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Hasidism and Religious-Zionism


Rabbi Ari Shvat

What is the Dati Leumi perspective on Hasidism?
Ideologically, there is a lot of overlap between Dati-Leumi and Hassidic thought. Both stress Ahavat Yisrael, that all Jews and the Land of Israel are inherently holy, and that there are many ways of serving God, also through work, and not just through Torah study. The Ba'al Shem Tov's quote: "No place is void of God", applies to the mundane, secular and national worlds as well, and is a basic tenet of religious Zionism. Accordingly, in the religious Zionist yeshivas there is plenty of study of Tanya, Breslav, Netivot Shalom, R. Tzadok, etc. Similarly, much of Rav Kook's writings are based upon kabbala and chassidut, harmonized with "misnagdic" thought, as well. Nevertheless, vice-versa, from their perspective, most Hassidim are still so steeped in the conservative mind-set of the exile and anti-modernism, and have been extensively politically and socially influenced by the Litvish haredim, that many don't yet realize how much they have in common ideologically, with the Dati-Leumi, but I'm told that this is gradually changing.
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