Fundamentalism in Crisis—The Response of the Gush Emunim Rabbinical Authorities to the Theological Dilemmas

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. Mordechai (Motti) Inbari, Assistant Professor of Religion (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
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Abstract: In August 2005, Israel vacated the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip—mainly in Gush Katif—as well as four settlements in northern Samaria. This action, known as the “Disengagement,” constituted a profound crisis for a significant section of the Israeli population that is most closely identified with religious Zionism and with the settlement movement in the Territories. The crisis was not only on the national level, as the state destroyed communities that it had established and nurtured for decades, but also on the community level, as thousands of people were removed from their homes. The Disengagement also caused a religious crisis, testing the very foundation of the beliefs guiding the political and religious behavior for the population. Accordingly, the Disengagement provides a test case for the way in which the religious Zionist public as a whole faced this crisis of faith, and, more specifically, the manner in which the Halachic guides of this public—those responsible for shaping its religious behavior—responded to the crisis. This article examines the attitude of the rabbinical leadership of Gush Emunim (“Bloc of the Faithful”) toward the Disengagement and whether the political process led to any change in attitudes among these circles regarding the status and religious significance of the State of Israel as a secular Zionist nation.

Additional Information

Journal of Church and State Volume 49, Number 4
Language: English
Date: 2007
Israel, Zionism, The Disengagement, Jewish Settlements, Gaza Strip, Gush Katif, Samaria, Crisis of Faith, Rabbinical Leadership, Gush Emunim “Bloc of the Faithful”

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