zionism- Greenberg

analytical Essay
1532 words
1532 words

Response to Myth and Metaphor

It is not irrelevant nor is it fair to respond to the mirage of childish bickering that just frustrated the last half hour of my day without mentioning the more than obvious biases of the writers involved in their respective fields. Harold Fisch, a professor of English Literature at Leeds University and soon after at Bar-Ilan University, writes a detailed analysis of what he refers to as the Myth and Metaphor of the various approaches to Zionism in his book titled The Zionist Revolution. In this analysis Fisch attempts to break down several approaches to the myth and metaphor of Zionism to give the reader a sense of broader knowledge and a feeling that the field is generally covered in this article. He inevitably presents forth the opinion that he holds of highest regard last and most obviously, due to his literary nature, third in line after those of Aaron David Gordon and HaRav Avraham Yizchak Hakohen Kook respectively.
The problem with Fisch’s analysis of Gordon and his metaphor of Zionism is that the passages that he selected to quote do not at all confine themselves to the commentary he addressed to them. In this selected passage Gordon speaks of;

“a living organism which performs its various functions naturally…..our natural soil from which we have been uprooted…..The heart of our people is here…for here is the mainspring of our life…..Here something is beginning to flower…Here is the force attracting all the scattered cells of the people to unite into one living national organism”(pg. 56).

Fisch’s misplaced claim comes directly following this quote when he claims that Gordon desires “a kind of new religion to replace the old religion of Judaism”. Fisch continues on the following page and claims that the religion he speaks of is “one distinct from that of the Law and the prophets. From the biblical point of view we may say that we have here a resurgence of something like the worship of the Bealim, the gods of the earth”. From the passage presented by Fisch we don’t see any such existence. Gordon, like Rav Kook, and many other contemporaries in this field, is devoted to the ideals of restoration to our roots and the “mystical” future that the Holy Land holds for its people when they will return to her. This concept is very much a part of the Jewish religion and can be seen in the well know verse “Return to me and I will return to you”, referring to G-d’s promise to his people that he will return to them once they take the initiative to return to him.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how fisch questions gordon's belief system, stating that he believes that "divine inspiration flows into us when we become part of the cosmic life of nature."
  • Explains rabbi kook's remarkably pacific attitude towards the deep divisions within zionism in his time, in particular between the religious and the militantly secular elements.
  • Analyzes harold fisch's analysis of the myth and metaphor of zionism in his book titled the zionist revolution.
  • Explains that fisch's mistake is that he drastically underestimates rav kook’s understanding of evil and its’ prevalent status in this world.
  • Analyzes how fisch fails to recognize the threat posed by the secular zionists in his book, the letters of rav kook.
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