The Israeli Century: How the Zionist Revolution Changed History and Reinvented Judaism by Yossi Shain
In this important breakthrough work, Yossi Shain takes us on a sweeping and surprising journey through the history of the Jewish people, from the destruction of the First Temple in the sixth century B.C.E. up to the modern era. Over the course of this long history, Jews have moved from a life of Diaspora, which ultimately led to destruction, to a prosperous existence in a thriving, independent nation state. The new power of Jewish sovereignty has echoed around the world and gives Israelis a new and significant role as influential global players.
In the Israeli Century, the Jew is reborn, feeling a deep responsibility for his tradition and a natural connection to his homeland. A sense of having a home to return to allows him to travel the wider world and act with ease and confidence. In the Israeli Century, the Israeli Jew can fully express the strengths developed over many generations in the long period of wandering and exile.
As a result, Shain argues, the burden of preserving the continuity of the Jewish people and defining its character is no longer the responsibility of Diaspora communities. Instead it now falls squarely on the shoulders of Israelis themselves. The challenges of Israeli sovereignty in turn require farsighted leaders with a clear-eyed understanding of the dangers that confront the Jewish future, as well as the incredible opportunities it offers.
Year first published: 2021