To Become a Nation of “Jewish Culture”
This chapter explains the book's central foci—the ways in which Zionism's vision of a new Hebrew nation was translated into the concrete institutions, practices, and rituals that generated a national entity in Palestine. This is placed within the context of the existing literature on the history of Zionism and the Jewish community of Palestine and is framed in terms of the implications of this study for understanding nationalism, secularization, and Jewish modernity. In this context, the chapter sets out the three principal areas in which the book seeks to shed new light. These include chronology (an earlier dating of the formative years to the prewar decade); the relationship between the new Hebrew culture of Palestine and traditional Jewish cultures; and a thicker description of what that culture entailed, based in a methodology that incorporates discourse and imagery with praxis and ritual.
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