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Review: Christmas for Joshua by Avraham Azrieli

By Remy Benoit

A Book for All Seasons and All Faiths!

We are each raised with the beliefs of our nuclear families, extended families, and our fore-bearers. Beliefs seem to be written in stone, and when we try to find our own way, we all too often meet stern resistance from our mates, from our children, from the family, and all others who are entrenched in their positions and fear that our changing our path threatens them.

Ah, but sometimes we meet someone who does not fit into the framework of our family's way; the beliefs of our family. Then the field is ours alone to plow.

Dr. Christian Dinwall, also know as Rusty, was the child of a Christian woman, a father he did not to grow up with as he was lost in Viet Nam. And then he met Rebecca, a Reform Jewish woman. Rusty converts. Not only does he convert, but becomes president of the Reform Synagogue where he feels welcomed; where he has found religious answers that he sought; where he feels he has made lifelong and friends he can count on for anything, just as he feels they can always count on him.

But, what happens when his daughter decides to marry into the Orthodox Jewish faith and follow the ancient and specific ways of Halacha? Suddenly Rusty's world turns upside down and all those nagging relics of his wife's way of worship, of his own, come charging to the foreground, upsetting the very core of he and his wife's and his friends existence.

Rusty now seeks to find a path to compassion, cooperation, sharing of two paths of life and beliefs.

What havoc can a Christmas tree and lights stir into this kosher pudding? You have no idea!

This is a tale you will never forget; a tale for all seasons, for all faiths, seemingly for all time.

This is a tale that will make you ask how you would react in a situation similar if it was your faith, your mores being tested.

This is a tale that will make you ponder if so many believe in one God how can we deliberately and continually smash to smithereens every attempt to bridge the gap that is ever constructed? How do we face the idea that despite the path we have chosen, we still sometimes find that we are a stranger in a strange land, one we thought we knew at the very level of soul?

So, is Rusty Rusty? Is he Jewish? Is he Christian in more than just the name he was baptized with?

This is a Christmas tree that you can decorate any time of year; these are lights that will light up things unseen.

This is an absolutely must read and ponder, once in a lifetime book. I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone with any interest at all in adding trusses to the bridges that will heal the divisions of faith.
Bravo! So beautifully written, so painfully real.
Christmas for Joshua.


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