A Jewish Odyssey

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The Jewish State does not resemble any other nation. What this nation has to offer is not security or well-being or peace of mind. What this nation has to offer is the intensity of living on the edge…..a living people. People that have come from death and were surrounded by death but who nevertheless put up a spectacular spectacle of life. Pg 418 in My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit is a powerful achievement. He tells our nation’s story in a compelling, loving, honest way that makes more sense to me than anything I’ve ever seen, heard, or read about Zionism.

The book covers the entirety of the Israeli experience from 1897 to 2013. He begins with the utopian projects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as seen through the eyes of his great-grandfather and then goes on to show us every conceivable point of view from the Russian olem to the holocaust survivor; from the kibbutz sabra to the urban transgender; from the Iranian Arab to the displaced Palestinian.

It’s all very tricky. Without a hint of propaganda or illusion, Shavit neither praises nor blames; he simply observes and reflects. He does an excellent job. Read it and ponder.



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