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From Habiru to Hebrews: The Roots of the Jewish Tradition

by Robert Wolfe (October 2009)


I come from a secular Jewish background, the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the Communist Party during the 1930s. They left the Party in 1939, around the time of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and also left each other, getting divorced when I was about two years old. I was raised in the home of my mother in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Manhattan which at that time was about half Jewish. Most of my boyhood friends were Jewish, and so too were most of my mother’s friends, who tended to the same “progressive” point of view as she did. My father too remained a “progressive”, meaning someone who agreed wiith many of the positions of the Communist Party without necessarily belonging to it. So from an early age I received a heavy dose of Jewish secular culture along with a sense of identification with the progressive current in American life.  more>>>