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Practical Zionism- Definition

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Practical Zionism - Early modern Zionist movement, urging return of Jews to and settlement in the land of Israel, not predicated on political agreement by a foreign power to charter a "Jewish national home." The first practical Zionists included groups like Bilu and Hovevei Tziyon who came to settle without any larger political program. However, the term took on new meaning after the first Zionist congress, which adopted a program that emphasized political Zionism - getting a state secured in international law by getting a charter from a great power. A group of Zionists, representing the views of the settlers, insisted that without settlement in the land, political Zionism was hopeless. However, settlement efforts were poorly organized and were failing. Arthur Ruppin helped make practical Zionism a reality, and is therefore sometimes called the "father of practical Zionism." Practical Zionism contrasted with Cultural Zionism and Political Zionism. The Cultural Zionism of Achad Haam pointed out that it was necessary to first induce a cultural revival in the Jewish people, so that they would become conscious of their natural heritage and be ready to support Zionism. Achad Haam ridiculed the tiny and impoverished settlements in Palestine and noted that they would excite opposition among the Arabs (see This is not the way ("The wrong way") ).

It should be remembered that in fact all three approaches were furthered by the "political" Zionist movement that Herzl had founded, and that in the event, each of them pointed out an important factor required for the success of Zionism.  

Ami Isseroff

October 6, 2008

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information:  - Zionism

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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