Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Books Are Waiting... A Book Review, "Destiny's Call"

Two types of books are waiting.  I have the books I've promised to review and the books cooking in my head.

One of those I must review and have already read is Destiny's Call by Ben-Tzion Spitz.  I read the book on a Shabbat afternoon a couple of weeks ago.  It's a quick-reading book, actually designed as food for thought about the weekly Parshot Shavua, Torah Portions of the Week from the first book of the Torah, Chumash, Bible, Bereishit.
Destiny's Call brings to life scenes, stories and characters from the Book of Genesis. In captivating fictional short stories, Destiny's Call gives a glimpse of the struggles of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, the birth and conflicts of the Tribes of Israel, and a deeper exploration of some of the colorful characters depicted in the Bible. Destiny's Call relies heavily on biblical and archeological sources. The book includes questions for discussion, detailed hand-drawn maps of the ancient world, recreated genealogical records and timeline, an index of biblical references, and a glossary of biblical terms. Ben-Tzion Spitz is the author of the Torah Shorts blog (at ben-tzion.com), where he has published dozens of biblical fiction stories and biblical analysis based on ancient, medieval and contemporary sources. Spitz has been exploring and researching biblical stories and archeological findings for over two decades. He is also the creator and lecturer of the Biblical Fiction series in Jerusalem, Israel.
Simply put, it's Spitz's midrashim, commentary on the Bible, based on traditional sources and his imagination.  It's easy reading, recommended as "young adult."  For English-speakers, I guess that means junior high, even a gift for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  It would be a gift they could immediately appreciate, not one of those books to be stored on the shelf for a decade or two. 

Destiny's Call by Ben-Tzion Spitz is also a good book for those who are not very familiar with traditional Jewish commentary and sources, because there are explanations.

For ESL or EFL students, it's more on a high school level.  And for those non-English speaking/reading adults who wish to improve their English and don't want secular books and articles, it's an enjoyable and interesting book to read.  Destiny's Call is recommended and would make a great Afikomen or any other sort of present.

One of the books that has been rattling around in my head, and very partially written on the computer, is my own little story on Biblical Shiloh.  Having read Spitz's book, the characters in mine have gotten louder.


Sara Layah said...

By all means, Batya, go 4 it and give your characters voice!

Batya said...

thanks, darling!!!!