What books must every Jew read? What books are critical to informing your understanding of your faith, your culture, your people? With this issue, The Jewish Journal introduces a new weekly column: My Jewish Library.
In the grim underground parking lot of the Rishon LeZion shopping mall in central Israel, hundreds of men and women of all ages are nervously sitting, standing restlessly or milling around, their faces weary, their eyes expectant.
From the vantage point of our already traumatic new millennium, "Old Men at Midnight," celebrated author Chaim Potok's latest collection of three novellas, requires us to look back in anguish at a wrenching picture of the 20th century.
"This America of yours is not a country that values history," says the character Mr. Zapiski, a World War I soldier who has become a melancholy teacher of Torah trope in New York. "Where I was raised, history was the heart and marrow of a person." That is why, as she herself moves from teenager to older woman in this collection, Ilana Davita Dinn, who first appeared in Potok's 1985 novel "Davita's Harp," persists in eliciting from each of the main characters the personal story, however wrenching, of their lives.