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Divine Rites: Review of The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill

By Yossi Prager

Commentary Magazine, November 1998

The author reviews Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill. Prager states that the book has been positively reviewed by both Jewish and non-Jewish reviewers, with Jewish reviewers voicing perhaps the more glowing accolades. One can readily appreciate their enthusiasm: any approbation of the Jewish contribution to society is welcome, still more one expressed with such verve and grace by a non-Jewish writer. But at a moment when the American Jewish community is in a condition of self-evident crisis, and when intermarriage rates have crossed the 50- percent mark, what is desperately needed is an articulation of Jewish distinctiveness. By making "the gifts of the Jews" seem, in effect, only a particularly brilliant harbinger of today's conventional secular wisdom, Cahill's well-intentioned book does a disservice to the Bible and misleads those who may be truly seeking to understand where the Jews come from and how, as Jews, they can best carry their traditions forward into the future.

Name of Publication: Commentary Magazine

Page Number(s): 63-65

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Genre: Book Review

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Prager, Yossi. Divine Rites: Review of The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill. Commentary Magazine. Commentary Magazine. November 1998: 63-65.


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