In The Source, how did Paul Zodman learn about the dig at Tell Makor, why was he so excited about it, what was Zodman’s role in the archaeological dig, and what did he learn about Israeli Jews after he visited the dig?

In The Source, Paul Zodman’s role in the dig is to provide money for Dr. John Cullinane and his team to uncover ancient artifacts and maybe even a castle. Zodman is excited about being able to show his friends the castle. He’s also excited to give Israel money in general. Alas, in Israel, he learns that it’s not as Jewish as he presumed. However, the sight of an Israeli solider makes a great impression on him.

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Dr. John Cullinane is in charge of the dig at Makor, which means he’s also in charge of securing the funding to execute it. The dig at Makor is not something that can be done on a shoestring budget. Uncovering lost and legendary artifacts/civilizations is not an inexpensive endeavor. It...

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Dr. John Cullinane is in charge of the dig at Makor, which means he’s also in charge of securing the funding to execute it. The dig at Makor is not something that can be done on a shoestring budget. Uncovering lost and legendary artifacts/civilizations is not an inexpensive endeavor. It will cost around $50,000 a year and last for around ten years.

Fortunately for Cullinane, Paul J. Zodman offered to finance the dig. Zodman is described as Cullinane’s “Chicago millionaire.” Prior to the dig, Cullinane was head of the Biblical Museum in Chicago. I can’t find a spot where James Michener clarifies the exact moment when Zodman found out about the dig. Perhaps Zodman found about it through his and Cullinane’s Chicago connections or through Zodman’s financial link to Israel.

Again, Zodman’s role is mainly financial. He’s supplying the money they need to continue their excavation. He seems to be excited because he’s generally excited to give money to Israel. He has supplied $50,000 for trees, a half million dollars for the school of business administration, and now a third of a million dollars for this dig.

You could also say that Zodman is excited because he hopes that they will find the castle and that he will be able to show the castle to his friends.

When Zodman visits the dig, it’s his first time in the Israel area. At the kibbutz, there’s neither a synagogue nor an emphasis on eating kosher. Zodman seems to learn that Israel isn’t as Jewish as he anticipated.

Zodman is annoyed. He feels like he’s “wasting his money on a Jewish state that ignored synagogues and ritual.” Although, after witnessing the Bible Quiz, he seems less irritated about the lack of adherence to Jewish standards and customs. More so, the sight of the Israeli solider seems to have a profound impact on him.

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