- Paperback: 162 pages
- Publisher: Albion-Andalus Books (March 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615997252
- ISBN-13: 978-0615997254
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,307,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Crown of Solomon and Other Stories Paperback – March 28, 2014
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About the Author
Rabbi Marc D. Angel is Founder and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (jewishideas.org), fostering an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism. He is Rabbi Emeritus of the historic Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City (founded 1654), where he has been serving since 1969. Born and raised in the Sephardic Jewish community of Seattle, Washington, he went to New York for his higher education at Yeshiva University, where he earned his B.A., M.S., Ph.D. and Rabbinic Ordination. He has an M.A. in English Literature from the City College of New York. Author and editor of 30 books, he has written and lectured extensively on various aspects of Jewish law, history and culture. Among his recent books are Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality: The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire (Jewish Lights, 2006), and Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Toward an Intellectually Vibrant Judaism (Jewish Lights, 2009), both of which won Finalist Awards from the National Jewish Book Council. His novel, The Search Committee (Urim, 2008) also won wide critical acclaim. He has recently published a collection of thoughts on the Torah portion of the week, Angel for Shabbat 149 The Crown of Solomon and Other Stories (Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, 2010), and Maimonides: Essential Teachings on Jewish Faith and Ethics (SkyLight Illuminations, 2012). He serves as Editor of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, issued three times per year. Rabbi Angel is Past President of the Rabbinical Council of America. He is co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, an association of Modern Orthodox Rabbis. He has served as officer and board member of numerous agencies, including the UJA-Federation of New York, the American Sephardi Federation, the Rabbinic Cabinet of Jewish National Fund, and the HealthCare Chaplaincy. He has won awards from many institutions including Yeshiva University, the Orthodox Union, and the New York Board of Rabbis. Rabbi Angel is married to Gilda Angel. They have three children and nine grandchildren.
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“Betrayal and Redemption,” for example, looks at the relationship between a frail thirteen-year-old girl on the Island of Marmara, Turkey, and a Greek non-Jewish girl of similar age. The two have an excellent relationship. The story explores what happens during an Easter week pogrom and afterwards.
“The Train” has an O’Henry thrill to it. It is about a non-Jewish woman in the American southwest who is married very happily to a non-Jewish man. Suddenly, she begins to dream that she is on the wrong train. The dream keeps repeating itself.
Readers may want to enjoy the tales and think of some of the details in them that are in other tales. For example, his first story “The Crown of Solomon” is delightful. It is about a highly respected rabbi, scholar, and community leader who spends his life seeking to write all he knows. It is only when he dies that the town people, impatiently waiting to discover his wisdom, are able to read what he wrote. The message of the story is reminiscent of “The Aleph” by the great Argentine writer Jorge Borges as well as a midrashic tale, but Rabbi Angel tells the story differently with zest.
“And Though He Tarry” is a variation of the theme about strangers. A man comes to the synagogue frequently, acts very piously, covers his head with a tallit while praying, but is obnoxious and noisy. The congregants approach the rabbi begging him to expel the visitor.
Angel’s final tale “The Inner Chamber of the King” may remind readers of Maimonides’ parable about the palace at the end of his Guide of the Perplexed. But again, Angel gives it a twist; he adds an event that is a good lesson for all readers.