The Settlers’ Spiritual Fathers
Today, as Israelis vote, the religious Zionist theology of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and his son looms large
Israeli voters go to the polls today to elect the next Knesset. Regardless of the outcome, undoubtedly the biggest story of the campaign season has been the rise of Naftali Bennett, a rookie politician who, against the odds, helped religious Zionism grow from a strong but discombobulated movement into an electoral powerhouse. This ideology, increasingly embraced by mainstream, secular Israelis, has its roots in the thinking of two influential rabbis: Abraham Isaac Kook and his son, Zvi Yehuda.
Tablet Magazine’s Liel Leibovitz speaks to Rabbi Shai Held, co-founder and dean of Mechon Hadar, an egalitarian yeshiva in New York, about the Kooks, the history of the religious Zionist movement, and why it is such a force in Israeli politics and culture today. [Running time:39:20.]
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