Work as a Religious Value in Religious Zionism – Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn as a Case Study

Amir Mashiach

Abstract


Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn (1857-1935) was a religious Zionist thinker and one of the founders of the “Mizrachi” movement. The present article aims to trace his approach towards work: did he see work as a need, an obligation imposed upon the human being to sustain his household, or did he, perhaps, associate work with a religious value as an integral part of the theology which he steered by? The conclusion is that R. Hirschensohn's approach towards work is both a must for a livelihood and part of Jewish and national identity, to the point where Redemption itself depends upon it. Work is also part of religious Zionist theology, one of whose proponents and founders Chaim Hirschensohn was.

 


Keywords


Hirschensohn; Work; Redemption; Nationalism; Jewish identity; Productivity; Halakha; Theology; religious Zionism

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