Where were the Jews in all this? Nowhere to be found. I had visited Israel a couple of times and lectured on classical subjects (no one would have invited me for any other reason). Ancient Jews had not previously been on my research horizon. Then came the next and biggest shift. I plunged into the history of the Jews in the Greco-Roman era. Why the sudden switch? My friends and colleagues, of course, drew what seemed the obvious conclusion: I was going back to my roots. The wandering Jew had come home. I was, after all, the child of holocaust survivors from Vienna. It seemed perfectly logical that, after a brief detour, I returned to my authentic identity and pursued the path long marked out and only temporarily postponed. A “brief detour”? Of more than a quarter century? Not likely. The shift was a logical one all right. But not for that reason.
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