The Saga of the Jews: 4,000 years of history in 60 stories

Written by David Mandel
Category: · History

The sixty stories included in this book constitute a history⸻ the history of the Jewish people. They are individual mosaics of a panoramic picture that covers 4,000 years.

The first story takes place four millennia ago in Ur, the capital of Sumer, the oldest kingdom in history. The last story is about an entrepreneur in Tel Aviv, one of the leading centers of global high technology, and the event that it reports. If it did not happen yesterday, it might happen tomorrow.

Through the pages of this book pass patriarchs and prophets, kings and queens, saints and villains, philosophers and generals, politicians and scientists.

The stories use various literary formats. Others use anachronistic formats, such as a radio interview with King Jeroboam, or the life of Rabbi Akiva in a three-act play. Some, especially those of the biblical age, are presented with humor. Many of the stories are told in first person by characters that in some cases are historical and in others imaginary, but in all cases the mentioned events are historical. At the end of the book, under the title “Notes about the stories,” the author includes a short explanation about each chapter.

The theme of this book, actually the basic theme of Jewish history, is the survival of the Jewish people, who, despite being one of the smallest nations on the planet, have, during their long existence, faced and survived the most powerful empires.

The pharaohs of Egypt, the emperors of Rome, the fanatical monks of the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazis guilty of the worst genocide in human history, have all disappeared, but the Jewish people are still here, actively participating in contemporary history and contributing to the progress of humanity.

Mark Twain, the distinguished American writer, wrote an essay titled Concerning the Jews: “All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains.” He finished his essay with a question: “What is the secret of his immortality?”

The author found the answer to Mark Twain’s question in a most unexpected place: in a detective novel, Postmortem, by writer Patricia Cornwell, in a phrase that could serve as the national motto of the Jewish people: “Surviving is my only hope, Succeeding is my only revenge.”

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