We [must not] underestimate the enormity of the claim [made by the Jews]. Again and again in the Pentateuch, the psalms, the prophets, and the subsequent writings which derive from them, the claim is made that the creator of the entire universe has chosen to live uniquely on a small ridge called Mount Zion, near the eastern edge of the Judean hill-country. The sheer absurdity of this claim, from the standpoint of any other worldview (not least that of Enlightenment philosophy), is staggering. The fact that Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Egypt again, Syria and now Rome had made explicit mockery of the idea did not shake this conviction, but only intensified it. This was what Jewish monotheism looked like on the ground.