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Religious Zionism

Perhaps one of the oldest forms of Zionism, religious Zionism aimed for both a heavenly and national redemption for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. The most prominent early figure was Rav Kook, who accepted the secular Zionist movement and articulated the Jewish people's religious yearning for a revitalized homeland. After Israel's creation, the religious Zionist discourse shifted to debates about the Jewish character of the state of Israel. Religious Zionists also focus on settling biblical lands under Israeli control.

Rabbi Kook traveled to the land of Israel in 1904 to serve as the Rabbi in Yaffa. He brought Torah and Halakhah to the secular Zionist agricultural settlement for which he was responsible. Eventually, he would become the first Chief Rabbi of the land. He believed "Jews could only fulfill all the mitzvot, commandments, in the homeland." Seeing the political state as the pathway to mystical salvation, religious Zionists accepted their secular allies. Rabbi Kook passed away in 1935.

Sources: “The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow” by Gil Troy
Religious Zionism (jewishvirtuallibrary.org)

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