Georges Yitzhak certainly portrays Theodor Herzl in a new light, in his book, Theodor Herzl: A New Reading, infusing comprehensive research into the book.
Questions regarding Jewishness and who is a Jew are strong within the pages, with varied references attributed not only to Herzl, but other perception of him. What defines a Jew? Does birth define one, or does level of practice? What about secularism? So many questions to ponder, and Herzl does, with added clarity through Weisz’ writing. Jewish identity is in the forefront, along with Zionism, within the pages. Questions upon questions are infused in the pages. For me, it made no difference. The man speaks for himself in his actions.
Questions regarding Zionism and his founding or theory of it are strong, also. Within that view, others seemed to have seen him as insane for even considering his Zionism attitude and perseverance. Others question his motives for wanting a “Jewish State”. Whatever the motive, he is the father of Zionism, and should be given due respect for that.
I found the book to be intellectually satisfying, and found the religious aspects regarding Herzl to be fascinating. On one hand he was devout, on another he was not. So what, what is the important factor was his steadfast dedication to Zionism. The reader is taken through his thought processes, which Weisz used from portions of Theodor Herzl’s diary.
I would recommend Theodor Herzl: A New Reading to anyone interested in Theodor Herzl’s life, interested in Zionism and its foundations, interested in Judaism and what defines a Jew, and in Jewish practice, and interest in “the Jewish Question”, and so much more.