From Publishers Weekly
In 1998, Gordis, his wife and three children left their home in Los Angeles, where he was vice president of the University of Judaism, to spend a one-year sabbatical in Jerusalem. While in Israel, though, Gordis began to feel that it was not only his home, but "an experiment of cosmic significance," that he wished to be a permanent part of. This volume gathers e-mails-some excerpted previously in the New York Times Magazine-and private musings that record Gordis's impressions of his new home up through the current turmoil. Gordis, along with many other liberal and leftist sympathizers with the Palestinians, grows thoroughly disillusioned. With the gnawing sense that the Palestinians are not willing to abide a Jewish presence in their region, he comes to believe that there is no end in sight to the daily violence. Yet, he never contemplates returning to the comforts of L.A., even when questioning the ethics of placing his children in danger. But he is troubled primarily by the fate and possible future of the region's children-Israeli and Palestinian. Pondering God's call to Abraham to sacrifice Jacob, he wonders, "Could it be that there is something so subtle, so magical, so intoxicating-and so dangerous-about this land that it leads parents to willingly sacrifice their children?" Gordis is a provocative and penetrating observer, and his writings perfectly capture the complex conundrum of a soul in the tense present, yearning for a state of eternity. Maps.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In 1998 Rabbi Gordis, his wife, and their three children moved to Israel from Los Angeles, embarking on what they thought would be a one-year sabbatical; instead it has become their permanent home. Gordis began sending e-mails about his life there to friends and family, and some of these eventually appeared in the New York Times Magazine.
Gordis' book is an edited collection of his e-mails. At the end of September 2000, hostilities broke out between the Palestinians and Israel, and Gordis divides the book into two sections, before and after that date. He explains how his family must balance their love of Israel with the fear of living in a land torn by strife. "It's the story of a time in which peace gave way to war, when childhood innocence evaporated in the heat of hatred, when it became difficult even to hope," he writes, putting in human terms the agony of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved