Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Promised Land

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit is one of the more refreshing series of essays on what it means to be Israeli and Jewish I have read in a long time.  

Seeing some of the professional reviews on this book, I am reminded how much even feelings regarding Israel, its existence, its history and development, are colored by so many subjective lens.  And certainly, Shavit has his “take” on the Israeli experience.  But he is more or less balanced in his approach.  He does not leave any stone undisturbed in the various issues he treats, and his language is penetrating and strong.

I had vowed to read no more books about the Israeli experience, thinking that American Jews should focus on the American Jewish experience (and having not done so, it has been much to our detriment).  But reading Shavit’s book informative; he weaves the promise and misfortune of modern Israeli history into Jewish history, sewing some very vital seams between the diaspora and Israel in this excellent, comprehensive book.

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