We were planning to do another debate on whether the Jews are indeed the chosen people, a topic of particular interest for Hitchens given the discovery that he was Jewish only when his mother revealed it to him in his twenties.
Back and forth we went, trying to find a time that might suit him as he awaited the literal return of the voice he had lost to his treatment against esophageal cancer.
His mother had also told him that she planned to move to Israel where she said Jews were making the desert bloom, a move that was never carried out due to her tragic suicide. I once asked Hitchens on my radio show what, given his mother’s growing attachment to her people, it would have meant to him for her to have lived to see the substantial Jewish intellectual following he would one day amass. He told me that it would have made him very happy to see her proud.
He further shared with me how, amid his passionate atheism, he took pride in his Jewishness due to Jewry’s immense emphasis on learning and scholarship and being the people of the book. ...
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