Theodor Herzl was an assimilated Viennese journalist who became the unlikely founder of modern Zionism and a main catalyst for the creation of the Jewish State of Israel.
Jews take pride in calling themselves “the people of the book,” and while there’s something a little vainglorious about the phrase -- all peoples have books, don’t they? -- its appeal is easy to understand. For millennia, in the absence of land and power, Jews found a kind of virtual sovereignty in texts, and the history of Judaism from the Babylonian exile onward could be written as a history of books and writers -- the Torah and the Prophets, the Mishnah and Gemara, Rashi and Maimonides, down to modern, secular authors such as Theodor Herzl, Sholem Aleichem and Primo Levi.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Years ago I wrote a novel. I don't remember how many years ago, but I began it on a typewriter, so you do the math.