Backpacking with a Prayer: Tradition and Modernity

Nitza Davidovitch


This study focuses on the phenomenon of Israeli backpacking as a function of traditional, observant, and secular population segments. We explored whether and to what degree backpacking features are related to the affinity of backpackers with the Jewish tradition and faith. Our study was based on a sample of 120 Israeli backpackers who had returned to Israel in the past five years. An analysis of the survey indicates a clear association between the length of the backpacking trip and the affinity of backpackers with the Jewish tradition and faith. We also found that backpackers on lengthy trips tended to engage in events or rituals related to religion to a greater degree compared to backpackers on shorter trips. An interesting finding was that backpackers on lengthy trips felt closer to Jewish tradition and observed religious precepts more than backpackers on shorter trips. These findings imply that the longer Israeli backpackers remain abroad, the stronger their affinity with Jewish tradition. One question that arises is whether the distance from Israel fosters a sense of nostalgia for Jewish culture, or whether backpackers on longer trips undergo a more spiritual experience during their time abroad.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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