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April 18, 1986 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-18

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

44 Friday, April 18, 1986

BOOKS

661 -CAMP

A Fictional Voyage
Into Jewish History

TAMARACK CAMPS
HOTLINE

BY ABRAHAM H. FOXMAN

Special to The Jewish News

CALL FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION
ON SPACES AVAILABLE
and
RESERVE A SPACE FOR UP TO
7 DAYS WITHOUT A DEPOSIT

A Happy and Healthy
Passover
To Our Many Friends

Beautywoxks

29306 Northwestern, Southfield

Next to Franklin Racquet Club

356-6590

EEit (1114dfiEl

107

One must admire Marek Hal-
ter for the breadth and daring of
his theme in The Book of Ab-
raham — the narration of the
Jewish experience, from the de-
struction of the second temple in
70 C.E. to the Holocaust and the
establishment of Israel, through
the geneology and wanderings of
one family.
Although it is a work of the
imagination and fiction," not his-
tory, Halter attempts to make it
real with a counterpoint of italic
interludes that indicates that it
is the story of his own family.
In their voyage through time,
the ancestors of the family and
their descendants survive the
triumphs and tragedies of the
exile and record each stage in a
scroll begun when Abraham, a
scribe who becomes the founding
father, flees from a Jerusalem
laid waste by the Roman con-
querors. Guarded and treasured,
the scroll is handed down
through the generations as each
family head in his time adds to
it the names of offspring and de-
tails of the family experience.
The scroll travels with the
family as they move from place
to place, driven by economic
needs, oppression and hardship
to Alexandria, Rome, Carthage,
Constantinople, Toledo, Troyes,
Strasbourg, Soncino, Amster-
dam, Paris and finally Warsaw.
The reference to Israel is in the
author's commentary in which
he describes his own experi-
ences.
Although the book winds to
its conclusion with an extraor-

dinary act of self-sacrificing
heroism during the Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising, it is mostly an
episodic narrative of ordinary
men and women — peasants
and bankers, workers and mer-
chants, poets and scholars, lov-
ers and haters — trying to earn
a living and peaceful, construc-
tive lives. •
As the family goes through
the rites of passage — births,
circumcisions, bar mitzvahs,
weddings and death — it must
also cope with the traumatic
events of Jewish -history: The
triumph of Christianity, the rise
of Islam, the Crusades, the
Black Plague, Chmielnecki's
pogrom, the Inquisition, the
Napoleonic Wars, the Beilis
ritual murder case, the inven-
tion of the ghetto, the yellow
star and the inconstancy of the
rulers. and regimes upon which
they depended for protection.
The Book of Abraham as a
tour through the Jewish experi-
ence. It provides interesting in-
sights into Jewish history, cus-
toms and lore and gives one a
glimpse and understanding of
contemporaries viewed such
giants of the Jewish people as
Maimonides, Rashi and the Baal
Shem Tov.

Foxman is associate national
director of the Anti-Defamation
League of B'nai B'rith.

a

Marek Halter
To Speak Here

9 cPaslo (.7Es

c7Val2/2 ,

THE GORNBEIN FAMILY
AND STAFF

GORNBEINS

Carl and Myra Gornbein
Mark Gornbein • Fay Fries
Norman Gornbein
Arline Allen • Arthur Greenwald • Frankie Fish
Susan Fox • Lillian DeRoven
Nina Eisenberg • Lane Truber

357-1056

SUITE 110 — HERITAGE PLAZA
24901 NORTHWESTERN HWY.
SOUTHFIELD

JEWELERS

HOURS: MON.-FRI.:4) a.m.-5 p.m. I SAT.: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Copyright WNS-Seven Arts.

Technion Has
Pneumonia Kit

Haifa — Medical researchers
at Technion-Israel Institute of
Technology have developed a
new method for speedy diagnosis
of mycoplasmal pneumonia.
Previously, a two-week waiting
period was necessary for accu-
rate diagnosis. The new proce-
dure makes it possible to diag-
nose within hours and begin
proper treatment immediately.
The Immunology Department
at Technion's Faculty of
Medicine has developed a kit to
detect an antibody present in
the blood of mycoplasma-
infected patients. The kit is
being readied for commercial
use and production.

Blessings In
Sign Language

Marek Halter

Marek Halter, author of The
Book of Abraham, will be the
guest speaker in the Jewish
Community Center's "Meet the
Author" series, 1 p.m. April 29.
Halter will speak on his new
book in the main Center li-
brary.

New York — "OUR WAY" the
program for Jewish deaf spon-
sored by the National Confer-
ence of Synagogue Youth, is dis-
tributing directions for "signing"
and saying the blessing before
eating Moror (bitter herbs) dur-
ing the Passover Seder.
The publication is part of
"OUR WAY"'s Mitzvah series of
prayers and blessings in
language. For a free copy, send
a long, stamped, self-addressed
envelope to "OUR WAY"-NCSY,
Pesach Brochure, 45 West 36th
St., New York, N.Y. 10018.

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