In The Footsteps of Eliyahu Hanavi, Berel Wein
Updated: Mar 7, 2021
The modern master of Jewish history has done it again.
Rabbi Berel Wein, beloved rabbinic personality, sought after international speaker and best-selling author of numerous, popular Jewish history books has notched another coup with, In the Footsteps of Eliyahu HaNavi. In The Footsteps is positioned to become a classical book shelf / coffee table exposition; it is broad, sweeping and one that succeeds in connecting some of the seemingly haphazard events of Jewish history. Rabbi Wein takes us along on an unforgettable journey with the ultimate Jewish traveler throughout the millennium of exile, Elijah the Prophet, Eliyahu HaNavi.
Each section is devoted to a geographical area, covering the entire period of Jewish life in that area.
All in all, there are 21 sections covering: Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Turkey Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Slovakia & the Balkans Egypt Romania North Africa Bulgaria Syria Poland, Lithuania & the Baltic States Yemen Russia Spain & Portugal United States & Canada Italy Central and South America & Mexico France South Africa Great Britain The Far East: India, China & Japan Holland & Belgium Australia& New Zealand Germany, Prussia & Denmark The section on Yemen, for example, covers:
The Biblical (Torah and Nach), references to Teiman, Yemen.
The legends surrounding the origins and formation of Yemenite Jewry.
The early history including the development of the uniqueness of Yemenite’s Hebrew language.
The challenges faced by the rise of Islam and its domination of the region.
The key traditions of Yemenite Jewry that forked into three distinct communities.
The ultimate return to the Land of Israel, Eretz Yisroel, with all of the challenges faced in encountering a more modern and secular society.
Like other Wein classics, In the Footsteps speaks to the hope and survival of the Jewish people as they interact with the world at large and among themselves. It seamlessly portrays the moral purpose of the Jewish nation and its consecrated mission but does not shy away from presenting a realistic picture including the failings, controversies, the “not so good stuff” found in Jewish history. That realistic viewpoint makes the story more compelling and gripping. As in previous Wein works, the reader will not encounter a rigorous, analytic, academic study of Jewish history but rather, one experiences the breadth of Jewish history with a delightfully, easy read. At the same time, however, the author’s broad knowledge, grasp of the details and deep understanding of the ethos and pathos of Jewish history shines through. Rabbi Wein’s perspective of events and personalities, as always, is rooted in Jewish tradition; it references Torah sources and its orientation follows suit. As a bonus, the photographs are eclectic, interesting and powerful; they very much help tell the story. In the Footsteps is an important contribution to understanding Jewish history. It is an important addition to everyone’s book collection.