Max I. Dimont is an ex-shoe salesman and unskilled laborer with a quest for knowledge and a consequent desire to write down what he had learned and pass it on. This particular book, Jews, God and History was a million seller. It was first published back in the early 60s and continues to sell thousand of copies to this day.
Max was Jewish and he obviously got interested in his Jewish ancestry. He clearly decided to read up on his people in a quest to figure out what the Jews were all about and how their culture has sustained itself through the centuries.
He ends up writing this work and several others that he somehow managed to get published and he became a literary success. Getting this book published may have been luck but his writing of it was not. It is the culmination of a good deal of literary sweat. He did a great job with this book.
I liked it not because of Max’s love of his religion and Jewish heritage but because of his acknowledgment of secular explanations for Jewish mysticism and his copious facts to bolster his boasting on his Jewish heritage.
For example he tells us that we can accept the mystical interpretation of Abraham’s meeting with God and the establishment of the Jewish Covenant or we can interpret the event as a psychological Freudian style projection – an “auditory or visual hallucination.” But whatever explanation we choose, it nevertheless does not change the history or the historical facts or legends. The result of which was circumcision and the Jewish declaration that they are the chosen people. Whether God chose them or they chose a God of their liking is the reader’s preference.
The book thus becomes a more rational, historical accounting of the Jews and their longevity as opposed to a proselytization.
He does the same with Constantine’s famous episode. The reader can chose between the mystical, visionary fable or a psychological interpretation (or drunkenness for that matter). It doesn’t matter, as the facts or legends of the Jewish history keep rolling along.
The author presents the question of how did the Jewish culture or civilization survive for over 3,000 years without its people even having a nation or a country for the majority of that period. But that is a confusing question and the question itself points out the Jewish confusion about what “Jewish” is. Is it a race, a nation or a religion?
Christianity survives without a nation or a country. Islam survives without a nation or a country. Buddhism survives without a nation or a country. Protestantism survives without a nation or a country. Hinduism survives without a nation or a country. A religion doesn’t need a country. It needs followers or believers.
Germans must have a country. Americans must have a country. French must have a country. Nationalities have countries, faiths have followers. Are the Jews a nation or a religion?
Adolf Hitler labeled the followers of the Jewish faith as a race. As far as my understanding goes, they are not a race and since they have had no country for most of their existence, they could hardly be considered a nation.
Jews primarily constitute a religion. But their religion has been kept close to a small “family” of followers all stemming back to an original tribal heritage with limited membership. As a consequence we have this nationalistic and religious confusion. Many Jews talk among themselves as if they are a nationality.
On the religious side, the Jews have been so egalitarian in their acceptance of inordinate beliefs among their followers that some Jews proclaim their agnosticism and even their atheism without any traditional ostracism or excommunication. This adds to the race/nation/religion confusion.
But, how did the Jews survive the pogroms, the persecutions, the vilification, the holocaust etc. and why all of this hatred towards the Jews? How did the Jews form such a strong bond between and among their followers even with the Diaspora – banished from their original homes in Judea and Israel and dispersed all over the world?
Max Dimont tries to answer these questions and he gives a very cogent explanation. Along with this search for answers to the “Jewish Question” comes a brilliant and entertaining presentation of Jewish history and the fundamental teachings of the Jewish faith, traditions, and customs.
This is a great book for Jews and non-Jews – anyone who wants to learn about the history and origins of the Jews. And if you are interested in the history of the human race, how can you not be interested somewhat in the Jews.
The book closes with a chronological history of Palestine/Israel to the date of it publication. For an even better and more up to down Chronology see Thomas’s Friedmen’s From Beirut to Jersalem.
The book is admittedly biased towards the Jews. Max is proud to be a Jew and he is not ashamed to tell the reader why. He is boasting about the accomplishments of his people throughout the entire book – but rightfully so. He may be stretching the importance of his “nation” of people as do the Irish, Italian, Catholics and Protestants but his little group, approximately 18 million at the time that he wrote the book, certainly has some boasting to do.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.