Religious Zionist movement founded in 1902. The name Mizrachi is a shortened form of the Hebrew words merkaz ruhani, ‘spiritual centre,’ and signifies that the aim of Zionism to establish a Jewish State is highly laudable but this State should serve not only as a political focus but also as a spiritual centre for world Jewry. The Mizrachi maxim gives expression to the movement's special emphasis: ‘The Land of Israel for the people of Israel in accordance with the Torah of Israel.’ The essential problem for the Mizrachi is posed by the obscurity of the final statement of its programme. How was a modern democratic State, comprising both religious and non-religious Jews, to be conducted in accordance with ‘the Torah of Israel’? With the establishment of the State of Israel, the Mizrachi became the National Religious party (Mafdal) and still grapples, not very successfully, with this severe problem.
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.