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Athens in JerusalemClassical Antiquity and Hellenism in the Making of the Modern Secular Jew$
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Yaacov Shavit

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774259

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774259.001.0001

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The People and its Land: Country, Landscape, and Culture

The People and its Land: Country, Landscape, and Culture

(p.403) 14 The People and its Land: Country, Landscape, and Culture
Athens in Jerusalem

Yaacov Shavit

, Chaya Naor, Niki Werner
Liverpool University Press

This chapter argues that modern Jewish nationalism was not only a return to history, or a rediscovery of the people and the nation, but also a return to geography, or rather to the natural native geography. According to the historical perception of the Zionist idea, the Jewish people had been uprooted from its natural geographical environment and had lived ever since in different surroundings. In the Diaspora, the Jewish people adapted itself to the changing patterns of the ‘host civilizations’ and to the different natural environments, but nowhere did it develop a ‘natural’ attachment to the land and to its landscape. This Jewish alienation from Nature became a major theme in the Haskalah literature. In contrast, one of the main motifs in the literature of the national revival movement was the return to the soil and to the land, and, as an almost inevitable conclusion, the return to the natural homeland of the Jewish people: Palestine (Eretz Yisrael).

Keywords:   modern Jewish nationalism, natural native geography, Zionism, host civilizations, native landscapes, national revival movement, natural homeland

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