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7:00pm Book Club

7:00pm Book Club

MARCH 26 Joanna Abramson will be reviewing AS A DRIVEN LEAF by Milton Steinberg.
This is a classic book written in 1939 based on the life of Elisha ben Abuyah.
The age of the Talmud is brought to life in a breathtaking saga. First published in 1939, this masterpiece of modern fiction tells the gripping tale of renegade Talmudic sage Elisha ben Abuyah’s struggle to reconcile his faith with the allure of Hellenistic culture. Set in Roman Palestine, As a Driven Leaf draws readers into the dramatic era of Rabbinic Judaism. Watch the great Talmudic sages at work in the Sanhedrin, eavesdrop on their arguments about theology and Torah, and agonize with them as they contemplate rebellion against an oppressive Roman rule. Steinberg’s classic novel also transcends its historical setting with its depiction of a timeless, perennial feature of the Jewish experience: the inevitable conflict between the call of tradition and the glamour of the surrounding culture. A literary masterpiece, As a Driven Leaf is still regarded as a major influence on contemporary Jewish life and thought.

This new edition includes two forewords: One new,   by the renowned American Rabbi, Rabbi David J. Wolpe, the second from author Chaim Potok, originally written in 1996.

Both Wolpe and Potok stress in their pieces the contemporary relevance of As a Driven Leaf. As Wolpe recounts, “As a Driven Leaf tells a gripping story of Elisha ben Abuyah, the only Talmudic sage to be denounced and cast out as a heretic. It explores the two forces acting on us today…We are divided between the twin pulls of assimilation in the modern world and faithfulness to the tradition of the old.”


Mar 26 2024


7:00 pm

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