I read this awhile back, along with another good (IMO) Chabon book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Yiddish-Policemens-Union-Novel/dp/0007149...

The Yiddish Policemen's union book comes to mind in response to Alan Perlman's point on the main wall for Jewish Atheists as to the choice to locate the homeland for Jews in the the Biblical homeland in the Middle East (Alan referred to the most violent area in the world, but I don't know if that's really true).

IIRC, the Chabon book imagines a world where after the Holocaust, Israel was not successfully set up but rather a portion of Alaska is temporarily set up for Jewish refugees.

I thought it was a pretty good book.  It kind of got me thinking about a few things.

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Well, Chabon accurately depicts fundamentalist Jews ready to "rig the game" as much as some of our more charming Christian cults here in North America. Messiah not coming just when you need him? Just go ahead and create circumstances that fulfill your take on the Bible.

It was an interesting, well-written novel. I wonder about those fundamentalists ...

I have never really known that much about Judaism and what I know of the fundamentalists/ultra-orthodox is more from books and movies and reading than running into them.  I guess two examples are this novel and (from reading it 35 years ago) The Chosen by Chaim Potok.  Until this book by Chabon I didn't really process the extent to which some of the fundies were wrapped up in the issue of the Messiah coming in the near-term (though I guess I've heard the stories about some of them carrying beepers to alert them if so-and-so revealed it or some-such). 

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