Judaism Essay

Judaism Essay

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Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. This is the Shema, perhaps the most important prayer in Judaism, in which God tells the Jewish people to take Him into their hearts. It is important to know this, as this idea of Israelites and Israel as a holy place to Judaism becomes religious justification for Jewish settlement in Palestine. How something like a "simple" prayer become so complicated? How does a religion become a nation, a race? What is justified in the name of religion – is it war, terror, colonization? In the Israeli novel Khirbet Khizeh, by S. Yizhar, the issues of Zionism and colonization are discussed through the raw description of a platoon's mission to remove Palestinians from their village. It is an emotional and poetic novel describing what seems at first to be simple: making sure that Palestinian settlements are evacuated, but it becomes so much more complicated as human faces and feelings are added to the narrator's conscience. By retelling of the Palestinian expulsion during the Arab-Israeli War, Yizhar expresses the human pain and ceaseless consequences of creating a settlement on another’s land in the name of nationalism.
Yizhar shows the Zionist rhetoric through the combat soldiers, but through this recognition of Zionist reasoning, he questions the rights of the Zionists to takeover Arab villages-and for that matter, all of Palestine-to create a Jewish nation. Modern Zionism has roots from 1850 until the present day, and the ideals of Zionism emerged as secular nationalism and Anti-Semitism in Europe, in particular Eastern Europe, increased. The principles of Zionism differ from one Zionist extreme to another, but the main uniting fac...


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...us times in previous history. Palestinians were left without a home, and “with the dispersion, the Palestinian question became one of the refugees, to be handled by the Arab states” (Smith 205) as a result of Jewish nationalism.
The Arab-Israeli War was a war which removed thousands from their homes to create room for a new nation, and the consequences are very real in Palestinian, Israeli, and Arab lives today. The issues surrounding it remain major points of debate and contention in politics today, as any observer could see from a glance at a news station or newspaper. There were many accounts of the creation of the state, and Yitzir attempts to create a more complex picture of the Palestinian expulsion. The Jewish state was created on May 14, 1948, whether people “believed” in the state’s right to exist-or not-and it is a powerful force.








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