Jewish Culture for America?: A Golden Age?
It is a discouraging commentary on the world’s sanity and its obtuseness to history that the question whether America is home or exile need even be asked. I happen to concur in the views expressed by Dr. Israel Knox. But American Jews, like other human beings, are capable of embracing the most contradictory beliefs at one and the same time. Consequently, something more than a bare endorsement of Dr. Knox’s article may be useful.
America is home, as Dr. Knox reminds us, and unless the madness that makes Dr. Knox’s question pertinent should destroy the hope and the possibility, America should yet be a center of Jewish culture to the extent that modern civilization permits any separate culture to exist within the one broader culture of a single large geographic area. Such a culture may fail to develop here, but, if so, nothing worth having will develop anywhere for the Jews. What may continue to exist in most of Europe will be no more than anachronistic husks. What may come in Palestine is not likely to be of any real meaning to general civilization, and it therefore will hardly be in the great tradition of the Jewish cultures that have made Judaism a thing of value in the world’s history. What may come in our own country offers, it seems to me, far greater promise. Indeed, America could well be the scene of the repetition of the Golden Age in Spain.
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