Why did you write this book?
A personal note from Tal Keinan, author of God is in the Crowd, explaining the motivation that drove him to write this thought-provoking new book.
People have been asking “Why did you write this book? What makes you an expert on the Jewish future?”
It is a fair question. I am not an expert. I may just have been standing in the right place at the right time when I became conscious of a fundamental transformation of the Jewish reality.
Historians and biblical scholars cite two major events in which the Jewish people redefined themselves fundamentally: the Exodus from Egypt and the expulsion from the Land of Israel under the Roman Empire. The Exodus ended with the Jews living in their own land, governed by law, overseen by Kings and Prophets. The expulsion ended with the Jews scattered across the world, with no sovereign oversight. Jewish law, however, remained in force, administered and amended not by an individual, but through the wisdom of the Jewish Crowd.
Today, the Jewish people faces another fundamental shift in its physical structure. Diaspora is ending, and as the Jews concentrate in two jurisdictions, the freest and safest in Jewish history, this people is again called upon to redefine itself. God Is in the Crowd is part of a conversation that must include a large number of contributors. Rather than prescribing a specific definition of Judaism, it proposes a mechanism through which the Jewish crowd may define itself. Some perceive a threat in the transformed architecture of Judaism. I see an opportunity. I welcome you to join me in pursuing it.