Zionism was a matter that Orthodox rabbis sermonized in the 1920s and 1930s

In one area especially, Judaic beliefs and contemporary events intersected—Zionism. Nearly every Orthodox rabbi of the interwar years spoke frequently and (to the extent emotion may be read into or out of a text) passionately about Palestine. Unlike non-Orthodox rabbis, they did not speak about Zion as an idealistic endeavor or as a colonization venture or as a philanthropic enterprise or a national revival; they saw it as a “reassertion of Jewish fidelity to Judaism,” a renewed effort to fulfill God’s promise, what Leo Jung called “the mitzvah of yishuv eretz yisrael”; as a Bronx rabbi, Noah Garfinkel, put it, “the Balfour Declaration [1917] was the call of the Messiah!” Orthodox rabbis took literally—as did so many post-1967 Jewish settlers in the Israeli Territories—God’s promise of Zion as an inheritance to Abraham and his descendants in the Torah and the demand upon Jews in Palestine to live a life in observance of the commandments of this Scripture.

Marc Lee Raphael, The Synagogue in America: A Short History (New York & London: New York University Press, 2011), 90.

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