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Bidding Information
Lot #    29216
Auction End Date    1/25/2011 12:25:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Group of documents announcing the fourth
Title (Hebrew)    Kenesiyyah ha-Gedolah
Author    [Religious Zionism]
City    Jerusalem
Publisher    Agudat Israel
Publication Date    1954
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [5] pp., various sizes, light age staining, creased on folds.
   Group of documents announcing the fourth Kenesiyyah ha-Gedolah ("Great Assembly") in Jerusalem on June 29, 1954. Agudat Israel was created partly by groups who consistently opposed any attempt to revive Jewish nationhood in Erez Israel through human agency. This they compared with a rebellious attempt by a disbanded regiment to resume its identity and hoist its banner without the express permission of its commander. The secularist elements in the nascent Hebrew culture added to Agudist resentment of Zionism. The zaddikim of Eastern Europe (Hasidism) regarded the influence of Zionism on the youth, and its negative revolutionary view of Diaspora existence, as religiously and socially destructive. Agudat Israel, therefore, maintained an ambivalent attitude toward renewed settlement in Erez Israel, mainly because of its opposition to the Zionist movement. The Agudists resented the cooperation of religious with non-religious Jews within the Zionist movement on the basis of national unity, and unequivocally resisted the creation of a secular Jewish society in the Holy Land. Most Agudists considered that the way of life and culture gradually taking shape in the modern settlements in Erez Israel, and propagated by Zionist educational and cultural activities, were subverting and destroying the only true Jewish way of life, upheld by religious families and communities in the Diaspora. The revival of Hebrew as a secular language seemed a sacrilege. With regard to sponsoring independent settlement in Erez Israel, Agudists were already divided at the Kattowitz conference. Gradually, however, there emerged an opinion which after the Holocaust apparently became the ideological basis of the organization in Israel. Erez Israel should figure at the center of their program, which should, according to the Agudist leader Dr. Isaac Breuer , aim at "uniting all the people of Israel under the rule of the Torah, in all aspects of political, economic, and spiritual life of the People of Israel in the Land of Israel."

The constituents of Agudat Israel were united in their aim to reestablish the authority of the prominent rabbis as the supreme institution of Jewry. This was a basic ideal, even if views were divided on the qualifications for leadership. German members considered secular academic qualifications acceptable, while Eastern European members demanded exclusively rabbinical qualifications. However, the agreement on the overall objective, to give expression to rabbinical authority on all matters, was reflected in the structure and central institutions of the new party, providing them with a unique pattern.

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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
Other:    Zionism
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew, English, Yiddish
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica