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This century has bequeathed to the Jewish people a series of events "with horrific and startling consequences" including the Holocaust, the birth of the state of Israel, and now a powerful military state capable of defense against outsiders and repression of Palestines. In this new context, the history and identity of the Jewish people are being decisively transformed and reinterprted. What is their destiny? In this "struggle for the heart and soul of the Jewish people" Ellis asks. "Are there religious ideals, intellectual concepts, and political movements...that will help Jews confront the history we are creating, calling us toward justice?" Ellis finds that dynamic center in the covenant, symbolized by Jerusalem. His book offers a renewed theology of the covenant and its justice dimensions, its present "exile" and its future in revolutionary forgiveness. Raising profound questions for Jews and Christians, Ellis persuasively argues that authentically embracing the covenant first entails justice--most immediately for the Palestinian people.
The peril and promise of contemporary Jewish identity.