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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.

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