The story of Kfar Etzion in Israel’s War of Independence represents the constitutive heroic myth of the religious-Zionist community. No other event in the history of religious Zionism has grown to such mythical magnitude and had had such immense impact on the national-religious community in Israel as the story of Kfar Etzion. The article traces the origins and development of the myth and explains its central status in the ethos of religious-Zionist heroism. It explains the construction of the myth and its inculcation in the religious-Zionist Movement, and shows the close link between myth-making, memory, and the politics of the commemoration and historiography of the War of Independence. In presenting the elements of the Kfar Etzion myth within the religious value system, I show that it is not only a story of Zionist heroism, but primarily one that seeks to be a link in the historical chain of Jewish heroism and a core story in religious-Zionist history.


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pp. 132-156
Launched on MUSE
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