In Days to Come
A New Hope for Israel
By Avraham Burg
The unorthodox former speaker of the Knesset offers a his clear-eyed assessment of Zionism's failings and what the future holds for Israel and for Judaism
Born in 1955, Avraham Burg witnessed firsthand many of the most dramatic and critical junctions in Israeli history. Here he chronicles the highs and lows of his country during the last five decades, beginning with the 1967 war, when, as a young boy, his mother brought him back Uzi cartridges from the Kotel, which he incorporated into the Chanukah menorah he made for his home economics class. Burg narrates the misplaced hopes of religious Zionism (informed by his conservative upbringing), Israel's obsession with military might (informed by his own experiences as a paratrooper), the country's democratic aspirations (informed by his tenure in the Knesset) and more. What he delivers, ultimately, is an analysis of the ambitions and failures of Israel and Judaism, from the unique standpoint of his generation--the children of the mythical "founders" who established the state.
In Days to Come is Burg's philosophical inquiry into what Jewish-Israeli identity means today if you are personally, ethically, and politically opposed to what your country stands for. With bravery and candor, he urges his countrymen to dare to ask the difficult questions and accept the truth of difficult answers, have the courage to move on from trauma to trust, understand that Jews do not have monopoly over suffering but a responsibility to prevent crimes against humanity, have the will to solve the conflict between Israel and Palestine by adopting new paradigms, be ready to relinquish the privileges given to the Jews and create a shared space with equal rights for every human being, lay the groundwork for a constitutional reality in which every individual--under Israeli sovereignty or responsibility--has equal rights, and build a wall of separation between synagogue and state.
In this book, Burg lays bare the seismic intellectual shifts that drove the country's political and religious journeys, offering a vision for a new comprehensive paradigm for Israel and the Middle East.
Avraham Burg was born in Jerusalem in 1955 to one of the most prominent families in Israel. His father, Dr. Josef Burg, was a Holocaust survivor who escaped from Germany to Palestine in September 1939 and went on to lead the National Religious Party and serve as a minister in the Israeli government from 1948 to 1988. His mother Rivka was a seventh-generation resident of Hebron and the daughter of the local community rabbi. Avraham Burg first took on a public role during the first Lebanon war in 1982, when he was a leader of the antiwar protests. He went on to serve as adviser to Prime Minister Shimon Peres, a member of the Israeli Knesset, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization, and the speaker of the Knesset, among other public positions. Since his voluntary retirement from public life in 2004, Burg has become an outspoken leader of the Israeli left wing. He is the author of numerous books, including (in English) The Holocaust Is Over and Very Near to You. He lives in Nataf, just outside Jerusalem.
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- Publication date:
25 Jan 2018
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