Without question, the underlying key element of the Zionistic movement is the survival of Jewish people. This concept raises the controversial issue of why do we find it so vital to preserve Judaism. While the general consensus is that the Jews are the chosen people, a divided opinion still exists. One side argues that the Jews must always preserve religious tradition and holiness, while the other side maintains that the Jewish people must preserve their identity and uniqueness as a nation.(Beit-Hallahmi, 58) Despite the national bond that the Jewish people have felt for eternity, the Zionistic movement endured a severe cultural debate, which may even exist in today's society.
It is clear that although both Ahad Ha'am and Theodor Herzl shared the common goal of restoring the loss of Jewish identity, their Zionist ideologies and methodologies differed greatly.
Herzl felt that the loss of Jewish identity was due to the fact that they did not have a homeland to call their own, while Ha'am felt that it was due to the lack of Jewish cultural knowledge and appreciation of values.
Herzl began taking political action, while Ha'am devoted his energies into encouraging Jewish education and a spreading of culture. As well, each leading figure left behind a unique legacy and impact on generations to come.
The ideologies of Theodor Herzl and Ahad Ha'am differed greatly on the topic of a Jewish state, and the solution to restoring a lost identity. In The Jewish Question, an essay written by Herzl, he expresses his concern regarding the anti-Semitism and persecution that the Jews faced, no matter how many there were or the country they inhabited (200). Yet Herzl made his strongest argument quite clear - the lack of a Jewish homeland aroused persecution and anti-Semitism, as it differentiated the Jewish people and...