“Yet the final great enthusiasm of his life was Judaism. He and his wife Ruth Anna were determined to recover the identity that his parents’ generation had rejected, and they created a Jewish household for their children. Mr Putnam himself had his own bar mitzvah in 1994, aged 68. He learned Hebrew, and wrote a book on Jewish philosophy as a guide to life: seeking proof, he argued, missed the point of religion. It was what it did that mattered.”


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