Judaism for me is a sensibility of collective self-questioning and uncomfortable truth-telling. I feel a debt of responsibility to this past. It is why I am Jewish.
I see myself as, first and above all, a teacher of history; next, a writer of European history; next, a commentator on European affairs; next ,a public intellectual voice within the American left; and only then an occasional, opportunistic participant in the pained American discussion of the Jewish matter.
In the grip of a neurological disorder, I am fast losing control of words even as my relationship with the world has been reduced to them.
I went to live on a kibbutz, and I'd idealized the world of collective, agrarian work, where everyone was equal, everyone contributed, that all this awful European intellectual stuff just fell away.