In truth, it is Ada Grodzinsky’s knowledge of Jewish history (Your Say, March 7) rather than Stanleigh Cohen’s (Your Say, March 14) that is erroneous, both conceptually and factually.
Grodzinsky insists, “It adds insult to injury to say that any place (other than the land of Israel) will do” as a Jewish abode. That would be gobsmacking news to any number of Jewish communal superstars of the last few centuries. It would be news to none other than Theodore Herzl, founder of modern political Zionism and, as such, the father of the State of Israel, since he initially proposed Jewish settlement in Uganda as a national haven and refuge from anti- Semitism for the beleaguered Jews of Europe. It would be news to Mordecai Manuel Noah, one of the first Jews born in the United States to reach national prominence with his City of Refuge for the Jews Grand Island project. And it would have been news to philanthropist Baron Maurice von Hirsch, ranked among the Top 5 wealthiest individuals in Europe during the late 19th century, who founded the Jewish Colonization Association.
She also claims that the Israelites’ “coined money” was the shekel, as it is today. This is false. Biblical Israel had a barter economy. Through his conquests, Alexander the Great introduced minted currency to the Middle East; the shekel of ancient Canaan/Israel was a measure of weight.