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Past and Present

Nathan Rotenstreich

Publication Year: 2007

Traces the dialectical connections between Zionism’s past and present. In Zionism, the late Nathan Rotenstreich traces the dialectical connections between Zionism’s past and present based on his contention that the Jewish nation comprises both the State of Israel and the Diaspora. He also addresses relations between both Israel and the Diaspora, on the one hand, and Israel and the Arab world, on the other. Written a short time before Rotenstreich’s death, Zionism can be regarded as his spiritual and ideological legacy.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Jewish Philosophy

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pp. vii

The present book was written by my father, Nathan Rotenstreich, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The manuscript was left in his literary estate, and the Rotenstreich Foundation, established for taking care of the vast literary estate he left behind, was engaged in the effort of bringing it to press. Most of this literary estate ...

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An “Inside Intellectual”:Remarks on the Public Thought of Nathan Rotenstreich

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pp. 1-45

The essence of Nathan Rotenstreich’s career may be adduced from an incident that took place in his early adulthood. In 1932, at the age of eighteen, he moved to Palestine. Rotenstreich was a member of the Socialist-Zionist youth movement Gordonia—a member of one of the first groups in the movement—and a faithful adherent of the halutsic (Zionist pioneering) ideology that the movement encouraged. ...

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1. Return and Modernity

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pp. 47-60

The special relationship between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel was conceived in the traditional religious context as a relation based on promise, destiny and the overcoming of the exile. The first two components have a clear religious connection, referring as they do to the particular relation between the people and the divine. Promise can be ...

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2. Activity and the Present

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pp. 61-72

Zionism, both as an ideological setting and as a movement, brought about the existence of the State of Israel. Every national movement is ideological, since it aspires to establish a political framework, taking the shape of the state, which in turn is meant to be an organized manifestation of a national aspiration: a social aspiration is, by definition, aimed at an ideological goal. ...

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3. Aspects of Renaissance

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pp. 73-85

In chapter 1 we dealt with the notion of return, identifying it as one of the essential components of modern Zionism. In this context, return may have the topographical or geographical connotation of coming back to the land, specifically to the Land of Israel. Relation to land as part of space is a constant component of human or historical behavior, though the term “coming ...

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4. The Negation of the Diaspora

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pp. 87-99

The “negation of the Diaspora” has an evaluative, not a factual meaning, that is, it is not the existence of the Diaspora that is negated (in some ideological trends), but the position of the Diaspora as the Jewish mode of life. That negative evaluation is meant to serve as a stimulus toward an ideological formulation circumscribing Jewish reality. By the same ...

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5. The Values of Israeli Society

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pp. 101-114

We have considered several aspects of Zionism, both the historical trends and the ideological commitment. The establishment of Israel is a realization of Zionism in its various components. Reality as realization has an impact on the underlying ideology. That impact must be considered also from the perspective of the values of Israeli society. Values belong more to ...

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6. Toward a Reformulation of Zionist Ideology

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pp. 115-126

The previous chapters were concerned with an analysis of some trends inherent in Zionism. We now turn to the major issue of contemporary Zionism for which the essential point is its reformulation. ...

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pp. 127-131

This volume is obviously a torso, and had Nathan Rotenstreich lived to see the last few years’ developments in Israel and the Middle East, he would certainly have addressed the intellectual consequences of the three most dramatic events of the period: the opportunity for a historical compromise between Israelis and Palestinians heralded by the Oslo accords, the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by an anti-Oslo ...

Nathan Rotenstreichon Issues Relating to the Holocaust

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pp. 133

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pp. 135-136

The impact of the Holocaust on Jewish history at large and on Zionism in particular has been a subject of great interest. Nathan Rotenstreich discussed this issue in a postscript to the volume: The Holocaust as Historical Experience, which he edited with Professor Yehuda Bauer (Holmes & Meier, 1981): ...

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The Individual and Personal Responsibility

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pp. 137-153

The question of the personal responsibility of a certain individual, says John Doe, concerning acts that were done by a group of individuals, a society, a people, or a state—necessarily arose in and around the proceedings of the Eichmann Trial. It arose in circles of those who are interested in such questions, and in circles of political and moral thinkers, who wish to establish principles concerning the behavior of the individual and his position. ...

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The Holocaust as a Unique Historical Event

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pp. 155-164

... Professor Pulzer is right to distinguish two approaches to the way the historical present relates to the historical past: that of Ranke who advocates accounting for the past from its own sources and its own perspective and that of Croce who emphasizes the involvement of the present in the past and of the past in the present. Croce’s view, that all history is contemporary history, formally states that there are thematic ...


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pp. 165-170

E-ISBN-13: 9780791479759
E-ISBN-10: 0791479757
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791471753
Print-ISBN-10: 0791471756

Page Count: 178
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: SUNY series in Jewish Philosophy