The Making of Modern Jewish Identity: Ideological Change and Religious Conversion

1st Edition

Motti Inbari

May 31, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 272 Pages
ISBN 9780367135959 - CAT# K409760
Series: Routledge Jewish Studies Series

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This book explores the process that led several modern Jewish leaders to make radical changes to their ideology regarding Zionism, Socialism, and Orthodoxy. The research compares their ideological change to acts of conversion, and examines the philosophical, sociological, and psychological path of their transformation.

The figures are the novelist Arthur Koestler, who transformed from a devout Communist to an anti-Communist crusader following the atrocities of the Stalin regime; Norman Podhoretz, who as the editor of Commentary Magazine moved from the New Left to a neo-Conservative, disillusioned by liberal politics in the US.; Issachar Shlomo Teichtel, who transformed from an ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist Hungarian rabbi to messianic Religious-Zionist due to the events of the Holocaust which he did not survive; Ruth Ben-David, who converted to Judaism after the Second World War in France because of her sympathy with Zionism and the fate of the Jews during the war, but eventually became a radical anti-Israeli advocate; Haim Herman Cohn, Israeli Supreme Court Justice, who grew up as a non-Zionist Orthodox Jew in Germany, but later renounced his belief in God due to the events of the Holocaust; and Avraham (Avrum) Burg, a prominent centrist Israeli politician who served as the Speaker of the Knesset and head of the Jewish Agency, but later became a post-Zionist.

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