New Religious-Nationalist Trends Among Jewish Settlers in the Halutza Sands
Keywords:Israel, religion, religious authority, religious-Zionism, secularization, religionization
This article describes the religious worldview of the residents of three rural villages, established since 2010 in Southern Israel. Focusing on religious authority, the article traces the complex relationship between rabbis to their communities which is rarely a simple “top-down” traditional authority model. On the contrary, both the rabbis and their communities are aware of the fragility of their relationship, and therefore created a complex belief system in which the rabbis’ recommendation is sought, but not necessarily considered binding. In addition, the article describes the “Datlshim” (Hebrew acronym for “Ex-religious”). This liminal identity characterizes individuals who grew up within these religious communities but decided to dissent in their adulthood. They do not feel committed to, and sometimes openly reject Jewish religious code. The article contributes to the scholarly understanding of religious authority, as well as the diversity within the religious-Zionist community in Israel, which has become increasingly influential is Israeli politics and society.