Page 85 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 31

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81
MORRIS / HAYYIM HAZAZ
Z IO N ISM A N D M E SS IAN IC JU D A ISM
The
H a lu tz im
stories presented Zionism as deriving from the tra-
ditional belief in redemption, but eliminating its supernatural
aspects; the Zionists work for Jewish regeneration now. In stories
like “Hagilgul,” “Huppah ve-Tabaat,” and in the novels
H ayo
־
sh ev e t Bagan im
and
Ya’ish
,
Hazaz expounded upon the conflicts
of Zionism and Messianic Judaism. He indicates that Zionism
must supplant the influence of the Messianic concept so that the
Jewish people will labor diligently to preserve themselves. He
did not propose Zionism as the panacea. Redemption does not
come automatically even in the land of Israel. “Drabkin,” “Met
Mitzvah,” “Hageveret Paz,” “Galgal Hozer,” and “Ofek Natuy,”
are among the stories which illustrate and criticize what Hazaz
considered Zionism’s shortcoming: its materialism, bureaucracy,
vestigial apathy, lack of humanism, parochial nationalism, and
indifference toward the individual.
Hazaz dealt with the enormous problems of the Jews who immi-
grated, and he illustrated in a variety of stories the difficulties of
uniting the Jews of the East and the West. In
H a yo sh eve t Baga-
n im ,
“Ofek Natuy,” and
B eko la r Ehad ,
he attempts to show the
possibilities of a solution. He delineates the qualities of each
group which could complement the weaknesses of the other, and
he proposes that dedication to the land (
h a lu tz iyu t
) would aid
in acculturation and national unification. Unfortunately, he was
not always as convincing as he would have liked to be.
B eko la r Ehad ,
Hazaz’s last novel, seems to summarize his
thoughts about redemption. The two boys, representing East and
West, sacrificing their lives for the establishment of the Jewish
State, epitomize Hazaz’s formula for attaining redemption. It
requires national unification, humanism, activism, personal re-
sponsibility, and self-sacrifice. Then, as individuals and as a
nation, the Jews may fulfill their mission in history.
All of Hazaz’s works on the themes of redemption and exile are
also about particular individuals and how their personal lives
are affected: Henikh, Soroka, Yuzpa, Zundel, Ya’ish. The repeti-
tion of the problems transmutes the characters into symbols of
the Jews or even of all men seeking change, progress, perfection;
they exemplify the frailty of men confronted with the painful
dilemma of having to build on the ruins of that which was dear
to them. Often those seeking change and redemption are mis­