Beyond the Religious-Secular Dichotomy: Masortiim in Israel

By Charles S. Liebman, Yaacov Yadgar

Rutgers University Press, 2009

Liebman, who views the term "Masorti" as indistinctive and not clearly defined, explores the "general phenomenon" of traditionalism and its specific Israeli manifestation known as "Masorti" (traditionalism). For the first time, Masorti identity is treated as an independent form of Jewish identity, as the author attempts to distinguish a variety of Masorti identities ranging from a "positive, independent" definition (one not substantially dependent on other types of identity in order to define itself) to a "negative" understanding of one's own traditional identity (one that sees itself as straddling the secular-religious dichotomy, locating itself in between them). His argument is primarily concerned with outlining the nature of the positive identity and offers an expanded definition of the term "Masorti," while focusing on the phenomenology of traditionalism as well as the interrelationship and tensions between traditional identity and a secular-religious identity. His argument does not address the relationship between one's traditional identity and ethnic and national identity, though this argument is an attempt to establish the foundations for further research that will explore the content and socio-political implications of Masorti identity.

Topic: Israeli Jews, Tradition, Jewish Identification, Jewish Identity, Demography, Identity

Name of Publication: Religion or Ethnicity? Jewish Identities in Evolution

Editor: Gitelman, Zvi

Page Number(s): 171-192

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Genre: Book Chapter

Coverage: Israel

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Liebman, Charles S. Yadgar, Yaacov. Beyond the Religious-Secular Dichotomy: Masortiim in Israel. Religion or Ethnicity? Jewish Identities in Evolution. Rutgers University Press. 2009: 171-192. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=11931


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