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Galut: Modern Jewish Reflection on Homelessness and Homecoming (Modern Jewish Experience) Hardcover – November 1, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0253325501 ISBN-10: 0253325501 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Jewish Experience
  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana Univ Pr; First Edition edition (November 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253325501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253325501
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,302,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lewyn VINE VOICE on August 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book feels like two separate books. The first 1/4 of the book describes bits and pieces of Genesis, Deuteronomy and Tractate Avodah Zarah in the Mishna and Talmud.

This part of the book was quite interesting; Eisen emphasizes how Genesis foreshadows the Diaspora, in that the Jews (or more accurately proto-Jews) are always landless, always forced to curry favor with the ruling power in order to survive, even when they are wealthy - just like their Diaspora descendants. (Of course, the story of Sodom indicates that even land-owning idol-worshippers are not protected from Divine displeasure).

He also explains how Deuteronomy, by setting up a blueprint for a model society in Israel, creates an almost utopian vision.

Avodah Zarah, by contrast, deals with a dystopian reality- a situation where Jews cannot rule themselves even in their own homeland, and thus must compromise with idolatry.

The last 3/4 of the book discusses the reactions of various Jewish intellectuals to Zionism- often intellectuals long dead and forgotten to all but the most knowledgeable. I found this part of the book to be boring and lifeless by comparison to Eisen's chapter-length dvar torahs. A brief summary: the state of Israel presents a challenge to Diaspora Jews, but also presents an intellectual change to Israeli Jews. Secular Zionism is intellectually vapid because its primary goal (a Jewish state) has been achieved, and it was not built to answer the question of what to do with a Jewish state after its creation. On the other hand, Religious Zionism has difficulty with the contact of a Jewish state that is not governed by Jewish law at all.
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