Religious Violence and the Radical Settler Youth’s Quest for Authenticity

a must-read on religious Zionism, youth revolt and violent Romantic Religion.

Tomer Persico - English

There was in him a vital scorn of all:
As if the worst had fall’n which could befall,
He stood a stranger in this breathing world,
An erring spirit from another hurled …
So much he soar’d beyond, or sunk beneath
The men with whom he felt condemn’d to breathe.

These lines, from Lord Byron’s tragic poem “Lara” (1814), vividly convey the mood of the tormented Romantic genius. He stands alone on a frozen cliff, contemptuous of all he sees below: the bourgeois society with its provincial normality, the masses caught up in a daily struggle for a slightly larger slice of the pie, the whole civilized world with its games, its rules, its falsehoods. He, the genius, is alien to all that. He fell from a different world, yet is condemned to breathe the same air as the plebeians.

ByronLord Byron did not think it worthy of him to…

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to Religious Violence and the Radical Settler Youth’s Quest for Authenticity

  1. milx says:

    Much of this I agree with and thank you for sharing. I do have some quibbles though, or complications. Mirsky concludes his article by writing that the hilltop youth are not rebelling against their education but against their educators, that they are radicalizing “these teachings,” and through “their fundamentalist understanding of them” they “create an authentic Jewish existence for these individuals.” However this does not explain areas where their radicalization has drawn them into explicit rejection of these teachings. As far as I can tell there is no interpretation or leniency in the Torah for cutting down an enemy’s olive tree, and in fact, to the contrary there are explicit verses that ban the practice (Deut 20:19). And yet this has still become a part of תג מחיר. Surely it is not ignorance that leads hilltop youth to violate explicit verses of the Torah, but then what is it?

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