In AD 70, when the Second Temple was destroyed, a handful of visionaries saved Judaism by reinventing it, taking what had been a national religion and turning it into an idea. Whenever a Jew studied―wherever he was―he would be in the holy city, and his faith preserved. But in our own time, Zionists have turned the book back into a temple, and unlike an idea, a temple can be destroyed. With exuberance, humor, and real scholarship, Rich Cohen's Israel is Real offers "a serious attempt by a gifted storyteller to enliven and elucidate Jewish religious, cultural, and political history . . . A powerful narrative" (Los Angeles Times).