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The Bible, Hayden White, and the Settlements

Teaching Religious Zionist History in the Postmodern Era

Roy Weintraub

In recent decades, the impact of postmodern approaches to history teaching has triggered an extensive worldwide debate that accommodates diverse and contrasting voices. This article examines how the education system of Religious Zionism, one of the most important ideological movements in Israel, copes with this issue. This inquiry, which is based on Peter Seixas’s conceptualization, analyzes the system’s history curriculum, its latest textbooks, and an array of lesson plans. The analysis reveals a complex method of coping with postmodernism, including the adoption of clearly postmodern attitudes at the declarative level and the neutralization of their influence in practice.

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(Not) Becoming the Norm

Military Service by Religious Israeli Women as a Process of Social Legitimation

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman

Women have long served in the Israel Defense Forces, notwithstanding strong opposition by the Chief Rabbinate. In the twenty-first century, approximately 25 percent of female graduates of Israel’s religious high school system enlist, despite social disapproval. Israel’s Orthodox community has largely ignored the issue in the past. Recently, however, rabbis and public figures within the religious community have acknowledged the reality of women’s conscription and have shown some willingness to address it. Although religious female soldiers are still atypical, they are no longer viewed as the anathema they once were. This article presents a possible model for this legitimation as a social process. It then describes the relationship between religious women, military service, and conscription in Israel, concluding with a suggestion about broader contexts within which this change can be viewed.

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Right of Center

Rearranging the Israeli Political Map

Samuel Peleg

Kookism by Gideon Aran

Messianic Religious Zionism Confronts Israeli Territorial Compromises by Motti Inbari

The Triumph of Israel's Radical Right by Ami Pedahzur

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Kobi Michael, Rob Geist Pinfold, Nadav Shelef, Hayim Katsman, Paul L. Scham, Russell Stone, Haim Saadoun, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Tamar Hermann, Hanna Herzog, Sam Lehman-Wilzig and Ruvi Ziegler

Stuart A. Cohen and Aharon Klieman, eds., Routledge Handbook on Israeli Security (New York: Routledge, 2018), 350 pp. Hardback, $220.00.

Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili, Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States That Host Nonstate Actors (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), 367 pp. Hardback, $65.00.

Dmitry Shumsky, Beyond the Nation-State: The Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018), 320 pp. Hardback, $40.00.

Moshe Hellinger, Isaac Hershkowitz, and Bernard Susser, Religious Zionism and the Settlement Project: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Disobedience (New York: SUNY Press, 2018), 348 pp. Hardback, $95.00.

Avi Sagi and Dov Schwartz, Religious Zionism and the Six-Day War: From Realism to Messianism (New York: Routledge, 2018), 134 pp. Hardback, $140.00.

Yoav Peled and Horit Herman Peled, The Religionization of Israeli Society (New York: Routledge, 2018), 250 pp. Hardback, $150.00.

Joel Peters and Rob Geist Pinfold, eds., Understanding Israel: Political, Societal and Security Challenges (New York: Routledge, 2018), 292 pp. Hardback, $145.00. Paperback, $51.95. Kindle, $25.98.

Orit Bashkin, Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), 320 pp. Hardback, $85.00.

Shapiro Prize Winner: Diego Rotman, The Stage as a Temporary Home: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927–1980) [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2017), 354 pp. Paperback, $33.00.

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The End Point of Zionism

Ethnocentrism and the Temple Mount

Tomer Persico

Zionism has always displayed a complicated relationship with the Temple Mount. While secular socialist Zionism wanted little to do with the site for pragmatic reasons, right-wing and guerilla Zionist groups considered it, before the founding of the state, as the embodiment of Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land. And although Religious Zionism, until very recently, shied away from the site, over the past decade tremendous changes in this public’s attitude have taken place, leading to intense interest and activity concerning it. This article surveys past and present attitudes toward the Temple Mount, studying its recent rise as a focal point for ethnonational yearnings, and analyzing these developments vis-à-vis the secularization process.

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Two Rabbis and a Rebbetzin

The Vilna Rabbinate During the First World War

Andrew N. Koss

This article examines Jewish religious life and rabbinic leadership in the city of Vilna (Vilnius) during the First World War by focusing on three figures: Rabbi Hayim Ozer Grodzienski, Rabbi Isaac Rubinstein and Ester Rubinstein (the wife of the latter). Humanitarian and social crisis, together with political change, disrupted religious life in Vilna, leading to a retrenchment of Orthodoxy, as it ceased to be the way of the establishment and became one Jewish movement among many. New schools and new communal institutions were formed, while rabbis reformulated the traditional lay–rabbinic division of labour. While the Rubinsteins used the war to further a religious-Zionist model that made compromises with modernity, Grodzienski favoured a more traditionalist stance. These differences led to a postwar split between religious Zionism and ultra-Orthodoxy.

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Benji Stanley

Both the American Mishkan Tefilah (2007) and the British Forms of Prayer (2008) contain striking renderings of the tenth, fourteenth and fifteenth blessings of the Amidah (traditionally the Blessings for the Ingathering of Exiles, the Rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Flourishing of the Messiah). A close comparison of these blessing in the two siddurim, exploring how each interacts with the classical liturgy, reveals fundamental similarities and subtle differences between the two prayerbooks. Forms of Prayer reshapes the meanings of the blessings by expanding upon and reworking the classical formulations, often keeping the opening and closing of the blessing intact; Mishkan Tefilah, in contrast, jettisons most of the traditional language in order to articulate requests, more fitting to its ideology. Both siddurim, despite their different liturgical strategies, are the Reform Movements' most Zionist to date. They are particularly focused on Israel, without negating the value of life in the Diaspora. They express a form of 'Liberal Religious Zionism' that calls for the moral growth rather than the physical repair of Israel. Both have taken a step back from their 1970s foregoers' embrace of the myth of Holocaust and Redemption; no longer completely confident of God's dominant hand in history, they express the need for human as well as divine agency in the betterment of the world. Both siddurim reflect values of individualism and spirituality; additional biblical allusions have been worked into the various blessings to expand their semantic possibilities, allowing any worshiper to configure them according to his or her own spiritual outlook.