To shed light on the tensions he observed between Jewish perceptions of power versus political realitieswhich "are often the cause of misguided political decisions," like Israel's Lebanese WarBiale analyzes Jewish history from the point of view of politics and power.
The author of Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-History here challenges the conventions of what he terms the Jewish "mythical past": the anachronistic interpretation that the Diaspora, which occurred between the fall of an independent Jewish commonwealth in A.D. 70 and the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948, was politically impotent, and, conversely, that the First and Second Temple periods were eras of full Jewish national sovereignty.
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Published December 22, 2010