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Customer Review

on 4 June 2008
In this epic work of Jewish history, Marek Halter uses an ancient document passed down from generation to generation through the centuries, and fleshed it out to create an exciting and informative epic novel.
Beginning in 70 CE (AD) Halter begins with the flight of a Jews called Abraham fron the burning city of Jerusalem, together with his family, during it's destruction by the Romans.
Taking us through the history of a Jewish family from Jerusalem to North Africa to Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and Poland, This is a history of Halter's family and of the Nation of Israel.
The words of the book are permeated with words of wisdom such as "A dream of cake is a dream, not a cake, but a dream of a journey is itself a kind of journey" as well as the prayers of the Jews through the millenia: " May the Allmighty protect us from those who persecute us, and against those who speak evil of us. Blessed be the Allmighty". These words are as pertinent today as ever. The book deals with question such as why the Chumash started with the creation. And sayings such as Sof Tov Hakol Tov- All's Well That End Well"-Now we know how Shakespeare got the name for the play of that title.
We read of the cruel decrees of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, outlawing circumcision, observance of the Sabbath and study of the Jewish Law, in the Land of Israel, creating a situation where being a Jews in the Land of the Jews was punishable by death.
Hadrian went so far as changing the name of Judea to Palestine, after the enemies of the Jews who had once occupied the environs of Gaza, the Phillistines.
We learn of the massacres perpetrated during the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and the bloody pogroms of Chmielnicki in which thousands of Jewish men, women and children were cruelly slaughtered. Of the struggles of the Nation of Israel: " Do not fear the venom of the wicked...aim your arrows and strike down the evildoer..."
The book speaks of the yearning through the exile, of the Jews for the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, and we are introduced to historical figures as diverse as the false messiah Shabbatai Tzvi, the beautiful Marrano Dona Gracia (Nasi), and the apostate Uriel Acosta.
We read of the loves and the struggles of the lives of the real life figures in this epic.
finally the book ends with the account of the Abraham who perished in the flames of the Warsaw ghetto, where the Jews fought a valiant battle against the Nazi monstrosity, always longing for freedom in their own land, the Land of Israel.
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