Page 51 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Levi refrains from proposing a solution to the dilemma; nor
does he raise the problem directly. Nevertheless, he does remind
us that while the drama of European Jewry was being acted on cen­
ter stage, another play was taking form in the wings, in the Land of
Israel. Levi’s novel leads inexorably to a Zionist conclusion. For
him, however, “Unorthodox Jew” that he is, the “way” of life in the
evolving society in Israel would be wise to be bothJewish and “Ital-
ianesque,” both based in the Jewish textual tradition and open to
openness.
The Gedalists, aware of the minimalist nature of their struggle,
are fighting for “three lines in the history books” (p. 98). Perhaps
the three lines will be Hillel’s famous dictum. Perhaps one of the
three lines will read, in Italian
“Se non cost
,
comer'1
(“If not this way,
how?”)
Primo LevVsJudaism