What Does It Mean to Be a Zionist?

Join Summer Rabbinic Intern Josh Franklin at Lunch and Learn this week, to discuss: What Does It Mean to Be a Zionist? 

Review and continue last week’s discussion:  Zionism, the move toward a physical return of the Jewish people to a homeland, has resonated in the Jewish mind for thousands of years. In this past week’s Lunch and Learn on the origins of Zionism and early Zionist thinkers, we discussed the the common factors that united the ideologues who set the stage for the Zionist movement. We discussed four very different Zionist thinkers: Theodore Herzl, who wanted to establish a political state for the Jewish people; Ahad Ha’am, who believed that the settlement of Israel would lead to a Jewish cultural and spiritual revival; Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who sought to establish a powerful military force in order to colonize the land of Israel for the Jews; and Judah Magnes, who dedicated his vision to founding a bi-national state with the Arabs upon the values of peace, equality, and brotherhood. These thinkers were united in their belief that the plight of Jewish life in the Diaspora was flawed; the future of the Jewish people for them lay in the ingathering of Jews to a Jewish homeland, the ancient land that gave birth to the Jewish nation––Israel. While they shared a common goal, each of these thinkers arranged the priorities of the Jewish homeland that was to be founded differently. Essentially, they ordered the importance of the following values in their own way: The State for the Jews, the Jewish State, and a democracy.

How would your rank the following in order of importance: Israel as the State for the Jews; Israel as the Jewish State, Israel as the democracy in the Middle east?