Overview

It is sometime in the near future, and the Israeli Army is about to descend upon a band of militant settlers who have proclaimed the secessionist Kingdom of Judea and Samaria. So begins this timely and brilliantly satiric novel—an all-too-real story of a modern-day Masada.

The Jewish War is most particularly the story of Yehudi HaGoel (formerly Jerry Goldberg of the Bronx), the fiery and charismatic king of an extreme Zionist sect. His divine ...
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The Jewish War

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Overview

It is sometime in the near future, and the Israeli Army is about to descend upon a band of militant settlers who have proclaimed the secessionist Kingdom of Judea and Samaria. So begins this timely and brilliantly satiric novel—an all-too-real story of a modern-day Masada.

The Jewish War is most particularly the story of Yehudi HaGoel (formerly Jerry Goldberg of the Bronx), the fiery and charismatic king of an extreme Zionist sect. His divine mission: to hasten the coming of the Messiah and bring about the redemption. As we follow him from his youth in New York City and the Catskills to his hilarious, illicit passage to Israel during the Six-Day War and through his campaign to claim the sacred city of Hebron (the burial place of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs), we enter into a complex and troubled world rife with ancient passions. It is a world peopled with irreconcilables: religious Zionists, ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists, Christian fundamentalists, Arab nationalists, secular Israelis, American supporters, and implacable military officers. Among these last is General Uri Lapidot, whose career is uncannily linked to HaGoel's and who is charged with the grim and unwanted task of leading the Israeli army against the secessionist kingdom in the final showdown.

By turns comic and tragic, The Jewish War is a stunning account of the struggle between political realities and historical vision, between the hope for peace and a fierce commitment to sacred, eternal truth. Written with deep authority and intense power, it brings to life haunting and universally resonant characters whose deepest yearnings are those that pursue us all.

From the Hardcover edition.

Sometime in the near future, the Israeli Army plans to descend upon a band of militant West Bank settlers who have proclaimed the seccessionist Kingdom of Judea and Samaria. The Jewish War tells the story of Yehudi HaGoel formerly Jerry Goldberg of the Bronx, the fiery and charismatic king of an extremist Zionist sect, whose mission is to recapture the sacred city of Hebron.

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
Yehudi HaGoel -- formerly Jerry Goldberg of the Bronx -- and self-proclaimed king of the Secessionist Kingdom of Judea and Samaria, along with a coterie of wives and followers takes on the Israeli army in his mission to claim the sacred city of Hebron. The satiric pen of author Reich is sharp as it depicts extremists, Zionists and anti-Zionists, secular Israelis, American supporters and Christian fundamentalists in a comic vision of a possible reenactment of Massada, which has less-than-funny vibrations.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is an outrageously funny, wickedly irreverent, deadly serious satire on religious extremism. Reich follows messianic, opportunistic, polygamous Jerry Goldberg in his metamorphosis from Bronx social worker and Catskills camp counselor into Yehudi HaGoel, terrorist leader of a band of American Jewish zealots who establish a short-lived secessionist kingdom on Israel's West Bank. Joining Jerry/Yehudi in this doomed quest are his three wives (a Barnard-educated English literature scholar, a mail-order swindler and a conflicted divorce); Jerry's trusted comrade, Herbie Levy (Hoshea HaLevi) of Brooklyn; and fellow Uzi-toting fanatics willing to die for their cause. Swinging from broad farce to tragic confrontation, Reich (Mara; Master of the Return) peoples her canvas with assorted ideologues, among them Chuck Buck, fast-talking evangelical preacher who joins forces with Yehudi to further his goal of building a Christian theme park on Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Meanwhile, Buck's sister Pam kidnaps boys to swell the ranks of The Messiah-Waiters, an ultraorthodox, anti-Zionist movement, and is romantically pursued by an old Arab sheikh, Abu Salman, who's obeying a vision to marry her in order to produce a child. Reich writes with chutzpah, wild humor and real insight in this probing exploration of the cult mentality and messianic nationalism. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307827739
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/24/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Tova Reich is the author of the novels Mara and Master of the Return, which won the Edgar Lewis Wallant Award for fiction. Her stories and reviews have appeared in, among other publications, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and The New York Times. She lives on the fringe of Washington, D.C., with her husband and children.

From the Hardcover edition.

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