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Letters to Talia Paperback – October 15, 2012
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We are certain that both the educational and ethical content of these letters will play a significant part in deepening Jewish identity in Israeli society and promoting unity and love of God. --Rabbi Haim Drukman, Director of the Center for Bnei Akiva Yeshivot
Letters to Talia is the quintessential combination of Zionism and Judaism -- --Yaakov Hagoel, Head of the Department for Activities in Israel and Countering Antisemitism World Zionist Organization
This book is an extraordinary exchange of letters, at once tragic and hopeful, between two young Israelis that illuminate the core beliefs at the bedrock of the Jewish state and the issues critical to securing its future. --Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
Dov Indig, z l, impresses us with his spiritual maturity, his deeply rooted faith, and his capacity to harmonize his spirituality with the vibrant love he felt for his people. His heritage will forever guide our paths. --Tamir Kadmi Philosof
About the Author
Dov Indig became famous as the hero of the novel by Rabbi Chaim Sabato, Adjusting Sights (in the movie based on the book he is called David). But nothing can tell us as much about Dov's greatness as his letters to Talia. His character will continue to illuminate the Jewish national persona, just as his own short life illuminated his surroundings with the light of kindness and great love.
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In 1971 a correspondence began between Talia, a teenager living in a secular kibbutz in Israel, and Dov who was a yeshiva student. Talia has questions about Judaism and Zionism. Dov answered her questions and shared his philosophies with her. Even though they were very different people, their dialogue was always respectful. Reading the letters, I came away with a better understanding of Judaism and Zionism as well as the secular.
This is a very special book and I highly recommend reading it.
Talia is very secular but has a strong desire to learn more about her religion and Zionism. In their letters, Dov and Talia are brutally honest with each other. His adherence to religious law often offends Talia. But Dov has that perfect mix of being incredibly intelligent and, I have to say, charismatic. While he is adamant regarding his position, he is also able to sway Talia in some of her beliefs. It is often in Talia’s pushing back at Dov after an offense that his best explanations are then offered. She wanted to learn, and he was happy to teach.
The two did meet face-to-face a couple of times. And there was definitely a tenderness developing between them. Some have called it love. I see it more as adulation on her side and fondness (like to a little sister) on his side. Unfortunately Dov is killed in the Yom Kippur War. The book stops abruptly there. This is probably why I am giving it only three stars. I feel that there should have been something more from Talia. Perhaps how she learned of his death, her reaction, what she went on to do. After this abrupt ending halfway through the book there is then a short section that is basically a biography of Dov’s life. Then it wraps up with his friends telling us what Dov was like.
It was interesting to read his explanation for why very religious Jews do certain things, why they believe a certain way. He was an exceptional young man. He had a wide interest in all types of topics. He did not limit himself to just religious texts. He loved learning just for the sake of learning. Dov embraced the beauty of his religion and never apologized for it. He loved nature and relished each gift from God, great or small. Several times he is quoted as seeing something and then exclaiming “How great are the wonders of God!”
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This translated edition, published in 2012, was delivered to me by Geffen Publishing House in...Read more