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September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
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Yelena Bonner: It is About Israel

Dr. Yelena Bonner

Dr. Yelena Bonner

Later, pediatrician, humanist, author ( Alone Together [Knopf 1987]; Mothers and Daughters [Knopf 1992]) and mother, Dr. Yelena Bonner, who had divided her life between Moscow and the U.S., home to her two children, five grandchildren, and one great grandson, still found the stamina and time to travel to Oslo to deliver a speech in defense of Israel and the Jews.

Two years later she died but her words, loud and clear, live on.

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One Response to “Yelena Bonner: It is About Israel”

  1. Matt McLaughlin says:

    Yakov M Rabkin
    Open forum: Yakov M Rabkin argues that Jewish rejection of the Jewish state should be taken seriously

    It may seem surprising that, while the state of Israel has become a vibrant economy, a for-midable military power, and a beacon of Western democracy in the Middle East, Jewish religious opposition to Zionism has refused to vanish. Such antipathy deliberately ignores all these achievements and focuses on something quite different: how Zionism and the state of Israel have transformed what it means to be a Jew.

    The transformation of a community bound together by a commitment to the Torah into a nation committed to a state is the main reason for the enduring Judaic opposition to Zionism.

    Both Zionists and their adversaries agree that Zionism’s success consummated the sharp break in Jewish history begun with the emancipation and the secularisation of the Jews of Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Zionism spread among Jews who rejected religion and promoted a secular Jewish identity. A striking example of how Jewish nationalism came to be a substitute for Judaism was the call issued in 1923 by a young Jew to Vladimir Jabotinsky, the Russian Zionist leader: “Our life is dull and our hearts are empty, for there is no God in our midst; give us a God, sir, worthy of dedication and sacrifice, and you will see what we can do.”

    It is thus natural that most serious opposition to Zionism has come from those who see the Zionist identity as a revolt against Judaism. When Zionism began to take root at the turn of the 20th century, most rabbinic authorities saw it as a dangerous tool to tear the Jews away from Torah and its commandments. Numerically, Judaic opposition to Zionism may seem negligible, but Jewish history shows that rigorous mi-norities tend to become triumphant majorities.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/yelena-bonner-it-is-about-israel/2013/12/13/

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