The Siege of Tel Aviv | Book Review


Since its founding on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel has fought three wars whose outcome arguably was existential: the War of Independence (1948–1949), the Six Day War (1967), and the Yom Kippur War (1973). In The Siege of Tel Aviv, Hesh Kestin imagines a point in the near future where Iran leads Arab armies in a genocidal war against Israel…and wins. So quick and total is the Persian-Arab victory over Israel that six million Jews flee to the only major Israeli city still under Jewish control, Tel Aviv, making it a ghetto. Meanwhile, the U.S. and the U.N. … Continue reading The Siege of Tel Aviv | Book Review

The Unlucky Woman | Book Review


Hilda Lipkind is an unlucky woman. Seven months pregnant–after three miscarriages–she is worried that her husband David is cheating on her. So, she hires Adam Lapid to track down David’s paramour. The truth, however, is more complex and results in tragedy. The Unlucky Woman is a short story, not a novel, and a quick read. While I am a fan of the Adam Lapid mysteries, set in post-Independence Tel Aviv, I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed the previous novels, hence the three-star rating. Book Reviewed Jonathan Dunsky, The Unlucky Woman: An Adam Lapid Short Story (Self-published, 2018). … Continue reading The Unlucky Woman | Book Review

The Other Woman | Book Review


When Daniel Silva publishes a new Gabriel Allon novel, I read it as quickly as I can. I get up early to read it, catch a few pages during breaks throughout the day, and stay up late until it’s finished. Some people binge-watch their favorite shows on Netflix. I binge-read spy books. And so it was with The Other Woman, the latest installment in Silva’s long-running series. In it, Gabriel Allon, chief of Israel’s Mossad, discovers there’s a mole near the top of a Western intelligence agency. Discovering who the mole is and what agency has been compromised before any … Continue reading The Other Woman | Book Review

The Auschwitz Violinist | Book Review


When a man greets Adam Lapid on the streets of Tel Aviv, Lapid recognizes him as a fellow prisoner at Auschwitz named Yosef Kaplon. A few days later, Kaplon slits his wrists and a friend asks Lapid to figure out why. His investigation opens a window on Holocaust survivors, collaboration, and vengeance. Before the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial, many Israelis poorly understood the experience of European Jews who had survived the Shoah, and the survivors rarely spoke about their experiences. Some Israelis—sabras, “natives”—felt that European Jews had been too weak and compliant in the face of oppression. The “new Zionist … Continue reading The Auschwitz Violinist | Book Review

Review of ‘Jabotinsky: A Life’ by Hillel Halkin


 Hillel Halkin, Jabotinsky: A Life (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle One day, while I was waiting for my chai latte at the café, a friend noticed Hillel Halkin’s book in my hand and asked, “Who is Jabotinsky?” I should note that my friend is given to reading obscure books by obscurer theologians. But he joked that I had “out-obscured” him this time with my choice of reading. So, who is Jabotinsky? Why is he worth reading about, especially if you, like me, are a Gentile Christian reader? The answer to both questions is straightforward: Vladimir … Continue reading Review of ‘Jabotinsky: A Life’ by Hillel Halkin

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, June 7, 2011


A pacifist college bans the national anthem from sporting events. “The Goshen College Board of Directors announced today that it has asked President James E. Brenneman to find an alternative to playing the Star-Spangled Banner that fits with sports tradition, that honors country and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies.” Needless to say, the Armed Forces are not one of those diverse constituencies. _____ “God’s Politics? No Such Thing.” As Christians we will always live in some tension with the way in which our nation navigates history. If we do not have … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, June 7, 2011