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The Tenth Prayer: A Novel of Israel Paperback – July 17, 2000
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Not only "a good read," but it recalls the heroic events and ideological struggles that marked Israel's early days. -- Jerusalem Post, May 11, 2001
From the Author
The following review appeared on May 11 in the Jerusalem Post: By Theodore Steinberg How often do you get to read a novel where it turns out you were personally involved?
The Tenth Prayer is a historical novel that deals with the period from the end of World War II until the Eichmann trial in the early 1960s.
The author has created a set of characters - some of whom represent real people - that give the reader a good feel for what those days were like.
My own participation in the story goes back to May 1948 when I was a student at Yeshiva College in New York.
As the May 15 date of declaring statehood approached, so did the time of personal decision-making. An organization called Land and Labor for Palestine, cited in the novel, offered young men like myself a free steamship ticket to the Promised Land. A close friend and I accepted the offer and we left New York for Palestine on the USS Marine Carp in early May.
About a week after statehood was declared, the ship reached Beirut, a scheduled stop. The next stop was Haifa. But Lebanon was at war with the new Jewish State. Since it was assumed that most of the young, male, Israel-bound passengers would be inducted into IDF soon after debarking at Haifa, Lebanon was unwilling to let us continue the voyage.
We were taken off the ship and driven to a military prison camp in Baalbek. There we were kept for about two months.
This story is told in greater detail in The Tenth Prayer. Esrati was on the Marine Carp with us. My memory of him is vague, but then so are lots of things from those long-ago days.
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The killing of Israeli cabinet member Rechavam Zeevi by palestines today when I write theese lines shows that these pains are far from over.
I'm too young to remember the events the book tells but Steven's way of writing this novel gave me a good impression of the problems and contradictions which accompanied Israel' evolution during these 15 years. Sure, it is fiction, but a good one.
One is tempted to look in the internet when Naomi was Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. A fine book, Mr. Esrati!