INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY, NATIONALISM AND UNIVERSALISM IN THE RELIGIOUS-ZIONIST THOUGHT OF RABBI MOSHE AVIGDOR AMIEL AND RABBI BEN-ZION MEIR HAI UZIEL
April 30, 2003 | Moshe Hellinger
Rabbi Amiel and Rabbi Uziel were outstanding Torah scholars of the twentieth century identified with religious Zionism. Both were universalistic thinkers. Yet while Rabbi Uziel emphasized humanistic Jewish nationalism as a part of the universalistic whole, Rabbi Amiel saw the combination between spiritual individualism and universalism as the core identity, according to the Torah. Rabbi Amiel was a strong critic of all the ideological trends of his day: capitalism and socialism, secular Zionism, and anti-Zionism. Even his own movement fell under his harsh judgment. In contrast, Rabbi UzieVs important contribution was his positive outlook on issues such as the status of women, the authority of the Israeli secular parliament, and the like. Their vision was of a religious Zionism that sees deep commitment to Torah as a basis for creating a just society for everyone.