I will say that I was planning to explore this line of thought somewhere in my TL when I rewrite it. After all, my Jewish Empire's a lot more distant from the thought of Jerusalem than any other community.So life update: I'm graduating from university in about a month and for the next few weeks any non-academic writing I do will be purely in the form of procrastination. I don't quite have the focus to go back to the Maquah the Mad arc yet, but I have been jumping around in the timeline writing some easier things in the meantime.
If anyone wants a teaser, of what I've been writing I'll put one here. This is two paragraphs from the end of a chapter I just wrote. It doesn't explicitly spoil anything I am writing about right now, but is a spoiler for what future plot lines I plan to introduce. In the meantime this can also be feedback if this is something you guys want to see.
That is, until a Taino man by the name of Akwey Tuho in 1729 published the controversial pamphlet A Call for Integration. Tuho was himself a scholar and philosopher with a number of Jewish friends, and considered himself to be influenced by the work of Baruch Spinoza. In the pamphlet, Akwey argued that Zemism and Taino identity were no longer relevant in the modern world. He argued that the days of Taino civilization were far in the past and would never return, and therefore they would be best simply assimilating into the societies in which they lived. In his essay, he referenced Spinoza, and argued that if they did not assimilate they would simply end up like the Jews, “a race in exile for near eight times as long as we, who have for centuries endured a pointless persecution and wailed for a return to their ancient land that has never and shall never come to them”. Immediately, Lafi Pentafit read the work and was thrown into a rage. In a single day, he wrote an 18-page lambastment of Tuho’s work titled A Call Against Ignorant Drivel, calling him a “spineless wreck with not an ounce of dignity or care for the fate of his race nor my own”, and ending with a call “for all children of Israel wherever they may be […] to prove this imbecile’s falsehoods to be pure idiocy, to arise to the call of self-deliverance, and to once and for all reclaim the lands of their ancestors”.
Immediately, the work sent shockwaves throughout Shawasha and the intellectual circles of other coastal cities. Lafi lost a large number of his friends for his crassness, being described as a "feces-covered cretin", but a surprising number of individuals, particularly fellow anti-assimilationist Jews and Tainos agreed with him, even receiving a thank you letter from the city's most prominent Zemist priest, which he had printed copies of and taped to the door of Tuho's home while having the original framed. Back in Manhattan, a number of Jewish intellectuals in the community he had left behind picked up the work to mock him, but even many of them began to support his message. What started out as a bunch of petty ramblings against a fellow philosopher ended up becoming the birth of the Erezist movement, a movement that would have world-changing effects. Although he was a short man whose head was already balding, Lavi ben David would be the man responsible for Jewish liberation, and he would do so through sheer spite alone. His unbridled enthusiasm could not be curbed.