Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Other Zions

Years ago, when I lived in Boston, I came across a Jewish history atlas. One of the maps was called "The Other Zions" and it contained the mostly failed experiments and Utopian fantasies in establishing Jewish states away from the land of Israel.

The idea must have been interesting to me, because it lay dormant in my mind for perhaps ten years. Then, following the publication of my first book, I thought that I had to strike the iron when it was hot. I began to research the book, using some sources I already had and some that I newly discovered. The journey in writing the book was simply amazing; I learned far more about Jewish history, Jewish ethnic identity and nationalism, then from simple reading.

What the researching, writing and publishing of the book confirmed is a kind of truism about Jewish history that is refreshing to come across once again: there is a wide variety of the thing called Judaism and the people called Jews. This includes concepts of nationhood and the land area where that nation can exist.

My book shows, I hope, that old conceptions are not as true as we think. That new thinking is in order on an old subject.

No comments:

Post a Comment