"Whether describing a walk through Jerusalem in snow, a hike in the desert or a farewell family drive to the Gaza settlements, Gordis manages to capture the essential details that tell us the larger meaning of our Israeli lives. There is much irony in this book, and also anger, especially against those who unfairly judge Israel in its most desperate and noble times. Most of all, though, this book is the chronicle of a love story - of an immigrant family in Jerusalem falling in love with Israel and, through that love, discovering the strength to cope with life on the front lines of a Jihadist war. As a fellow Jerusalemite, I feel a profound debt to Gordis for explaining what it means to raise a family in the middle of a terror zone, and the courage that average Israelis instinctively display in maintaining the pretense of normal life. Those of us who share his passion are fortunate to be so well represented by this book."
—Yossi Klein Halevi, Foreign Correspondent, The New Republic
"Interesting conversation is Israel's most ingratiating commodity, and this is an especially interesting one. To read Coming Together, Coming Apartis to be engaged in an ongoing dialogue with one of Israel's most thoughtful observers - an American who made Israel his home, despite its imperfections and dangers. Gordis's conversational narrative is irresistible."
—Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel
From the Inside Flap
Prepare to experience a powerful, multilayered true love story like none you have ever read beforethe deeply resonant and satisfying memoir of a man struggling to hold his world together as his country is being torn apart.
When Daniel Gordis, his wife, Elisheva, and their three young children abandoned a safe and comfortable home in Los Angeles to move halfway around the world and find a new life in Israel, the future looked bright. It was 1998, Ehud Barak had just been elected prime minister, and peace appeared to be only a few tough negotiations away.
Two years later, hope had turned to terror, as the rattle of machine-gun fire perforated the night and the frightened, exhausted children clung desperately to their stuffed animals in fitful sleep, dreaming perhaps of the quiet, peaceful world they had left behind.
In Coming Together, Coming Apart, Gordis tells a timely, relevant, and deeply personal tale that lays bare the complex problems of the seemingly intractable and often incomprehensible Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reveals how much is at stake, and underscores the toll the struggle takes on every human being it touches.
How do you raise children in a land of suicide bombings and rocket attacks? Can a society preserve its moral principles through five decades of war? With the Intifada raging and America about to invade Iraq, with Saddam Hussein threatening missile attacks on Israel, how can anyone resist the temptation to hate the enemy? Writing with unparalleled sympathy, creativity, and hope, Gordis explores all of these questions and many more through a series of disarmingly simple anecdotes that nonetheless penetrate deeply into the heart of the matter.
In 2005, two disengagements loomed large for Gordis. The first, which grabbed headlines worldwide, was Israel's pullout from the Gaza strip and the eviction of Jewish settlers it could no longer protect. The second separation, occurring at the same time, was a more personal one: his daughter was drafted. With the country divided over the pullout and his own children marching toward a future potentially devoid of peace, Gordis peers deeply into the soul of a country where the more people appear bound together, the more completely they're torn apart.