Religious Zionism

Religious Zionism

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Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 and Jewish religious faith
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. Religious Zionists are observant Jews who support Zionist efforts to build a Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

 in the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

.

History



In 1862, German Orthodox Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer
Zvi Hirsch Kalischer
Zvi Hirsch Kalischer was an Orthodox German rabbi and one of Zionism's early pioneers in Germany.-Life:...

 published his tractate Derishat Zion, positing that the salvation of the Jews, promised by the Prophets
Nevi'im
Nevi'im is the second of the three major sections in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh. It falls between the Torah and Ketuvim .Nevi'im is traditionally divided into two parts:...

, can come about only by self-help.
The main ideologue of modern religious Zionism was Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar...

, who justified Zionism according to Jewish law
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 and urged young religious Jews to support efforts to settle the land, and the secular Labour Zionists to give more consideration to Judaism. Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 Moshe Shmuel Glasner
Moshe Shmuel Glasner
Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner , a prominent Hungarian Talmudic scholar and communal leader, served as chief rabbi of Klausenburg from 1877 to 1923. In 1923 he left Klausenburg for Jerusalem where he resided until his death in 1924...

 was another prominent rabbi who supported Zionism. Kook saw Zionism as a part of a divine scheme which would result in the resettlement of the Jewish people in its homeland. This would bring salvation ("Geula") to Jews, and then to the entire world. After world harmony is achieved by the refoundation of the Jewish homeland, the Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

 will come. Although this has not yet happened, Kook emphasized that it would take time, and that the ultimate redemption happens in stages, often not apparent while happening. In 1924, when Kook became the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, he tried to reconcile Zionism with Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

.

Ideology



Religious Jews believe that Eretz Yisrael was promised to the ancient Israelites by God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and the right of the Jews to the land is permanent and inalienable. To generations of diaspora Jews
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

, Jerusalem, also known as Zion
Zion
Zion is a place name often used as a synonym for Jerusalem. The word is first found in Samuel II, 5:7 dating to c.630-540 BCE...

, has been a symbol of the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

 and of their return to it, as promised by God in numerous Biblical prophecies
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. Despite this, some Jews did not embrace Zionism before the 1930s and certain religious groups opposed it on the grounds that an attempt to re-establish Jewish rule in Israel by human agency
Human agency
In philosophy and sociology, agency is the capacity of an agent to act in a world. In philosophy, the agency is considered as belonging to that agent even if that agent represents a fictitious character, or some other non-existent entity...

 was blasphemous. Hastening salvation and the coming of the Messiah was considered religiously forbidden, and Zionism was seen as a sign of disbelief in God's power and therefore a rebellion against God. Rabbi Kook developed a theological
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 answer to that claim, which gave Zionism a religious legitimation: "Zionism was not merely a political movement by secular Jews. It was actually a tool of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 to promote His divine scheme and to initiate the return of the Jews to their homeland - the land He promised to Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

, Isaac
Isaac
Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible, was the only son Abraham had with his wife Sarah, and was the father of Jacob and Esau. Isaac was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites...

 and Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

. God wants the children of Israel to return to their home in order to establish a Jewish sovereign state in which Jews could live according to the laws of Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 and Halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 and commit the Mitzvot
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 of Eretz Israel (these are religious commandments which can be performed only in the land of Israel). Moreover, to cultivate the land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

 was a Mitzvah
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 by itself and it should be carried out. Therefore, settling Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is an obligation of the religious Jews and helping Zionism is actually following God's will."

Religious Jews also disapproved of the Zionists because many were secular Jews or atheists, taking their cue from Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

. Socialist Zionism envisaged the movement as a tool for building an advanced socialist society in the land of Israel, while solving the problem of antisemitism. The early kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

 was a communal settlement that focused on national goals unencumbered by religion and precepts of Jewish law such as kashrut
Kashrut
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

. Rabbi Kook's answer was as follows:
Secular Zionists may think they do it for political, national or socialist reasons, but in fact - the actual reason for them coming to resettle in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is a religious Jewish spark ("Nitzotz") in their soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

, planted by God. Without their knowledge, they are contributing to the divine scheme and actually committing a great Mitzvah
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

.

The role of religious Zionists is to help them to establish a Jewish state and turn the religious spark in them into a great light. They should show them that the real source of Zionism and the longed-for Zion is Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and teach them Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 with love and kindness. In the end, they will understand that the laws of Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 are the key to true harmony
Harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

 and a socialist state (not in the Marxist meaning) that will be a light for the nations and bring salvation to the world.


Shlomo Avineri
Shlomo Avineri
Shlomo Avineri is an Israeli political scientist. He is Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

 explained the last part of Kook's answer:"... and the end of those pioneers, who scout into the blindness of secularism and atheism, but the treasured light inside them leads them into the path of salvation - their end is that from doing Mitzva without purpose, they will do Mitzva with a purpose." (page 222, 1)

Organizations


The first rabbis to support Zionism were Yehuda Shlomo Alkalai
Judah Alkalai
Judah ben Solomon Chai Alkalai was a Sephardic rabbi in Zemun in the Austrian Empire's District of Velika Kikinda and one of pioneers of modern Zionism....

 and Zvi Hirsch Kalischer
Zvi Hirsch Kalischer
Zvi Hirsch Kalischer was an Orthodox German rabbi and one of Zionism's early pioneers in Germany.-Life:...

. They argued that the change in the status of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

's Jews following emancipation
Jewish Emancipation
Jewish emancipation was the external and internal process of freeing the Jewish people of Europe, including recognition of their rights as equal citizens, and the formal granting of citizenship as individuals; it occurred gradually between the late 18th century and the early 20th century...

 was the first step toward redemption (גאולה) and that therefore one must hasten the messianic salvation by a natural salvation — whose main pillars are the Kibbutz Galuyot ("Gathering of the Exiles"), the return to Eretz Israel, agricultural work (עבודת אדמה) and the revival of the everyday use of the Hebrew language
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

.

The Mizrachi
Mizrachi (Religious Zionism)
The Mizrachi is the name of the religious Zionist organization founded in 1902 in Vilnius at a world conference of religious Zionists called by Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines. Bnei Akiva, which was founded in 1929, is the youth movement associated with Mizrachi...

 organization was established in 1902 in Vilna at a world conference of religious Zionists. It operates a youth movement
Zionist youth movement
A Zionist youth movement is an organization formed for Jewish children and adolescents for educational, social, and ideological development, including a belief in Jewish nationalism as represented in the State of Israel...

, Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva is the largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world, with over 125,000 members in 37 countries. It was established in Mandate Palestine in 1929.-History:...

, which was founded in 1929. Mizrachi believes that the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 should be at the centre of Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

, a sentiment expressed in the Mizrachi Zionist slogan Eretz Israel le-am Yisrael al pi Torat Yisrael ("The land of Israel for the people of Israel according to the Torah of Israel"). It also sees Jewish nationalism as a tool for achieving religious objectives. Mizrachi was the first official religious Zionist party. It also built a network of religious schools that exist to this day.

In 1937-1948, the Religious Kibbutz Movement
Religious Kibbutz Movement
The Religious Kibbutz Movement is an organizational framework for Orthodox kibbutzim in Israel. Its membership includes 19 communities, 16 of them traditional kibbutzim, and two others in the category of moshav shitufi , meaning that they have no communal dining hall or children's house but...

 established three settlement blocs of three kibbutzim each. The first was in the Beit Shean Valley, the second was in the Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

 mountains south of Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

 (known as Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion is a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judaean Mountains directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the West Bank, Palestinian territories. The core group includes four agricultural villages that were founded in 1940-1947 on property purchased in the 1920s and 1930s, and ...

), and the third was in the western Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

. Kibbutz Yavne
Yavne
Yavne is a city in the Central District of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a population of 33,000.-History:...

 was founded in the center of the country as the core of a fourth bloc that came into being after the establishment of the state.

Political parties


The Labor Movement wing of Religious Zionism, founded in 1921 under the Zionist slogan "Torah va'Avodah" (Torah and Labor), it was called Hapoel Hamizrachi
Hapoel HaMizrachi
Hapoel HaMizrachi |Mizrachi]] Workers) was a political party and settlement movement in Israel and is one of the predecessors of the National Religious Party.-History:...

. It represented religiously traditional Labour Zionists both in Europe and in the Land of Israel where it represented religious Jews in the Histadrut
Histadrut
HaHistadrut HaKlalit shel HaOvdim B'Eretz Yisrael , known as the Histadrut, is Israel's organization of trade unions. Established in December 1920 during the British Mandate for Palestine, it became one of the most powerful institutions of the State of Israel.-History:The Histadrut was founded in...

. In 1956, Mizrachi, Hapoel HaMizrachi and other religious Zionists formed the National Religious Party
National Religious Party
The National Religious Party ) was a political party in Israel representing the religious Zionist movement. Formed in 1956, at the time of its dissolution in 2008, it was the second oldest surviving party in the country after Agudat Yisrael, and was part of every government coalition until 1992...

 to advance the rights of religious Zionist Jews in Israel. Other parties and groups affiliated with religious Zionism are Gush Emunim
Gush Emunim
Gush Emunim was an Israeli messianic and political movement committed to establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank. While not formally established as an organization until 1974 in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, Gush Emunim sprang out of the conquests of the Six-Day War in 1967, encouraging...

, Tkuma
Tkuma
Tkuma is a right wing political party in Israel.-Background:Tkuma was established in 1998 when Hanan Porat and Zvi Hendel left the National Religious Party. At first the new party was named Emunim , but was later renamed Tkuma...

, and Meimad
Meimad
Meimad is a left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel. Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and until the 2006 elections, received 10th spot on the...

. A radical branch of Religious Zionism, Kahanism
Kahanism
Kahanism is loosely defined as an nationalist ideology of dedication and self-sacrifice for Jewish causes, such as physical and spiritual freedom and safety of Jews in Israel and worldwide. The term is derived from the name of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane , founder of the Jewish Defense League in USA...

, was founded by the Rabbi Meir Kahane
Meir Kahane
Martin David Kahane , also known as Meir Kahane , was an American-Israeli rabbi and ultra-nationalist writer and political figure. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli Knesset...

. Today, Hazit is the leading wing of this school of thought.

Educational institutions


The flagship religious institution of the religious Zionist movement is "Mercaz haRav
Mercaz haRav
Mercaz HaRav , more properly, Mercaz HaRav Kook ), is a national-religious yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel, founded in 1924 by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. It has become synonymous with his teachings....

" yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 (founded by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook). Other religious Zionist institutions are Yeshivat Or Etzion (founded by the foremost disciple of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook), Yeshivat HaKotel
Yeshivat Hakotel
Yeshivat Hakotel is a modern-Orthodox religious Zionist hesder yeshiva situated in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was built in 1857. The yeshiva overlooks the Kotel ; hence its name. The Yeshiva is famous among tourists and tour guides for its entrance to the prayer plaza at the Kotel on Sabbath...

, Yeshivat Har Hamor, Ein HaNatziv
Ein HaNatziv
Ein HaNatziv is a kibbutz in the Bet She'an Valley in Israel. Located about three kilometers south of the ancient city of Beit She'an, it is 130 meters below sea level. The kibbutz, a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, has a population of 700...

 Women's Seminary and the Yaacov Herzog Institute for Jewish Studies.

Dress



Religious Zionists are often called "Kippot sruggot", referring to the knitted or crocheted skullcaps worn by the men. However, there are also some religious Zionists who wear other types of headcoverings (black velvet kippot for example) and not every person who wears a knitted kippa is necessarily a religious Zionist.

Politics


Many religious Zionists embrace right wing politics, especially the National Religious Party
National Religious Party
The National Religious Party ) was a political party in Israel representing the religious Zionist movement. Formed in 1956, at the time of its dissolution in 2008, it was the second oldest surviving party in the country after Agudat Yisrael, and was part of every government coalition until 1992...

, but they also the Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 and the National Union
National Union (Israel)
The National Union is an alliance of nationalist political parties in Israel. In the 2009 elections the National Union consisted of four parties: Moledet, Hatikva, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, and Tkuma.-Background:...

. There are also left-wing religious Zionists, such as by Rabbi Michael Melchior
Michael Melchior
A renowned Jewish leader, thinker and activist, Rabbi Michael Melchior is a leading advocate for social justice in Israel, quality education for all, Jewish-Arab reconciliation and co-existence, protection of the environment, Israel-Diaspora relations and the strengthening of Civic Society as a...

, whose views were represented by the Meimad
Meimad
Meimad is a left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel. Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and until the 2006 elections, received 10th spot on the...

 party (which ran together with the Israeli Labor party
Labor (Israel)
The Israeli Labor Party , commonly known as HaAvoda , is a social-democratic and labour Zionist political party in Israel. The party is an observer member of both Socialist International and the Party of European Socialists. The Israeli Labor Party was established in 1968 by a merger of Mapai,...

). Many settlers in Judea and Samaria
Judea and Samaria
Judea and Samaria Area is the official Israeli term roughly corresponding to the territory usually known outside Israel as the West Bank and to the Israeli settlements there that are not governed as part of Jerusalem.-Terminology:...

 are religious Zionists, along with most of the settlers forcibly expelled from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 in August and September 2005.

Military service


Military service is important to most religious Zionists.

Many religious Zionists take part in the Hesder
Hesder
Hesder is an Israeli yeshiva program which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service in the Israel Defense Forces, usually within a Religious Zionist framework...

 program, whereby they are able to combine military service with Yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 studies. Others attend a pre-army Mechina
Mechina
A Mechina is an Israeli educational program that prepares high school graduates for serving in the Israeli Army or study at an institution of higher learning in Israel...

, delaying their service by one year. 88% of Hesder students belong to combat units, compared to a national average of below 30%. In November 2010 the IDF held a special conference which was attended by the heads of Religious Zionism in order to encourage female religious Zionists in order to join the IDF. The IDF promised it would make sure that all modesty and kosher issues will be handled in order to make female religious Zionists comfortable.

Religious Zionist women also serve in the army, but some choose national service, known as Sherut Leumi
Sherut Leumi
Sherut Leumi is an alternative voluntary national service in Israel for those that cannot or do not wish to serve in the Israel Defense Forces...

, instead (working at hospitals, schools and day-care centers).

Notable figures

  • Yosef Burg
    Yosef Burg
    Yosef Shlomo Burg was an Israeli politician. In 1949, he was elected to the first Knesset, and served in many ministerial positions for the next 40 years. He was one of the founders of the National Religious Party.-Biography:...

  • Shlomo Aviner
    Shlomo Aviner
    Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Ha-Cohain Aviner is the rosh yeshiva of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva in Jerusalem and the rabbi of Bet El. He is considered one of the spiritual leaders of the Religious Zionist movement.-Background:Ha-Rav Shlomo Chaim Ha-Cohain Aviner was born in 5703 in German-occupied...

  • Rabbi Chaim Druckman
  • Mordechai Eliyahu
    Mordechai Eliyahu
    Mordechai Tzemach Eliyahu ) was a prominent rabbi, posek and spiritual leader. He served as the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993.-Biography:...

  • Effi Eitam
    Effi Eitam
    Efraim "Effi" Eitam is an Israeli politician. A former leader of the National Religious Party, he later led a breakaway faction, Ahi, which merged into Likud in 2009. He served as a member of the Knesset between 2003 and 2009.-Biography:...

  • Dov Lior
    Dov Lior
    Dov Lior is an Israeli rabbi, who currently serves as the Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba in the southern West Bank. He is also the rosh yeshiva Kiryat Arba Hesder Yeshiva, and also heads the "Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria".-Biography:...

  • Zevulun Orlev
    Zevulun Orlev
    Zevulun Orlev is an Israeli politician and a former leader of the National Religious Party. He was Minister of Welfare & Social Services , and is currently a Member of the Knesset for the The Jewish Home party...

  • Avraham Shapira
    Avraham Shapira
    Avraham Elkanah Kahana Shapira was a prominent rabbi in the Religious Zionist world. Shapira had been the head of the Rabbinical court of Jerusalem, and both a member and the head of the Supreme Rabbinic Court. He served as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993...

  • Yehuda Amital
    Yehuda Amital
    Yehuda Amital was an Orthodox rabbi, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion and a former member of the Israeli cabinet.-Biography:Amital was born in Oradea in Romania. When Germany occupied the area in 1944, the Nazis sent his entire family to Auschwitz where they were killed. Amital was sent to...

  • She'ar Yashuv Cohen
    She'ar Yashuv Cohen
    Eliyahu Yosef She'ar Yashuv Cohen was the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Israel and the President of its rabbinical courts .- Biography :...

  • Shlomo Riskin
    Shlomo Riskin
    Shlomo Riskin is the founding rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side of New York City, which he led for 12 years; founding chief rabbi of the Israeli settlement of Efrat in the West Bank; dean of Manhattan Day School in New York City; and founder and dean of the Ohr Torah Stone...


See also

  • Atchalta De'Geulah
    Atchalta De'Geulah
    Atchalta De'Geulah is a term for a concept of an idea, derived from the Gemara. It refers to the notion of a period of time in which a new stage of revival in the process of the redemption and the coming of the Jewish Messiah...

  • Israeli settlement
    Israeli settlement
    An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

  • Arutz Sheva
    Arutz Sheva
    Arutz Sheva is an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism. It offers online news in English, Hebrew, French, Spanish and Russian. Arutz Sheva offers free podcasts, live streaming radio, a daily email news update, streaming video and 24 hour updated text news...

  • Religion in Israel
    Religion in Israel
    Religion in Israel is a central feature of the country and plays a major role in shaping Israeli culture and lifestyle, and religion has played a central role in Israel's history. Israel is also the only country in the world where a majority of citizens are Jewish...

  • Hesder
    Hesder
    Hesder is an Israeli yeshiva program which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service in the Israel Defense Forces, usually within a Religious Zionist framework...

  • Torato Omanuto
    Torato Omanuto
    Torato Omanuto is a term describing one who's Torah study is his main occupation...

  • Hardal
    Hardal
    Chardal ; Hebrew: חרד"ל, acronym for חרדי לאומי, Charedi Le-umi, lit. "Nationalist Charedi", Plural: Chardalim refers to the Ultra-Orthodox Jews who support the ideology of Religious Zionism...

  • Machon Meir
    Machon Meir
    Machon Meir' is a religious Zionist outreach organization and yeshiva situated in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe, close to Givat Shaul...

  • Modern Orthodox Judaism
    Modern Orthodox Judaism
    Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world....

  • Haredim and Zionism
    Haredim and Zionism
    The relationship between Haredim and Zionism has always been a difficult one. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, the majority of Haredi Jewry was opposed to Zionism. However, after the de facto creation of the state, each individual movement within Orthodox Judaism charted its own...

  • Mamlachti dati

External links