Essay on After Auschwitz and The Jewish State: Rubenstein and Herzl

Essay on After Auschwitz and The Jewish State: Rubenstein and Herzl

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Rubenstein and Herzl viewed religion in very similar ways. Their major works, After Auschwitz and The Jewish State described their view of a place where Jews from around the world could gather and call home. They believed this society should be fundamentally based in secular law rather than religious doctrine. It was more important for them to live freely as a culturally Jewish society, rather than living as a religiously Jewish society. I would suggest that the definition of religion would be the belief of a God, or once God, and the worship of Him through religious practices. The distinction between this definition and a more standard definition, “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods” (Webster), is that they believed societal matters and personal freedom should be in the hands of the people rather than predetermined by an all powerful God.
The Jewish State was a book written by Herzl in 1895, which gave reasons for the Jewish population to move from Europe to either Argentina or Israel and make a new Jewish state of their own. Herzl thought the Jewish people had obtained a solid national identity but lacked a nation with a political system of their own. With their own Jewish State, the Jews could be free to practice their religion and culture without the fear of anti-Semitism. In The Jewish State he wrote. Herzl suggested a plan for political action in which they would acquire the Jewish State. He believed Jews trying to assimilate into European society were wasting their time, because the majority would always decide their role in society. As the anti-Semitism in Europe grew, it became clear that the only way to solve the Jewish problem would be to create their own Jewish sta...


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...us doctrines on its people. Rubenstein seemed like his idea for the Jewish state was founded upon Herzl’s ideas. He believed, like Herzl, that the Jewish state should be a place where there was a Jewish majority politically, but not necessarily religiously. He felt that the Jewish community needed to place more faith in themselves than in a religious doctrine by a God who had “presumably” abandoned them. Their definition of religion seemed to be how we connect to the spiritual world for moral guidance, but not a doctrine to conduct our daily lives.



Works Cited

Herzl, Theodor. The Jewish State. London: Penguin, 2010. Print.

Herzl [2], Theodor. Altneuland. Berlin, Wien: B. Harz, 1921. Print.

Rubenstein, Richard L. After Auschwitz: History, Theology, and Contemporary Judaism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1992. Print.

Webster Dictionary. N.p.: G & D., 1966. Print.

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