In the Press – Unveiling Garden-Party

Books are now available on AMAZON and in POMERANZ BOOKSELLER in Jerusalem, ahead of the March 7th launch

The Book was unveiled on January 12 in a pre-launch garden-party

Watch clips, read transcripts, and see photos: Press Release

Grapevines, by Greer Fay Cashman, Jerusalem Post – January 14, 2022:

■ ANYONE WHO delves into the writings of Gol Kalev, knows him to be a Theodor Herzl acolyte. This week, more in jest than anything else, he compared himself to Herzl in that they each had to make adjustments to launch plans due to changing situations. Herzl had initially not thought to bring his ideas to the masses, but rather to the Jewish elite, who rejected them. Moreover, he had not planned to hold the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, but in Munich, Germany. However, he met with such fierce opposition in Munich that he moved to Basel. Otherwise, says Kalev, instead of repeating Herzl’s memorable declaration, “In Basel I founded the Jewish State”, we would be quoting him as saying, “In Munich I founded the Jewish State.”

Not quite on the same scale, Kalev had planned to launch his book Judaism 3.0 last Wednesday night, but after another COVID-19 scare, he decided to turn the event into a pre-launch with fewer people present and to have the official launch at a later date. Nonetheless, despite having been notified of the change and new date, a lot of people showed up at the former Shaare Zedek building where the event was held, and purchased books that were duly signed by the author.

Given the turnout, Kalev felt compelled to make a speech about Herzl’s transformative effect on world Jewry. Though not a political movement in Kalev’s perception, Zionism is a nationalist movement, which became augmented as religion dissipated.As he sees it, the trend today is that Zionism used to be a secular lighthouse for Jews, but is now going the other way and is being increasingly embraced by ultra-Orthodox Jews, who were negatively disposed to Zionism for a long time because they saw it as a means of undermining Jewish values. But life moves in cycles, and the ultra-Orthodox Jews, while still vocally anti-Zionist, are proving their Zionism all the time. One just has to fly from the US to Israel, said Kalev. There are always plenty of ultra-Orthodox Jews on the plane because Israel is central to their lives. This in itself is transformative because for a long time there were some ultra-Orthodox Jews who felt for religious reasons they were not holding on the appropriate level of holiness to live in Israel. That is certainly not the case today and the ultra-Orthodox, who were once a minority in relation to the secular majority, are on their way to becoming more dominant in Israel. Kalev points out that in various surveys 60% of Israel’s population have characterized themselves as either ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox or traditional, whereas the founders of the State, who for the most part came from religiously observant backgrounds, rejected religion and had secular lifestyles. Today, people raised in secular families are seeking spiritual meaning in their lives.

Kalev argues that Zionism is the transformation of Judaism, embodying all its best values. Whether Jews love Zionism or hate Zionism they cannot escape it because, in one way or another, it is integral to their lives. It reminds assimilated anti-Zionists of their Judaism, says Kalev, citing social media posts critical of Israeli policies, which often begin with the words “As a Jew, I am ashamed.”

Letters to the Editor – Jerusalem Report, January 20, 2022

Click for the PDF of the page

The book was chosen by the Jerusalem Report  to be the cover of their 2022 New Year issue

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