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Israel: Bnei Akiva 'Merkaz Yeshivot' medal, circa. 1989
Item code: 0130013

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Sales price $50.00
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Israel: Bnei Akiva "Merkaz Yeshivot" medal, circa. 1989; 36mm, 14g: commemorates the "Merkaz Yeshivot" (network of Jewish religious studies centers) of the "Bnei Akiva" ("Sons of Akiva") Zionist-religious youth movement.

Bnei Akiva was founded in Palestine in 1929 as a youth wing of the Mizrachi movement, which aimed at bridging the gap between secular Zionism and the traditional religious Jewish community, by promoting religious study (of the Torah) and working of the land ("Avoda" - as shown in the movement's emblem on the reverse of the medal).

The 'Mizrachi' movement is not, as the name suggests, related to Middle-Eastern ("Mizrachi") Jewry, but rather an acronym for "Merkaz Rukhani" ("Religious Center"), and is the name of the main organization of the religious Zionist movement (originating in Vilna). The Mizrachi movement posits that the Torah should be at the core of Zionism and that Zionism's purpose to to achieve religious objectives, such as keeping Kosher and observing the Sabbath in the framework of a Jewish State (i.e. Israel).

On the obverse of the medal is depicted the building of Bnei Akiva's first Yeshiva high school in the village of Kfar HaRoeh (built in 1939). Medal is in Proof state (with a few handling marks), and given its styliztic design, font face and subject probably dates to 1989 (50th anniversary of the Merkaz Yeshivot).