Page 35 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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merit in Eretz-Israel
(1935) and
History of Eretz-Israel Research
(1937). Klein was appointed in 1925 to the position of professor
of Palestinography at the newly founded Hebrew University of
Jerusalem. He was also elected president of the Israel Explora­
tion Society and served as an editor of its journal.
A useful bibliographical guide to the subject is G. Kressel’s
Eretz-Israel ve-Toledoteha
(Eretz-Israel and its History, 1943; new
ed., 1983), which encompasses about 1,400 books and articles
published up to the end of 1939. A detailed listing of items deal­
ing with various localities in the land down to the end of the 1930s
is found in Zvi Zohar’s volume,
Limmud be-Ruah ha-Moledet
in the Spirit of the Homeland, Jerusalem, Jewish National Fund,
1937, pp. 112-119).
One should differentiate between Eretz-Israel research and
the subject commonly called
yediat ha-aretz
(knowledge of the
land) or homeland studies, even though the two often overlap.
The latter has to do with the acquiring of information concerning
the geography and history of Eretz-Israel as ideological and prac­
tical values. The study of this material aims to inculcate a feeling
of belonging and of love for the homeland. We find this motiva­
tion already during the periods of the first and second aliyahs,
and it served as an expression of the romantic dimension in their
ideology. By the time of the third aliyah it had become a wide­
spread and institutionalized phenomenon. The national Jewish
movement followed in this regard the European national roman­
tic trends.
The motivation of the compilers of Eretz-Israel guidebooks
who stressed the practical aspects of the knowledge of the land
was not too far removed from the approach enunciated by
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778-1852), known as the “father of
gymnastics,” in his book
Das Deutsche Volkstum
(The German
Nationality, 1810). He advocated the fostering of the national
spirit through touring the fatherland on foot and considered this
a vital part of both spiritual and physical education. Group travel,
he felt, could strengthen the sense of belonging and help develop
a love of humanity. The various guidebooks sought to transform