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A Zionist Primer

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Pages: 78

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Sundel Doniger

Excerpt from book: THE FORERUNNERS OF ZIONISM. by Lotta Levensohn Zionism is very young, as time is reckoned in great movements. Despite its youth, Zionism has roots deeply imbedded in the historic beginnings of Jewish life and thought. What is now known as the Zionist movement came into being in 1897, when Theodore Herzl published his "Judenstaat" (Jewish State). Essentially, however, Zionism is an outgrowth of the Messianic ideal, which is an integral part of the national consciousness of the Jewish people. Through long centuries of persecution, the Jewish people was sustained by its invincible faith in a God-sent deliverer to lead the return to Palestine. The hope of the coming of the Messiah, as much as any other factor, has saved the Jewish people alive to this day. THE PROPHETS. The Messiah and the Messianic era loom large in the books of the Prophets of Israel. The Prophets foretold an heroic deliverer, the model of the righteous king and judge, to spring from the line of David, and appear at the end of days. The Prophetic descriptions of the Messianic era are instinct with faith in the potentialities of human nature when it reaches out toward God. Then, oppression and warfare shall no more be known, and all the peoples will come to worship in the mount of the Lord. Jewish religious thought is unique in its insistence that the Golden Age of humanity does not lie in the past, but in the future. For the full divinity of mankind is still to be unfolded. The whole Jewish people, from generation to generation, is consecrated to ideal aims that require the participation of every Jew—that is the burden of the teaching of the Prophets and the sages of Israel. The Jewish people stands for ideals of democracy, of just dealing between man and man, of righteousness between nation and na...  

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