Future Tense: Jews, Judaism, and Israel in the Twenty-First Century

Jonathan Sacks, Author . Schocken $26 (292p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4269-0

British chief rabbi Lord Sacks (Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? ) laments what he sees as a virulent new strain of anti-Semitism plaguing Western Europe as well as serious divisions within the Jewish world that make it difficult to speak of Jews as one people with a shared fate and a collective identity. To combat anti-Semitism, Sacks encourages Jews to work closely with people of other faiths and to recognize that not only Jews face prejudice and hate. He urges his fellow Jews to be both particularist and universalist, to hold fast to their Jewish identity while passionately embracing the modern world and becoming a source of inspiration to others. Sacks believes that criticism of Israel is legitimate but denial of its right to exist is not; he supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, but explains how the Palestinians have thwarted every Israeli move to establish peace. Although controversial, articulate, and well intended, the book is wordy, digressive, and familiar. Blending abundant Hebrew phrases with references to Spinoza, Thomas Paine, and Greek tragedy, Sacks is preaching to an audience of already committed yet worldly Jews who nevertheless may feel inspired by a leader who shares their views. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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