Wrestling with an Angel: Power, Morality, and Jewish Identity

Wrestling with an Angel: Power, Morality, and Jewish Identity

by Ehud Luz, Michael Swirsky
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300092938

ISBN-13: 9780300092936

Pub. Date: 08/11/2003

Publisher: Yale University Press

By regaining for the Jewish people the capacity to deploy force, Zionism posed moral dilemmas for the Jews that for many generations, living in exile, they had not had to confront. The return to full political life and the use of military force involved a profound revolution in the Jewish identity and aroused deep and painful misgivings. This thought-provoking book…  See more details below

Overview

By regaining for the Jewish people the capacity to deploy force, Zionism posed moral dilemmas for the Jews that for many generations, living in exile, they had not had to confront. The return to full political life and the use of military force involved a profound revolution in the Jewish identity and aroused deep and painful misgivings. This thought-provoking book examines how the forging of a new moral stance on the use of force has affected Jewish identity in the Land of Israel and throughout the world. Drawing on historiography, philosophy, social commentary, ideological tracts, and belles lettres, Ehud Luz explores the ways that Zionist attitudes toward sovereignty were shaped by their Judaic heritage, in particular the prophetic literature and the halakhic (legal) tradition, which stressed the sanctity of human life and the strict prohibition against the shedding of innocent blood. Luz argues that despite secularization, Jewish tradition continues to influence the political life and national ethos of the Jews, and that the Jewish religious tradition is an important, sometimes even decisive factor in the way that political and cultural issues in Israel are resolved."This thoughtful and thought-provoking book, which has already sparked a very lively debate in Israel, is certainly timely in light of recent developments that suggest that the military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians may continue for a very long time."-David Biale, University of California, Davis

Author Biography: Ehud Luz is Professor of Jewish Thought at Haifa University.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300092936
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
08/11/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.99(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Identity and National Ethos1
1Power, Freedom, and Political Independence in Jewish Thought19
2Shame, Guilt, and Suffering in Jewish Culture until Modern Times29
3The Shame of Exile and the Zionist Recovery of Jewish Dignity42
4"The Remnant of Israel"66
5The Wager in Greenberg's The Ways of the River91
6Messianism and Realism103
7Criticism of the Idea of Sovereignty in Non-Zionist Thought115
8Sovereignty and Jewish Commitment after the Holocaust in the Thought of Emil Fackenheim, George Steiner, and Irving Greenberg142
9Sovereignty and Power in Zionist Debate during the Mandate Period165
10Reacting to Arab Terror198
11Halakha and Morality in Religious Zionism after the Six-Day War221
12Persecuted or Persecutor?238
13Challenging the Zionist Ethos247
Conclusion: Politics in Israel as a Test of Judaism274
Notes283
References315
Index339

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