By Yaacov Yadgar

Universal discourse on Jewish identification in Israel is ruled through the view that Jewish Israelis can, and will, be both spiritual or secular. relocating clear of this traditional framework, this booklet examines the function of secularism and faith in Jewish society and politics. With a spotlight at the ‘traditionists’ (masortim) who contain over a 3rd of the Jewish-Israeli inhabitants, the writer examines problems with faith, culture and secularism in Israel, giving a clean method of the widening theoretical dialogue in regards to the thesis of secularisation and modernity and exploring the broader implications of this identification. Yadgar’s conclusions have major social, cultural and political implications, serving not just as a brand new contribution to the tutorial discourse on Jewish-Israeli id, yet as a platform upon which traditionist positions on imperative problems with Israeli politics could be heard. supplying an in depth research right into a relevant and critical Jewish-Israeli identification build, the publication is proper not just to the learn of Jewish id in Israel but in addition in the wider social-theoretical problems with faith, culture, modernity and secularization. The e-book might be of serious curiosity to scholars of Israeli society and to an individual having a look into the problems of Jewish id, Israeli nationalism and ethnicity, faith and politics in Israel, and the sociology of faith.

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Extra info for Secularism and Religion in Jewish-Israeli Politics: Traditionists and Modernity (Israeli History, Politics and Society)

Example text

According to this conception: Tradition is the modus vivendi of a society insofar as it is understood as congruent and continuous with the past; it is the “cumulative tradition”6 peculiar to any community, large or small . . In this collective sense, “tradition” is the sum of a society’s specific “traditions”. 7 Graham explains that the term “traditional society” is applicable to any society, in any age, be it “modern” or “pre-modern”, in which most members see their way of life as rooted in the past and as a direct extension of it, deeming this continuity to be virtuous and valuable, “even while newer values may openly compete for authority in the society”.

Traditionalism also assumes that people living in a traditional culture are not reflective. They live spontaneously, since individuals become reflective only when they face choice and need to decide. The decline in the power of tradition forces reflectivity. In this new reality, people must ask themselves what do they truly know and what do they only think they know, unlike the situation when tradition is dominant. (Sagi 2008, 9) One might prefer to describe those who adhere to the ultra-conservative, orthodox (= traditionalist) option as choosing to consciously relinquish their freedom of choice to the vague yet authoritative notion of “tradition” – most especially into the hands of its qualified interpreters.

In short, any discussion of traditionism forces us to rise above binary preconceptions of “modernity” versus “pre-modernity” and “tradition” versus “innovation”, “change”, etc. Most importantly, traditionism does not see a fundamental divide or rupture in existence between “modern” man and society, on the one hand, and their past and traditions, on the other. It can indeed be said that, generally speaking, those traditionists with whom we have conducted interviews do not see themselves as attempting to overcome a rupture between themselves, or their immediate surrounding culture, and tradition.

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