Pio­neers of Reli­gious Zion­ism: Rab­bis Alka­lai, Kalis­ch­er, Mohliv­er, Reines, Kook and Maimon

Ray­mond Goldwater
  • Review
By – August 26, 2011
This new book by a stal­wart of British Jew­ry is a con­sid­er­able down pay­ment on a debt of grat­i­tude to rab­bis Alakalai, Kalis­ch­er, Mohliv­er, Reines, Kook, and Mai­mon, the pro­tag­o­nists of Pio­neers of Reli­gious Zion­ism.With­out their fore­sight, per­se­ver­ance, and for­ti­tude in the face of adver­si­ty, the larg­er Zion­ist enter­prisemight have fal­tered and reli­gious Zion­ism would nev­er have seen the light of day. With the pub­li­ca­tion of Pio­neers, the essen­tial ingre­di­ents of the lives, thoughts, and deeds of these larg­er-than-life per­son­al­i­ties are acces­si­ble to a gen­er­al audi­ence. One could learn more of the his­tor­i­cal details from the Ency­clo­pe­dia of Zion­ism, and read more selec­tions from their writ­ings in The Zion­ist Idea, if not for Ray­mond Goldwater’s book, the exploits and accom­plish­ments of these erst­while giants would remain the sole prove­nance of musty ency­clo­pe­dias and schol­ar­ly tomes. The pub­lish­er is com­mend­ed for this fine addi­tion to a grow­ing shelf of mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary works of reli­gious inter­est, and cau­tioned to do a more thor­ough job of edit­ing future pub­li­ca­tions. Apart from sev­er­al fac­tu­al errors and numer­ous inde­ci­pher­able anno­ta­tions, the absence of an index severe­ly lim­its the use­ful­ness of the book as an edu­ca­tion­al resource.
Moshe Sokolow, Ph.D., is the Fanya Gottes­feld-Heller Pro­fes­sor of Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion at the Azrieli Grad­u­ate School, Yeshi­va University.

Discussion Questions