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Book Club Meeting: As a Driven Leaf
Join us:
MJC BOOK CLUB

driven leafConnect with others as we discuss "As A Driven Leaf" by Milton Steinberg

At the home of
Jacob and Lisa Sturm
10 Sunset Terrace
Maplewood

Monday March 12, 2012
at 8:00 PM

 

As a Driven Leaf is a 1939 novel by Milton Steinberg based on the life of Elisha ben Abuyah

As a Driven Leaf derives its title from the Biblical passage in Job: "Wherefore hidest Though Thy face...Wilt Thou harass a driven leaf?" It is an historical fiction about Elisha ben Abuyah, a Rabbi who lived around the time of the destruction of the temple, he was a member of the Sanhedrin until his ex-communication, and lived most of his life in Antioch, Syria. It is the story of a man who questions his faith and tries to regain it through a search of literature, history, science and math over his lifetime of studies, only to realize too late that his search for truth without faith is an empty quest.

Steinberg's novel wrestles with the 2nd century Jewish struggle to reconcile Rabbinic Judaism both culturally and philosophically with Greek Hellenistic society. In Elisha's struggle, Steinberg speculates about questions and events that may have driven such a man to apostasy, and addresses questions of Jewish self-determination in the Roman Empire, the Bar Kochba Revolt (132-135), and above all the interdependence of reason and faith. Although the novel draws on Talmudic tradition to create the framework for Elisha's life, Steinberg himself wrote that his novel "springs from historical data without any effort at rigid conformity or literal confinement to them.

 

 


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