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Cultural / Spiritual Zionism Debated (2016)

Contributor(s): Eugene Sheppard, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought, Brandeis University
Topics(s): Zionism and Nationalisms
Date: January 1, 2016

This SIIS faculty syllabus provides a comprehensive look at the history and debates of cultural and spiritual Zionism.


Essential Reading (Primary Sources)

 Arthur Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea : A Historical Analysis and Reader, (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1997), ISBN/ISSN: 0827606222

– Ahad Ha’am, “The Law of the Heart”; “Flesh and Spirit”; “The Jewish State and the Jewish Problem”; “Negation of Diaspora” pp. 249-277.

– Micah Joseph Berdichevski, “Wrecking and Building” “In Two Directions” “The Question of Culture” “The Question of Our Past” “On Sanctity” pp. 291-302

– Jacob Klatzkin, “Boundaries” pp. 315-327

– Martin Buber, “The Jew in the World” “Hebrew Humanism” “From an Open Letter to Mahatma Ghandi” pp. 450-466

Simon Rawidowicz
State of Israel, Diaspora, and Jewish Continuity
“Israel The Ever-Dying People” pp. 53-63
“Jerusalem and Babylon” pp. 229-239
ISBN/ISSN: 0874518466


Recommended Reading (Primary Sources)

Ahad Ha-am, “Truth from Eretz Yisrael (1891),” in The Origins of Israel, 1882-1948: A Documentary History, edited by Eran Kaplan and Derek J. Penslar (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), pp. 27-38.

Labor Zionism Revisited: A. D. Gordon’s Ecstatic Vision of Labor Zionism, in
Hertzberg. pp. 368-387.

Recommended Reading (Secondary Sources)

Michael Brenner, Zionism: A Brief History (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2003)
The Early History of Political Zionism pp. 3-22, An International Nationalism: The Topography of Early Zionism pp. 25-63
Early History of Political ZionismInternational Nationalism

Chaim Gans, The Limits of Nationalism (Cambridge University Press 2003)
Introduction and Chapter 1   Part1 Part2 Part 3 Part 4

Boaz Neumann, Land and Desire in Early Zionism
Schusterman Series in Israel Studies, Brandeis University Press 2011