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Wednesday,
Jul 01st

Voice from Israel

Elli Fischer’s monthly column from Israel

Is all Zionism really religious Zionism?

PASSOVER 5774 EDITION
SECTION C PAGE 23

There was a great deal of religious ambivalence about Zionism in its early years.

On the one hand, the return to the Land of Israel had always been a religious aspiration of the Jewish people, and yet the nascent movement was a secular movement to its core, whether in the neutral sense that it viewed state-building as a non-religious endeavor, or in the anti-religious sense of jettisoning the exilic Jewish past in favor of a new Jew and a new anticlerical and anti-bourgeois ideology.

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:56 )

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Vienna and Jerusalem

On a recent trip to Vienna, I found myself wandering the streets of the Innere Stadt late at night. I was struck by a certain incongruity. Everything above eye level was German to the core: its language, its architecture, and its ever-present tributes to great kings, princes, composers, and artists. Yet at street level, storefronts, kiosks, and conversations expressed a wide variety of languages and places of origin.

Vienna’s multiculturalism is no accident. For most of the second half of the 20th century, it was the gateway to the West from the Eastern Bloc. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was where European Christendom stood firm against the advance of the Ottoman Empire. The city became great as the capital of the Habsburg Empire, which included a wide variety of ethnic groups and nationalities.

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

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Hamas terror cell planning attack arrested in West Bank

Marcy Oster Among the 40 operatives arrested were Hamas officials who have been jailed in the past for their involvement in terror activities. ... [Link]

S. African Jewish board files racism complaint against ex-student leader

Marcy Oster The ex-Witwatersrand University leader made “racist and defamatory comments” on the radio against the South African Jewish community, according to the board’s criminal complaint. ... [Link]

Jerusalem family renovating home uncovers 2,000-year-old mikvah

Ron Kampeas The ritual bath was excavated in a neighborhood long believed to be the home of John the Baptist, the ascetic Jewish preacher who inspired Jesus. ... [Link]

Amsterdam chief rabbi to resign 

Cnaan Liphshiz Aryeh Ralbag, whose contract expires in 2017, has had a tense relationship with the board of the Jewish Community of the Netherlands. ... [Link]

Nicholas Winton, Kindertransport organizer known as ‘British Schindler,’ dies at 106

Ron Kampeas Sir Nicholas Winton was known as the “British Schindler” for arranging the rescue of 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to England. ... [Link]

WATCH: Ad tells Chuck Schumer to tip balance in Iran talks

Andrew Tobin The Emergency Committee for Israel released a video ad calling on New Yorkers to demand Schumer “stand firm” in the talks — especially on inspections. ... [Link]

Prague’s Jewish museum launches new permanent exhibit

Marcy Oster The historic Maisel Synagogue, located in the heart of the former Jewish district, also has undergone a major renovation. ... [Link]

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