גרות, גלות וריבונות: עיונים בעקבות המסורת המקראית

Translated title of the contribution: Exile, Strangers, and Sovereignty: Reflections on the Biblical Tradition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Over the centuries, Jewish thought has proposed two dichotomous answers to the question of the connection between the people of Israel and their land. According to one approach, the Land of Israel is the natural location of the Jewish people. According to another approach, which has gained wide resonance in modern thought, the Jewish people are essentially non-territorial. Their mission is to live in exile, outside the Land of Israel. Both these approaches seek to anchor their view in the biblical tradition. In this article, I attempt to shed light on the biblical thought dealing with this issue. The analysis offers a new perspective for discussing the meaning of exile in Jewish tradition, which is opposed to trends in modern Jewish thought on the one hand, and to the classical tradition on the other. My central claim rests on the biblical distinction between the exile and the stranger (ger). Exile is life outside the Land of Israel, and negative value attaches to it in biblical thought — the sins of the people led to it. The experience of exile strengthens the longing and the yearning for the Land of Israel, which is where the Jewish people should live. The ger concept in the Bible generally relates to aliens and points to their legal status. And yet, it is ascribed also to the Jewish people. In this use, it does not denote a legal status but traces the contours of an ideal pattern of existence: to be in one's home but to live through the not-at-home experience. This is a required experience for the people of Israel, constitutive of their identity, which essentially implies a denial of the consciousness of sovereignty. It creates a new human standing in the world and enables the development of new attachments to the territorial space, to God, and to the Other, dictating a unique perception of the home space. The Bible holds that a person's home, as well as God's home, are open spaces, as represented by the open doors conveying the relationship between the owner and the Other. This analysis entails moral and political implications, some of which are suggested in the Bible itself.
Translated title of the contributionExile, Strangers, and Sovereignty: Reflections on the Biblical Tradition
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)219-275
Number of pages57
Journalתרבות דמוקרטית
Volume16
StatePublished - 2015

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Aggada
  • Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Conversion -- Judaism
  • Eretz Israel -- In Judaism
  • Jewish diaspora
  • Jewish philosophy, Modern
  • Jews -- Migrations
  • Sovereignty
  • ארץ-ישראל ביהדות
  • גולה
  • גיור
  • הגירה -- יהודים
  • ספרות חז"ל
  • פילוסופיה יהודית מודרנית
  • פרשנות המקרא
  • ריבונות

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