Avodah and Bnei Akiva
Avodah is one of the two words that underlie the ideology of Bnei Akiva. (The other is Torah).
In this ideological framework, the word was originally utilised in a strictly agricultural context. "Avodah" meant working on a kibbutz.
In more recent years, Bnei Akiva has had to redefine the terminology. Tens of thousands of its members currently live, or plan to live in an urban setting in Israel.
A strictly agricultural interpretation of Avodah therefore marginalises members.
Furthermore, it is generally perceived that the "needs" of Israel have developed somewhat since Bnei Akiva was founded. Draining malarial swamps and "turning the desert green" have assumed somewhat lower priorities than in earlier years. To give an example from exporting, Israel is now known for its high tech industries as much as for its Jaffa oranges.
The movement has therefore subtly redefined Avodah, to mean work that contributes towards the building up of the land of Israel.
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