The Religious Basis for Zionism

After reading Brandon’s post on the historical context for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict I was inspired to pen something similar, but distinct, on the same topic. Namely, the religious basis for Zionism.

I’ll start with a short textual primer. Religious Jews use a variety of prayerbooks, or siddurim, but the basic content of all of them remains the same: Shacharit, or morning prayers, Minchah, or afternoon prayers, Maariv, or evening prayers, Kabbalat Shabbat, or “welcoming the Shabbat” (Sabbath), and if the siddur is full size, a variety of other prayers for religious holidays and festivals, explanatory bits about various prayers and songs, how to don the tallit (prayer shawl) or tefillin (phylacteries, little black boxes containing verses from the Torah). A cursory look through this book will reveal the various emphases the ancient authors placed on aspects of belief, and it reflects a decidedly post-Second Temple Judaic outlook.

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