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November 12, 1982 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-11-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

18 Friday, November 12, 1982

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Potok's 'Book of Lights' in Paperback

Moral and socially-
psychological issues are
tackled by Chaim Potok in
his latest novel, "The Book

of Lights," which was first
issued as a hard cover book
in 1981 by Valentine Books
and is now paperbacked by

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"The Book of Lights" was
first reviewed in The Jewish
News on Dec. 11, 1981 by
Bette Roth, who wrote:
"In Chaim Potok's newest
masterpiece, 'The Book of
Lights' (Knopf), he ventures
into areas as yet barely
touched in American
Jewish literature, namely,

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A young rabbi who is
troubled by irrational forces
affecting the Jewish com-
munity since the end of
World War II is affected by
events worldwide and in his
Brooklyn community.
The young rabbi, Gershon
Loran, separates from the
woman he loves and is af-
fected by Kabalism. He is
drawn to Arthur Leiden, a
fellow student who is also
affected by the same
visions. Arthur is the son of
an atomic scientist and he
wishes to atone for what he
believes are the evils
wrought in his involvement
in the atomic bomb's de-
velopment.
Both travel, visit Israel,
are involved in a friend-
ship affected by the
occurrences in the
atomic age. Jewish mys-
ticism plays a role here.

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CHAIM POTOK

the Jewish involvement in
the production of the atom
bombs that destroyed
Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
and the experiences of indi-
vidual Jews in Southeast
Asia, immediately follow-
ing the Korean War.
"The two central char-
acters of the novel, Gershon
Loran, a New York born and
bred Orthodox Jew, and Ar-
thur Leiden, the Boston
bred son of one Charles
Leiden, a member of the
Manhattan Project, are sent
to Korea by their yeshiva to
serve as chaplains to .the
Jewish soldiers stationed
there.
"Lights, symbols of
energy, are the unifying
focus of this book, be they
the mystical kabalistic
lights to which Gershon
seems to be inexplicably
drawn, the brutal, catas-
trophic lights produced
by the explosions of the
bombs over Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, the harsh,
frigid sunlight of a Ko-
rean winter, or the
always-too-bright lights
in any room in which Ar-
thur Leiden finds him-
self.
"Both Gershon and Ar-
thur are young men who
cannot come to terms with
the pain and destruction
they have found in the 'real
world.'
"This novel produces no
teleological answers, only
more probing questions for
the reader, prodded into
deepest reflection by the
author's most provocative
words."
* * *

German-Israel Relations
on Road to Improvement

BONN (JTA) — West
Germany's Deputy Foreign
Minister Alois Mertes sig-
naled a change for the bet-
ter in Bonn-Israel relations
in an address to the annual
conference of the German-
Israeli Friendship Associa-
tion here.
He cautioned the Euro-
pean Economic Community
(EEC) not to launch new,
separate initiatives in the
Middle East or to give rise to
miscalculations in the Arab
world.
Mertes, representing the
new government of Chan-
cellor Helmet Kohl, said
that while West Germany
supports the right of the
Palestinian people to self-
determination, that does
not include the right of the
Palestine Liberation
Organization to destroy Is-
rael or to rule Lebanon.
He was sharply critical
of East Germany's coop-
eration with the PLO.
The conference was
attended by a Knesset dele-
gation headed by Likud MK
Menahem Savidor. Also
present were Israel's first

ambassador to Bonn, Asher
Ben-Natan who is president
of the association, and the
present ambassador, Yit-
zhak Ben-Ali.
Mertes brought a per-
sonal message from Kohl,
stating that he was fully
committed to the goals laid
down by West Germany's
first Chancellor, the late
Konrad Adenauer, of recon-
ciliation and friendship
with the Jewish people and
the state of Israel.
Kohl said in a recent
interview in the newspaper
Bild that he firmly intended
to accept Israel's long stand-
ing invitation to the Chan-
cellor of West Germany to
visit Israel — an invitation
never takeh up by his pre-
decessor, Schmidt.

Arafat Prediction

WASHINGTON — Near
East Report quotes Yasir
Arafat in Kuwait as saying
that Israel will not last
forever in the Middle East.
Arafat compared Israel to
the Crusaders and Mongol
invaders who were ulti-
mately vanquished.

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More Paperbacks

Current paperbacks in-
clude:
"Greed Is Not Enough:
Reaganomics" by Robert
Lekachman (Pantheon
Books);
"The Fate of the Earth"
by Jonathan Schell (Avon
Books), dealing with nu-
clear energy;
"The Serpent's Coil: The
Great Sea Saga of Ships and
Men Caught in the Savage
Fury of a Hurricane" by
Farley Mowat (Bantam
Books).

Aridor Stung

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A

vote on a coalition motion in
support of Finance Minister
Yoram Aridor's economic
policies resulted in a 40-40
tie last week, prompting
Aridor to stalk out of the
chamber angrily accusing
his coalition colleagues of
showing a lack of confi-
dence. He threatened to re-
sign but did not.

CALL: SAM SCOTELLA

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