pg 316 – In itself the desire to reform Jews’ identity and culture was not
new to Jewish society. Under the impact of the Enlightenment, Jewish
society in Europe was engaged in debating these issues, and Zionism
grew out of the disillusionment with the future of European Jewry.
Jews’ return to their homeland was seen as the means to recover Jewish
national identity and reclaim their roots as a nation that has its own
territory, culture, and organizational structure. Although Zionist Jews
shared the sense of an acute need to introduce a profound change in
Jewish history, they did not necessarily have a unified vision of their
fiiture society, and their diverse social, political, and religious views
thus resulted in alternative configurations.
pg 317 – (why the holocaust was adopted into the relgion as a way of including the surviors into a newly unknown of israel) … but they were also Europeans who arrived at an unfamiliar environment with an unfamiliar landscape, living conditions, and local population. This duality led them to struggle with the challenge of locating their position between East and West and creating a coherent national identity that would articulate
Jews’ roots in both. Zionism drew on Jews’ centuries-long attachment to Zion. Jews expressed their yearning to the East in liturgy and poetry, and European Jews prayed facing East, in the direction of Jerusalem. Jews’ perception of the Land of Israel drew on centuries of European reimagining of the Holy Land and the biblical past.
pg 329 – In a society that placed such a high value on the transformation fi-om the
effeminate, uprooted exilic Jew to a fearless and deeply rooted native
Hebrew, any signs of success in moving away from the negative impact of
exile generated a sense of achievement. The new hybrid forms served as
a means to outwardly perform the determination to dissociate from the
memory of exile and its culture and reconnect with an earlier memory
associated with an ancient native identity. Although this cultural
trend was limited in scope, it has become part of contemporary Israeli
memory of the Yishuv period.