- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Schocken; 1st. edition (March 5, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805241884
- ISBN-13: 978-0805241884
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Letters to Auntie Fori: The 5,000-Year History of the Jewish People and Their Faith Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 5, 2002
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Martin Gilbert's Letters to Auntie Fori is a proud, 140-part epistolary history of the Jews as well as a parsing of the basic tenets of the faith and the meaning and form of its holy days and ritual observances. Beginning with the first chapter of Genesis, Gilbert follows his people through five millennia, concluding with the founding of Israel and, briefly, the political and religious Middle-Eastern turmoil of the present day. Especially interesting are his chapters on the Diaspora, as well as brief summaries of Jewish heroes in World War I, the dark horrors of World War II, and short recitals of Jewish luminaries in industry, politics, sports, and the arts and sciences. Though Gilbert is hardly a disinterested narrator, his erudite informality (the recipient of his letter-chapters is a well-educated and elderly friend effectively innocent of any knowledge of Judaism) serves his complex subject admirably. --H. O'Billovitch
Gilbert is an esteemed historian and biographer. The "Auntie Fori" of the title is an elderly citizen of India who was born a Jew in Hungary. Having lived into her nineties in relative ignorance of Jewish history and culture, she asked her longtime friend to help her learn the history of the people to whom she still believed she belonged. The result is this compact, breezy, and thoroughly enjoyable survey. Gilbert begins with the Creation myth, and his analyses of some of the more enigmatic episodes from the Old Testament are both provocative and insightful. His chapters on the medieval Diaspora eloquently describe both the triumphs and the travails of Jews from Spain to Mesopotamia. Finally, while skirting the explosive political issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he illustrates the enduring ties, both emotional and physical, that link Jews to the land that forged their national identity. For those, like Auntie Fori, hoping to understand the Jewish past and present, this book is a treasure. Jay Freeman
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And a gift it is, to have a digital searchable edition of this reference book.
There are so many questions that Jewish People ask themselves or are asked by others.
Martin Gilbert gives clear and concise answers.