56 Pages

Collective Identity

One hundred years of modern Zionism and fifty years of the State of Israel provide convenient historical landmarks to reflect on the political return of the Jewish people to history. It was a vibrant collective memory that enabled this people to imagine that a national renaissance could be wrought from the legacy of an extraordinary march through time. The memory bank of the Jews meandered comfortably from Abraham to Moses, to David and Hillel - and from exile to homeland: it constituted the spiritual strength of an ancient people, which was compromised by contact with modernity and its assimilationist pull. The history of the Jews demanded a reconstruction to escape the dirn shadows of Diaspora life, its indignities and insecurities, on the way toward redirecting the path of Jewish his tory, in concrete ideological, geographical and political ways. Memory, in short, provided the Jewish people with the springboard for a return to history.