The Theological Significance of Materiality in Religious Zionism – Rabbi Haim David Halevi as a Case Study

Amir Masciach


People of the Religious Zionist sector consist approximately 16% of the Jewish population in the state of Israel, as to 2018. Nevertheless, the measure of involvement of this sector in the Israeli society is far greater than its relative size. This sector views the Zionistideology as part of its religious identity. This is one of the major origins of its high social involvement.This article would like to examine the theological significance of materiality in religious Zionism, and it will concentrate in Rabbi Haim David Halevi as a Case Study. The slogan of Bnei Akiva, the religious Zionist youth movement, is "Torah va'avoda" (Torah and work). Therefore, it is important to understand whether work is just a means or contains theological significance.R. Halevi (1924-1998) was a religious Zionist thinker and adjudicator, and the author of many books. He served for decades as the Chief Rabbi of the cities Rishon Lezion Tel Aviv. The article shows that R. Halevi's attitude toward labor is ambivalent. On the one hand he thought that labor contains extremely important religious meanings, but on the other hand there are times that he declares that labor is just a means to provide ones physical needs. The article gives several explanations to understand these counteractions.


religious Zionism, work, Halakha, Rabbi Haim David Halevi, messianic era, redemption, Torah, strike.

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