From "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires" through "Return to Zion" to "Conquest of the Land": Paradigm shifts and sanctified reenactments in building the Jewish state

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Abstract

Critical historical junctures sometimes cause religious or national groups to shift from one ontological and behavioral paradigm to qualitatively different ones. This paper describes a persuasive tool used to justify these shifts: The new policy is portrayed as a reenactment of an event from the group's sanctified past. Three such reenactments advocating three very different types of relations between Halachic Jews and the Land of Israel/Palestine, the nations of the world and the non-Jewish groups residing in the land are examined: The Diaspora "Do not arouse or awaken love" which warns Jews against antagonistic en-masse Jewish immigration to the land; "Shivat Zion," the classical Zionistic approach, which is inspired by the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon under Emperor Cyrus (6th century BCE); and the Conquest of the Land reenactment, the post-1967 religious Zionism approach which is inspired by Joshua's mythical campaign against the idolatrous Canaanite nations and which advocates exclusive Jewish rights to the land and intolerance of non-Jews. The symbologies, group identities and policies deriving from these reenactment metaphors in the process of Israeli state building are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume43
Issue numberPA
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Critical junctures theory

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