Though Jews have been praying to return to the Land of Israel since the destruction of the Temple 2,000 years ago, it was in the end the pragmatic, political savvy and raw muscle of secular Jews (for the most part) that paved a path back to the Promised Land. Modern Zionism and the return to the Land was not driven by religious convictions as much as a secular dream to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in Israel, especially in the pre-1948 years.
There were of course many religious Jews and rabbis who joined their ranks, but the Land was settled and restored by the sweat and blood of the Pioneers that came from faraway to build a new life in the Land of their Fathers. Most of them had no experience in rugged physical labor or farming as they battled the hardships, drained swamps, built roads and laid the foundations for numerous organizations that shaped the new Jewish homeland in the years to come.
Many Orthodox Jews find modern...
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