How should Jews respond to an age of militant Zionism and resurgent anti-Semitism? Is insisting on a separate sense of identity anachronistic and dangerous, or is it the only way of preserving the Jewish cultural heritage?
Rabbi David Goldberg, one of today’s most respected and outspoken Jewish leaders in the English-speaking world, here grapples with the dilemmas of contemporary Jewishness with characteristic candour, and sketches the emerging faultlines in the Jewish sense of identity. He offers up a completely fresh reading of Jewish history, arguing that the narrative of relentless woe and suffering, popularized by nineteenth-century writers such as George Eliot, was based on a highly selective reading of the past. Goldberg retraces the history of the Jews, and rejects the mythology of eternal victimhood. Instead, he focuses on the survival strategies that have been pursued throughout the centuries. He contrasts the pragmatic flexibility of the Jewish Diaspora with the military assertiveness of modern Israel. With wit, insight and compassion he highlights the growing gulf between Israeli and Diaspora Jewishness and argues that Israeli and Diaspora Jews are in danger of becoming divided by a common heritage. This book will stimulate, engage and provoke readers of all beliefs and cultures.