Klal Yisrael

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For the Dutch congregation, see Klal Israël.

Klal Yisrael (Hebrew: כלל ישראל‎‎, likely literally: "The Whole of Israel") is a Yiddish expression used by rabbis for centuries. It may pre-date its usage in central Europe, but at the time of the large Jewish communities of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was a common liturgical phrase used by rabbis in sermons to refer to all devout Jews[1] and their interconnection.[2]

After the re-emergence of Zionism among Jews it developed a slightly different meaning. For example, the Hibbat Zion movement used it in a wider sense to describe and promote a renewed sense of shared community and destiny among all Jews including secular Jews. It was particularly used to refer to the Jews in the Ottoman Palestine district prior to World War I and then to the Yishuv in the British Mandate. This contrasted with its original use in the diaspora, where prior to Zionism it had referred only to the faithful. It is used today primarily among Orthodox Jews, especially in North America.[3] It was defined and used differently by other Jewish movements, streams, and backgrounds such as Ladino Jews, as well as by those religious, non-religious, Zionist and non-Zionist.[4]


  1. ^ http://yiddish_english_roman_lat.enacademic.com/1774/klal-yisroel
  2. ^ http://www.answers.com/topic/kelal-israel
  3. ^ Klal Yisrael, Milon Morfix, in Hebrew
  4. ^ Almog, Shmuel; Reinharz, Jehuda; Shapira, Anita (1998). Zionism and Religion. UPNE. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-87451-882-5. 

See also[edit]