‘At Home in Exile’ Examines Jewish Diaspora

Kate CarlisleOctober 28, 20141min
<div class="at-above-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2014/10/28/diaspora/"></div>Roth reviews new book suggesting the Diaspora, Israeli should thrive in productive tension<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2014/10/28/diaspora/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->

A new book by Alan Wolfe makes the argument that the Jewish Diaspora, a form of “exile” is actually a shared blessing. In a New York Times review, Michael Roth examines Wolfe’s thesis that the diaspora and Israel should thrive in productive tension with one another.

“The longing for the Promised Land may be an important theme in the Torah, but fundamental religious practice and cultural identity have mostly been formed far from Jerusalem,” Roth writes. “For millenniums Jews have lived in exile; “next year in Jerusalem” is an acknowledgment of loss and hope — not a travel plan.”

“While Israel’s existence is now part of the experience of Jews wherever they live, it shows no signs of bringing the Diaspora to an end.”