A New York Times commentary piece titled:
So they still exist! Last I read about them was in Chaim Potok’s novel, The Chosen.
Until Theodore Herzl created the modern Zionist movement early in the 20th century, the biblical injunction to return to Israel was widely understood as a theological construct rather than a pragmatic instruction.
Most Orthodox Jewish leaders before the Holocaust rejected Zionism, saying the exile was a divine punishment and Israel could be restored only in the messianic age. The Reform movement maintained that Judaism is a religion, not a nationality.
“This country is our Palestine,” a Reform rabbi in Charleston, S.C., put it in 1841, “this city our Jerusalem, this house of God our temple.” The Reform movement’s 1885 platform dismissed a “return to Palestine” as a relic akin to animal sacrifice.
Only when the Reform leadership, on the eve of World War II, reversed course did its anti-Zionist faction break away, ultimately forming the council in 1942. Its discourse was simultaneously idealistic and contemptuous — a proposed curriculum in 1952 described Zionism as racist, self-segregated and non-American . . . . .
If you enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Vridar. Thanks!