web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Different From You And Me

book-Hope-Merchant

The Hope Merchant
By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz
Leviathan Press

Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz is just like any other guy who made aliyah in 1991, worked on a religious kibbutz and built a family. Except that he was kicked out of the aliyah office for being a single non-professional. Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz is just like any other guy who left university to pursue a career. Except it was Rutgers and he left in his senior year and he decided on his career of choice – being a French chef – after hanging around with bikers. Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz is, well, he isn’t really like any other guy. He just published his first book, The Hope Merchant, it’s not like any other book.

If The Baal Shem Tov, Viktor Frankl, J.K. Rowling and Roald Dahl could have collaborated on a book together, The Hope Merchant would have been the result. And as Berkowitz would say, It is entirely possible. It’s about life and about magic and about the magic of life. The Hope Merchant is a riveting, powerful, compelling masterpiece.

Berkowitz developed the idea for Theo, the child who grows up to become the Hope Merchant, when he and his family were living in Bat Ayin (in a home he built himself) after he completed a stint as an IDF medic and while working as a chef and learning in the yeshiva there. For a moment, he thought his 5-year-old son had prophetic powers. It turned out – spoiler alert – that he did not, but it got Berkowitz thinking: What would it be like to have a son with such powers, who knew what was going on in everyone’s heart and mind? What would it be like to be the father of Mashiach, for example, whose sole purpose was to do tikkun olam?

“ We’re here to fix the world and the only way to fix the world is fix ourselves and the only way to do that is to go a little bit crazy,” he says.

“I’m very comfortable with the idea of revealed magic. The world is full of magic, you just have to open your eyes and see it. The Hope Merchant never directly solves problems with magic, what he does is raise their consciousness and change their perspective through magic. It’s all tikkunim.”

The 52-year-old ba’al teshuvah, who originally hails from New Jersey, lives in Katzrin in the Golan with his wife Devora Gila and their four children.

“I wrote The Hope Merchant because I wanted to show what happens when people have their dreams stolen,” says Berkowitz.

“Have you forgotten your dreams?” The Hope Merchant asks a defeated and hopeless Lily when she “happens” upon his shop. Berkowitz wanted to talk about what matters most to people that if it’s taken away they are left hollow. So he wrote a book about a singular individual who is able to restore people’s dreams to them.

As one of the protagonists in the story says, “If I allow my dreams to fade and die, then I will be less than God created me.”

The 400-page book was 12 years in the writing and three in the publishing, finally published by Shimon Apisdorf at Leviathan Press. But it’s definitely worth waiting for. You get the feel already for what type of book this is going to be by the cover’s beautiful and mystical art by Luana Kaufmann.

The writing flows like a soul song but it isn’t all imagination. For example, a good deal of the story takes place on a dairy farm. Berkowitz spent five years at Sde Eliyahu“acting as a surrogate mother for sabra calves.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Different From You And Me”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Aerial firefighters put out blaze ignited by Palestinian Authority arsonists near Jerusalem on Saturday.
Palestinian Authority Arabs Trying to Burn Down Israel
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

South-Florida-logo

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

South-Florida-logo

“Thanks to a local philanthropist who shares our core mission, we now are able to connect more Jewish teens to Israel than ever before,” said Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY.

In September 2013 he was appointed head rabbi of the IDF Central Command and is currently in charge of special projects for the IDF chief rabbinate.

Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

More Articles from Rosally Saltsman
Lessons-in-Emunah-new

Nissim Menashe 50, a resident of Petach Tikvah, celebrated last Israel Independence Day like most of the country, he had a barbecue with his family. It was a memorable event. He was standing close to the grill as a relative went to light it but because of the wind, the flame ignited the bottle of lighting […]

book-Headlines-Halachic

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

For those who doubt or entirely disbelieve the phenomenon, this book will change your mind.

Today’s smiles are in the merit of my friend and I made a conscious effort to smile throughout the day.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

“My mother raised us to independence, all of us,” Rivka says, which certainly plays itself out in the fact that all three children have taken a different path.

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

He has always supported the underdog, once even quite literally, legislating a law that prohibits the abandonment of pets.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/different-from-you-and-me/2014/07/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: