitist group of graduates of the Bnei Akiva. This secretive, exclusive fraternity of idealistic young men called itself Gahelet (Embers; the Hebrew is the acronym for Nucleus of Torah-Learning Pioneers). Gahelet contained a very large proportion of the future leaders of Gush Emunim, including Rabbis Haim Druckman, Moshe Levinger, and Eleazar Waldman. 40 Gahelet members, rebuffed in 1964 at their first effort to exert influence within the National Religious Party itself, gravitated toward Rav Tzvi Yehuda.

As his father had, Rav Tzvi Yehuda communicated to his followers a mystical, romantic interpretation of Zionism, redolent with the language of messianism and redemption. But he went substantially beyond Rav Kook the Elder by specifying the political and spiritual stages that the redemptive process would entail and the concrete steps that had advanced it and would advance it toward its glorious conclusion. His model of redemption was based on the traditional Jewish concept of repentance, involving a "turning or return." Although he warned his followers to expect setbacks and complex twists and turns in the process, Tzvi Yehuda identified three overall stages of redemption. The first stage, expressed by the [largely secularly organized] return of Diaspora Jews to the Land of Israel, was initiated out of a "repentance of fear," fear of physical danger in the Diaspora. This stage is well on the way to completion, but even while the Diaspora continues to exist, the next stage has begun. The second stage is made possible by the reunion of the Jewish people with the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. This stage is dominated by a dialectic of "national reconstruction" between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel. It entails the "complete resettlement in the Land and the revival of Israel in it... [and] the actual fulfillment of our inheriting the Land, of its being in our possession and not in that of any other of the nations nor in a state of desolation." 41 The third, and final, stage in the redemption process will require a repentance of love," in which Jews whose spiritual health has been enlivened by their contact with the whole Land of Israel turn toward God and the observance of his commandments. In this stage, the Messiah and the final redemption will approach at a pace proportionate to the Jewish people's increasing level of religious observance.

Tzvi Yehuda's particular emphasis was on the critical importance of Jewish settlement on and political control over all parts of the land promised to the Jews by God, as well as the sanctity of the State of Israel itself as God's appointed instrument for returning the Land of Israel to the people of Israel.

The State of Israel was created and established by the council of nations by order of the Sovereign Lord of the Universe so that the clear commandment in the Torah "that they shall inherit and settle the Land" would be fulfilled. 42

What otherwise might be considered "mundane" Levantine politics is thus of cosmic significance. For it is the "rule of our own government" in the land that gives effect to the second stage of redemption.

When this State of ours is in full control, both internally and externally, then the fulfillment of this mitzva of the Inheritance can be truly revealed-the mitzva that is the basis and essence of all of the mitzvot relating to settlement in the Land. It is these mitzvot that, by means of our rule, can accomplish the act of Redemption, and it is by their means that the vision of Redemption must be progressively fulfilled according to the word of the Universal King. 43

Although the redemption of Israel would in principle lead to the redemption of all mankind, this theme was more prominent in Abraham Isaac Kook's thinking than in the much more parochially focused message of his son. '"When Israel performs mitzvot other than for its own sake," wrote Tzvi Yehuda, "its merit reaches up to the heavens; when it does so for its own sake, its merit reaches above the heavens." 44

An important incident that occurred some three weeks before the outbreak of the Six Day War helped instill in his disciples an incontrovertible belief in the divine source of the guidance they received from Tzvi Yehuda. His disciples recounted that on the eve of Israeli Independence Day the rabbi was delivering a commemorative sermon "in the midst of which his quiet tone suddenly rose to crescendo, bewailing the partition of historic Eretz Yisrael." 45

Nineteen years ago, on the very night that the decision of the United Nations to create the State of Israel was handed down, as the entire people rejoiced. I was unable to join in their happiness. I sat alone-quiet and depressed. In those very first hours I was not able to accept what had been done, that terrible news, that indeed "my land they have divided" had occurred! Yes, where is our Hebron-have we forgotten it?! And where is our Schechem, and our Jericho, where-will we forget them?! And all of Transjordan-it is all ours, every single clod of earth, each little bit, every part of the land is part of the land of God-is it in our power to surrender even one millimeter of it?! 46

Asked by his students if it was permissible to view the scheduled military parade in Jerusalem, Tzvi Yehuda is said to have responded, "Of course, know that this is the army of Israel that will liberate the Land of Israel." 47 This reply was interpreted and widely regarded within Gush Emunim as evidence of the rabbi's prophetic status.

Some have argued that the image of Tzvi Yehuda as a charismatic and quasi-prophetic figure was created by a self-serving core group of his students who realized they could trade upon their closeness to him to achieve a prominence within religious society that they could not have achieved by their own scholarly and spiritual accomplishments. 48 On the other hand, given Tzvi Yehuda's impact on the imagination of many leading politicians, it is not difficult to understand why his leadership was accepted by so many national religious youth. One student at Merkaz HaRav describes an audience Tzvi Yehuda granted to Menachem Begin shortly after the latter's victory in the 1977 parliamentary elections.

When Begin was chosen as Prime Minister he came to visit Tzvi Yehuda. He came as if to Canossa, as if this man, Tzvi Yehuda, was God's representative. Suddenly the Prime Minister kneels and bows before Tzvi Yehuda. Imagine for yourself what all the students standing there and watching this surrealistic scene were thinking. I'll never forget it. I felt that my heart was bursting within me. What greater empirical proof could there be that his fantasies and imaginings were indeed reality? You could see for yourself that instead of treating him as if he were crazy, people looked upon him as upon something holy. And everything he said or did became something holy as well. 49

Tzvi Yehuda died in 1982. As we shall see, Gush Emunim is still feeling the effects of his passing. But while he lived Gush Emunim drew from him authorization for its belief that redemption was the crucial challenge facing Israel and the Jewish people, and that challenge could be met by practical political accomplishments-most importantly, establishment of Israeli sovereignty over territories ruled until 1967 by Israel's Arab neighbors. Its efforts, however, would have had much less chance of actually shaping the course of events in the Middle East had 1977 not seen the election of an Israeli government fully committed to the permanent absorption of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Rise of Revisionist Zionism. Most Labor Zionists accepted the British decision, implemented in 1921, to separate Transjordan (the East Bank) from the Palestine mandate and thus from the area within which the promised "Jewish national home" might be established. Within the dominant Labor Zionist movement, commitment remained strong to the principle of establishing a Jewish state in all of the '"western Land of Israel" (that is, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea). But when, in 1947, Zionism was offered the possibility of a Jewish state in only part of this area, David Ben- Gurion and the pragmatic Mapai (Workers of the Land of Israel) party, in coalition with religious Zionists and the centrist General Zionists, accepted the proposal.

This acceptance was accomplished over the strenuous objections of more activist Labor Zionists and of the Revisionists. Within Labor Zionism, the activist approach was characterized by militant commitment to territorial expansion, tough policies toward Arabs, and maximal extension of Jewish settlement and sovereignty. The speeches and writings of its visionary leader, Yitzhak Tabenkin, were imbued with the imagery of romantic nationalism. Although explicitly secular, his message, and that of other activist leaders, featured authoritative references to the Bible and Israel's ancient past. The ethos of the movement also contained mystical overtones of communion between Jewish workers and fighters, and the soil of the Land of Israel. These ideas were most prominent within the Achdut Haavodah political party and its affiliated settlement movement, Hakibbutz Hameuchad. 50

While the activist approach included many of the pioneering leaders of Labor Zionism, Revisionism developed wholly outside the socialist Zionist mainstream. The Revisionist party, under the leadership of its founder, Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky, bitterly protested the separation of Transjordan from the Palestine mandate. In 1935 it left the World Zionist Organization and declared unswerving devotion to the principle of establishing Jewish sovereignty on "both banks of the Jordan." The military arm of Revisionism was the underground Irgun (National Military Organization) headed by Menachem Begin, who assumed the leadership of Revisionist Zionism with Jabotinsky's death in 1940.

From 1935 to 1967 the Labor party sought to protect its political paramountcy within Zionism and the State of Israel by ostracizing the Revisionist movement and its post-World War II leader, Menachem Begin. In 1948 the Irgun was forcibly disbanded. When Begin organized the Herut party and entered the parliamentary elections, Ben-Gurion, and other Labor leaders, denounced him as a fanatic, fascist, and a dangerous demagogue. As prime minister for most of the first nineteen years of Israel's existence, Ben-Gurion expressed his willingness to accept any political party as a partner in the government "except the Communists and Herut." Partly as a result of Ben-Gurion's policy, Herut remained at the margin of Israeli politics, participating in no governing coalitions and garnering no more than 14 percent of the vote in any of the five elections between 1949 and 1961.

One other important reason for the failure of Revisionism's political appeal in the first decades of Israel's existence was the disappearance of the territorial issue. With the return to the 1949 armistice lines after Israel's conquest of Sinai in 1956, those lines appeared to have crystallized into permanent borders. Old Revisionist demands, emphasizing maximalist territorial objectives, sounded strange and increasingly irrelevant to most Israelis. Even the ambitions of activist Labor Zionists regarding the need for Jewish sovereignty over all of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the sea, had faded from operational objectives to politically irrelevant, nostalgic slogans. Nor, between 1948 and 1967, did any substantial element within the national religious camp try to advance programs for radical change in the territorial composition of the state.

In 1965 Herut made its first important move toward power by joining with the center-right Liberal party to form Gahal. The new party received 21 percent of the vote in 1965. Thus, by the end of the Six Day War Begin was well positioned to exploit the reopening of the territorial question in Zionism. He benefited greatly from the wave of romantic enthusiasm for Israel's return "to the land of our forefathers." As the popular imagination shifted its attention from the State of Israel, built by the old guard of the Labor party, to the Land of Israel, Begin's loyalty to the greater Land of Israel and his distinctive appeals for Jewish solidarity on behalf of its ancient heritage, cast in emotional and grand historical language, struck much more receptive chords. Just as important for Begin's political ascendancy was that during the crisis preceding the 1967 war, he had been coopted into Levi Eshkol's cabinet as a full partner in the "emergency government." Although Begin left the government three years later in protest over the cease-fire agreement with Egypt, his participation in the Six Day War emergency government legitimized Herut's struggle for political power and paved the way for the electoral success of another alliance of right-wing groups led by Herut-the Likud.

Discredited by scandals and shaken by the losses suffered in the 1973 war, the Labor Party was voted out of office in 1977, and Begin became prime minister. Under his leadership, the Likud organized a coalition government with the National Religious Party dominated by Gush Emunim.

In the wake of severe economic difficulties, the Lebanon War debacle, and Begin's resignation in 1983 as prime minister, the Likud's electoral performance slipped. In 1984 it was forced into a "national unity government" with Labor. In October 1986, Yitzhak Shamir, Begin's successor as head of the Likud, assumed the premiership.

Immediately upon his election, Begin had gone to the Gush Emunim settlement of Elon Moreh on the West Bank. Holding a Torah scroll, he called for the establishment of "many more Elon Morehs." In the first Likud government, key ministries and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations connected to settlement and land acquisition were placed under the control of individuals strongly sympathetic to Gush objectives. 51 The densely populated Arab areas of the West Bank, intended as bargaining chips and kept largely clear of Jewish settlers by previous governments, were especially targeted for settlement-just as Gush Emunim had been advocating. Although the 1977 election campaign was not fought on the issue of the territories, virtually all Israelis knew that for Menachem Begin and a majority of the Likud leadership, there was no higher priority than consolidating Israel's permanent control of Eretz Yisrael hashelema, the completed (whole) land of Israel-referring especially to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. During the 1981 campaign, which resulted in Begin's second electoral victory, he made sure there would be no doubt about his intentions, swearing by the names of his parents that while he served as Prime Minister there would be no Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, the Gaza District, or the Golan Heights.

From 1977 until the end of 1984 two Likud governments poured more than $1 billion into Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and various support activities. In the West Bank alone nearly sixty new settlements were added. The number of Jewish settlers in predominantly Arab areas of the West Bank increased from a few thousand to over 38,000. Sweeping land requisitions and zoning restrictions were implemented to provide a land reserve for future settlements. Virtually open access to cabinet ministers was afforded to Gush Emunim leaders. Generous employment opportunities in governmental and quasi-governmental agencies responsible for religious and social life, infrastructural development, security, and other spheres of life in the settlements were provided to Gush activists. Thus, fundamentalists gained the economic and administrative resources to recruit new followers and sustain a wide range of intensive political and practical efforts in support of their program to transform the shape and direction of Israeli society.

In sum, Rav Kook the Elder provided the doctrinal basis for cooperation between religious and nonreligious Jews toward maximalist Zionist territorial objectives. For an idealistic but frustrated young religious elite, Rav Tzvi Yehuda provided charismatic leadership and authoritative imperatives linking specific political events (the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War) and concrete political programs (Jewish settlement and annexation of the occupied territories) to the divine plan for the final redemption. Finally, the political ascendancy of the Zionist right wing provided Jewish fundamentalism with the status, self-confidence, and large-scale economic resources the movement needed to attempt the actual implementation of its program.


Notes

Note 1: On the concept of a "revitalization movement," see Mvron J. Aronoff, "Gush Emunim: The Institutionalization of a Charismatic, Messianic, Religious-Political Revitalization Movement in Israel," in Religion and Politics, Political Anthropology vol. 3 (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Press, 1984). Back.

Note 2: In a book about Jews and the Jewish state, use of C. E . (Common Era) and B.C.E (Before the Common Era) instead of A.D. (Year of Our Lord) and B.C. (Before Christ) is preferable. Concerning the messianic axis of intra-Jewish politics in second through fifth-century Persia, see Jacob Neusner, "Power," in Leo Landman, ed. Messianism in the Talmudic Era (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1979) pp. 397424. Back.

Note 3: Joseph Klausner The Messianic Idea in Israel: From Its Beginning to the Completion of the Mishnah (New York: Macmillan, 1955) pp. 259-261. Back.

Note 4: Benyamin Z. Kedar "Masada: The Myth and the Complex," Jerusalem Quarterly, no. 24 (Summer 1982) pp. 57-63 and Yehoshaphat Harkabi, The Bar Kochba Syndrome (Chappaqua, New York: Rossel Books, 1983). See also the speech Josephus puts in the mouth of the king, Aggrippa, as he seeks to dissuade the Jews from their intention to revolt, in Josephus The Jewish War (Suffolk: renguin, 1985) pp. 159-162. Back.

Note 5: In 1 15 C.E. a series of violent Jewish uprisings against local populations and Roman rule broke out in several major centers of the Diaspora, including Egypt Cyrenicia, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia. These were fueled by intense messianiac yearnings and fresh memories of the Roman destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. Although quickly crushed, these small wars resulted in heavy casualties on both sides and banishment of all Jews from Cyprus. See Michael Grant Jews in the Roman World (U.S.A.: Dorset Press, 1973) pp. 236-241. Back.

Note 6: For an excellent treatment of recent controversies and scholarship concerning the Bar Kochba Rebellion, see Benjamin Isaac and Aharon Oppenheimer, "The Revolt of Bar Kokhba: Ideology and Modern Scholarship," Journal of Jewish Social Studies, vol. 36, no. 1 (Spring 1985) pp. 33-60. Back.

Note 7: Jacob Neusner, First Century Judaism in Crisis: Yohanan ben Zakkai and the Renaissance of Torah (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1975) p. 165. Back.

Note 8: See Arie Morgenstern, "Messianic Concepts and Settlement in the Land of Israel," in Richard I. Cohen, ed., Vision and Conflict in the Holy Land, (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985) pp. 141 162; and Harkabi, Bar Kochba. Back.

Note 9: Richard Gordon Marks, "The Image of Bar Kokhba in Jewish Literature Up to the Seventeenth Century: False Messiah and National Hero," unpublished Ph.D. dissertation (Los Angeles: University of California, 1980) p.36. Back.

Note 10: Ibid.., p. 80. Back.

Note 11: Nahum Glatzer, Essays in Jewish Thought (University of Alabama Press, 1978, p. 3, as quoted by Marks in Image, p. 81. Back.

Note 12: Gershom Scholem, "The Messianic Idea in Judaism," in The Messianic Idea in Judaism and Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality (New York: Schocken Books, 1971) pp.11-16. Back.

Note 13: Klausner, Messianic Idea, p. 33. Back.

Note 14: Gershom Scholem, 'Toward an Understanding of the Messianic Idea in Judaism," in Messianic Idea, p. 19. Back.

Note 15: Moses Maimonides, "Kings and Wars," chapter 12, section 2, in Isadore T'versky, ed., A Maimonides Reader (New York: Behrman House, 1972) pp.224-225. My interpretation of Maimonides intention is based on Scholem, "Toward an Understanding," pp.24-33. Back.

Note 16: Gershom Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah (Princeton, New Terse, Princeton University Press, 1973) chapters 5 and 6. Back.

Note 17: Gershom Scholem, "Redemption through Sin," in Messianic Idea, pp.78-141. Back.

Note 18: David Vital, Zionism: The Formative Years (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1982) p.209. Back.

Note 19: Ibid.., pp.209-210. Back.

Note 20: Quoted in Vital, Zionism, p.212. Back.

Note 21: Ibid... Back.

Note 22: Ben Halpern, The Idea of the Jewish State (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1969) p.88. Back.

Note 23: Charles Liebman and Eliezer Don-Yehiya, Religion and Politics in Israel (Bloomington, Indiana: University of Indiana Press, 1984) p.62. Back.

Note 24: This perspective on Zionism is most closely associated with Rabbi Isaac Jacob Reines (1839-1915), a founder of Mizrahi. It is referred to derogatorily in Jewish fundamentalist circles as kupat holim (sick fund) Zionism-that is, Zionism as merely a refugee aid society or health insurance organization. Back.

Note 25: The text of the declaration and the list of rabbis who signed it are reproduced in Menachem Kasher The Great Era (in Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Torah Shlema, 1968) pp.374-78. Back.

Note 26: See, especially, Amnon Rubinstein, The Zionist Dream Revisited: From Herzl to Gush Emunim and Back (New York: Schocken Books, 1985). Back.

Note 27: See, for example, Rael Jean Isaac, Israel Divided: Ideological Politics in the Jewish State (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976) pp.20-44; A. B Yehoshua, Between Right and Right (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1981) pp.76-78; Baruch Kimmerling, Zionism and Territory: The Socio-Territorial Dimensions of Zionist Politics (Berkeley, California: University of California, Institute of International Studies, 1983) pp.147-182; Eliezer Livneh, Israel and the Crisis of Western Civilization (in Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Schocken Books, 1972) pp. 68-93; Charles Liebman and Eliezer Don-Yehiya, CiviI Religion in Israel (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1983) pp.200-205. Back.

Note 28: Abraham Isaac Kook, "The Road to Renewal," Hanir (1909), reprinted in Tradition, vol. 13, no.3 (Winter 1973) p. 144. Back.

Note 29: Ibid. p.140. Back.

Note 30: Ibid.. p.141. Back.

Note 31: Ibid.. Back.

Note 32: Ibid.. p.151. Back.

Note 33: Ibid., p. 150. Back.

Note 34: Abraham Isaac Kook, "Souls of Chaos" (1914), reprinted in Ben Zion Bokser, ed., Abraham Isaac Kook: The Lights of Penitence, Lights of Holiness, the Moral Principles Essays, Letters, and Poems (New York: Paulist Press, 1978) pp. 257-258. Back.

Note 35: Letter to Rabbi Duber Milstein from Abraham Isaac Kook (1908), reprinted in Bokser, Kook pp.344-345. Concerning Jewish atheism, "cleansed of its defilement," as the return "to the highest realms of pure religion," see "The Pangs of Cleansing" (1914), in Bokser, Kook, p.267. Back.

Note 36: Kook, "Road to Renewal," pp.150-151. Back.

Note 37: Abraham Isaac Kook, Orot quoted in Arthur Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea (New York: Harper and Row, 1959) pp.419-420. Back.

Note 38: Abraham Isaac Kook, from Orot; quoted in Eliezer Schweid, The Land of lsrael National Home or Land of Destiny (Rutherford, New Jersey: Herzl Press, 1985) p 184. Back.

Note 39: Kook, "Road to Renewal," pp.151-152. Back.

Note 40: This discussion of Gahelet is based on the ground-bracking study of Gideon Atan, "From Religious Zionism to Zionist Religion: The Roots of Gush Emunim," in Peter Medding, ed., Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol.2, (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1986) pp.117-143. Back.

Note 41: Tzvi Yehuda Kook, "Zionism and Biblical Prophecy," in Yosef Tirosh, ed., Religious Zionism: An Anthology (Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1975) p.176. Back.

Note 42: Tzvi Yehuda Kook, "On the Genuine Significance of the State of Israel," homily delivered in March 1978, published in Artzi, vol. 1(1982) p.5. Back.

Note 43: Tzvi Yehuda Kook "Zionism and Biblical Prophecy," in Tirosh, Religious Zionism p. 177. Back.

Note 44: Ibid.. p. 169. Back.

Note 45: Ehud Sprinzak, "The Iceberg Model of Political Extremism," in David Newman, ed., The Impact of Gush Emunim: Politics and Settlement in the West Bank (London: Croom Helm, 1985) p. 37. Back.

Note 46: From the text of notes to the address of Tzvi Yehuda Kook, published as "This Is the State of which the Prophets Dreamed," Nekuda, no.86, April26, 1985, pp6-7. Back.

Note 47: Rabbi Yohanan Fried, quoted in Daniel Ben-Simon, "Merkaz HaRav: Here Developed Gush Emunim," Haaretz, April 4, 1986, p.8. Back.

Note 48: Aran, "From Religious Zionism" p. 135. See also Ben-Simon, "Merkaz HaRav.". Back.

Note 49: Ben-Simon, "Merkaz HaRav.". Back.

Note 50: For a representative sample of Tabenkin's writings, see "The Danger of Destruction and the Chances for Jewish Activism," in Aharon Ben-Ami, ed., The Book of the Whole Land of lsrael (in Hebrew) (Tel-Aviv: Freedman, 1977) pp.159-168. See also Yosef Tabenkin (son of Yitzhak Tabenkin), "Between the Wilderness and the Sea: The Land is One," Artzi, vol. 2 (1982) pp.51-52. Back.

Note 51: For example, the Agriculture Ministry, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Settlement, and the Land Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency (an arm of the World Zionist Organization). Back.


For the Land and the Lord