Original Research

Redemption, settlement and agriculture in the religious teachings of Hovevei Zion

Amir Mashiach
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6516 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6516 | © 2021 Amir Mashiach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 January 2021 | Published: 22 September 2021

About the author(s)

Amir Mashiach, The School of Education, Faculty of Art and Humanities, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel


Hovevei Zion is a collective name for several societies established in Eastern Europe in the 19th century, advocating immigration to the land of Israel, settlement of the land and agricultural work. This article examines the religious approach of several prominent thinkers from among Hovevei Zion and the First Aliya, who shared the perception of farming and settling the land as having religious and even messianic meaning. It was clear to them that the Torah is the foundation of the Jewish people’s existence, however, to this they added another value – work. These thinkers strived to change the identity of the exilic Jew, who was occupied only with spiritual religious life and to reinstate the identity of the biblical Jew, who combined a spiritual and a material religious life. The article examines the approach of Hovevei Zion in light of the general rabbinic approach to redemption, settlement and agriculture and the social changes in 19th century Europe.

Contribution: This article contributes to the journal’s multidisciplinary theological perspective, particularly the notion ‘historical thought’, which covers the textual and oral history and hermeneutical studies, narratives and philosophies behind the Abrahamic religions as expressed in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Rabbinic literature.


Hovevei Zion; work; Halakha; Rabbi Samuel Mohilever; redemption; Torah; First Aliya; Moses Hess


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Crossref Citations

1. The Heralds of Zionism as Theological Revolutionaries
Amir Mashiach
Religions  vol: 12  issue: 12  first page: 1100  year: 2021  
doi: 10.3390/rel12121100