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Today in History: Bnei Akiva

Today in 1929, the Bnei Akiva movement was founded, in the new Jewish community in the Land of Israel.

The movement was founded as a youth organization under the auspices of the Mizrachi Workers Party, a religious socialist party that advocated settlement and pioneering activities. The movement was named after Rabbi Akiva, who was perceived as representing the principle of “Torah and work” – because of his adherence to the Torah study on the one hand and to the army initiatives as the Bar Kokhba revolt on the other. Shlomo Zalman Shragai, one of the party’s leaders and later the mayor of Jerusalem, coined the motto that accompanies it to this day: “Sanctify your life in the Torah, and purify it in the work.” Initially, the movement dealt mainly with the settlement principle, but over the years the movement became larger and more bourgeois, with strong branches abroad. The movement was  influenced by Rabbi Moshe Zvi Nariya, followed by Rabbi Chaim Druckman, both students of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook. Over time, questions were expected about the religious nature of the movement. Despite this, the movement remained dominant among the religious public in Israel, with over 60 thousand apprentices, and its impact on the figure of the sector is very broad.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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