Page 28 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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proceeded along th ree sepa ra te and in terlock ing paths (no t in ­
cluded he re are the b ro ad e r research into Jew ish history, and a r ­
chaeological research). T h e first com ponen t is the history o f Zi­
onism and the Zionist movement; the second, the history o f the
Yishuv; whereas the th ird is the history o f Eretz Israel. No ques­
tion bu t th a t the la tte r is o f the widest in terest, and research into
the history o f the Yishuv beg inn ing with the 19th cen tu ry is
popu la r as well. Th is survey will be limited to trend s and te n d e n ­
cies in research into Zionism and the m ode rn Yishuv, fields
which comp lem en t each o ther .
Zionism is the p rodu c t o f historic consciousness and historical
research . “I f a fa ithfu l Jewish writer, who knows intimately his
peop le’s ways and language , its ideas and accomplishments, will
unde r take faithfully to write the history o f his peop le and th e ir
ways,” asserted Peretz Smolenskin (in
vol. 1), “he will
succeed in illum inating the path o f those who g rope in darkness
and will exalt his peop le .” In his book
Zionism and History
(H e­
brew: Je rusa lem , 1982), Shmuel Almog o ffers a systematic analy­
sis o f the close bonds between the Zionist historic consciousness
d u r in g Herzl’s period , and the d istan t Jewish historic past (espe­
cially the First and Second Commonwealths). Zionism was thus
roo ted in the past and sough t to establish itself on the basis o f a
consciousness o f the past and a national in te rp re ta tion o f Jewish
Since Zionism viewed history as a means o f s treng th en ing the
national collective consciousness, it also served as a motivating
factor in fostering historical research and writing. Zionism came
to the writing o f its own history at a relatively late date. Among
the well known p ionee r works were: S. L. Z itron ’s
History of
(2 vols., Hebrew: Te l Aviv, 1932-34), Ben-Zion
D inabu rg ’s (D inu r’s)
(2 vols., Hebrew , Tel-Aviv,
1932-34), as well as A. D ruyanow’s
Documents on the History of
Hibbat-Zion and the Settlement of Eretz Israel
(Hebrew : 3 vols.,
Odessa, 1919; Tel-Aviv, 1925-32). D ruyanow ’s collection has
now begun to be reissued in a new and revised ed ition (vol. 1,
1870-1882, Tel Aviv, 1982), u n d e r the ed ito rsh ip o f Shu lam it
Laskov, who has used add itional docum en ts from various a r ­
chives (Bilu Archives, M ikveh-Israel Archives and others). T h e