Founding myths and heroic icons: Reflections on the funerals of Theodor Herzl and Hannah Szenes

Judith Tydor Baumel

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article concentrates upon the role of founding myths, family tableaux, and national icons, and the development of the idea of a gendered founding figure or founding family in new and emerging nations. The case study examined is that of Israel, where I explore this process through a deconstruction of the State and Military funerals of two Zionist icons reinterred in Israel - Theodor Herzl and Hannah Szenes - soon after the founding of the State. The article discusses the process by which a binary founding family, with Herzl representing the parents' generation and Szenes representing the children's generation, is formed. This is done through an analysis of the development of a national pantheon, national sacred space, mass participation in funeral rites, manipulation of performative commemoration, and eulogies by national figures to project national values through gendered Zionist icons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-695
Number of pages17
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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