Anthony Weiss’ May 3 page 3 story, “A ‘New Israel’ in Texas?” was enlightening and interesting. However, it ignored one historical and biblical tie, which is to the land of Israel itself. I personally found very interesting the idea of settling European Jews in the Alaska territories, which was the subject of an entertaining, sophisticated and quirky Michael Chabon novel, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” This novel, in large part a murder mystery and alternative history of the aftermath of World War II, centers around the fictional Jewish communities in Alaska. It is far more entertaining if the reader is a Yiddish speaker, or at least familiar with enough Yiddish phrases that have crept into the American English Language.
I didn’t mean for this letter to be a book review. I intended to point out that Mr. Weiss’ article neglects entirely the role of the land of Israel itself, where visitors can see the Valley of Elah, where David slew Goliath, and can visualize the confrontation; the road to Calvary, which Jesus was forced to walk, carrying the cross on which he was crucified; or the Temple Mount, where Mohammed’s mount, Al-Buraq, stood.
These are places that exist, even if the events around them may not be universally accepted. They don’t exist in Texas. A homeland is more than a long-term diaspora. It is a place that touches a person’s heart and soul.