Sunday, July 25, 2010

Anybody Read This Book?

Described as

A COMPELLING TALE OF 2,000 YEARS OF JEWISH HISTORY. A Jewish physician, Joseph, deserts his comrades in their final battle against Rome. Mortally wounded, a necromancer saves his life and bestows immortality upon him. The catch—Joseph will go into the long exile with his people and experience their humiliations, triumphs, and tragedies down through the corridors of time. And on one particular day of the year, he will live in dread, expecting personal tragedy to strike at the families he sires, the women he marries, and the children he cherishes.

and also thus

The book details the life of Joseph, a fictional Jewish physician/warrior at Beitar on the 8th of Av, the day before the final defeat of the Bar-Kochba rebellion by the Roman empire. Abandoning his comrades at arms, he deserts the city only to find himself attacked by Romans. Hanging between life and death, a mythical kabbalist offers Joseph the option of immortality -- with a catch. He must accompany the Jewish people into exile and in addition to bearing witness to the 9th of Av tragedies which would afflict the Jewish people for generations, the same day would mark personal calamities in his private life as well.

This 800 page book of historical fiction is a fascinating journey through Jewish life in the Middle East, Arabia, Spain, France, England, Germany and many parts of Europe from 135 c.e. at the fall of Beitar in Israel through the 1600's in the Netherlands. Joseph's travels take him through the ancient library of Alexandria, to the Parthian empire and the city of Nehardea where the Talmud was authored. Joseph meets and debates with the Amoraim; Shmuel, Rava, Rabba, Rav Ashi and Rabina.

My friend Marcia told me he seems to have been in Betar in Brooklyn due to lines from the youth movement anthem. Jameel has a mention on his blog from five years ago.

I'll be looking out for it.

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