“That is impatient for the dawn.”
In the prologue the author talks about a little boy in Hrubieszow in late 1939 who runs to safety in a forest and survives the Nazis, and he hears a man say in Yiddish: “The Jew dances to a niggun, a melody, which connects heaven and earth. The niggun never ends.”
“I am that boy aware that this melody is linked to the pain I feel and the sorrow I cannot dispel when confronted with distortions of the truth about my people or about the Torah.”
Towards the end of the prologue, the author writes: “This book took more than twenty years to complete. Its genesis, I now realize, took place earlier – in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. It came as a sustained lyric statement, like one breath; the word echoed the wounds of millennia suffered by my people, and the incredible hope which healed them, and now seems about to heal them permanently.”
The book is replete with striking comments and observations and interpretations that reflect the author’s worldview as a Jew and as a human being. For example, in Chapter 1 the author comments on the verse in Deuteronomy 5:2. After the Israelites received the Torah, G-d said: “Return to your tents”: “For peace to prevail between one nation and another, first there must be peace between one tent and another. But to have peace between one tent and another, there must be peace within each tent. Kindness, justice and truth are to guide every man and woman inside every home where new generations are called into existence to enter the promise land.”
In the chapter entitled “A Parable about Man,” referring to the relationship between Jacob and Esau and their meeting and reconciliation, the author makes the following profound inference: “The night can be dispelled. In a single confrontation, the oscillations of hatred can come to an end. The transformed Esau and Jacob can meet, kiss, and even weep for the past amidst rejoicing for the future.”
In a chapter subsection called the House of G-d, he writes about the purpose of the giving of the Torah: “In a different scenario, the Nations will see eye to eye” with the Jew, “When G-d restores Zion” (Isaiah 52:8) and “the house of prayer for all peoples” will arise. As it is written, “Many peoples and vast nations will come to seek the G-d of hosts in Jerusalem, and to beseech the presence of G-d” (Zechariah 8:22).
In the same chapter, entitled Hating the Jew – Loving the Jew, Dr. Faier refers to a story told by the psychologist Carl Jung in his memoirs about one of his patients, the beautiful and brilliant daughter of a Jewish banker who was unaccountably on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It emerged that her paternal grandfather was a rabbi and tzaddik. Suddenly to Jung everything became clear. Despite the modern fashionable attire she was a daughter of G-d and the secular worldly style of her life was driving her mad.
From this story, Dr. Faier draws the following conclusions: “This story provides a clue concerning the history of the State of Israel Her secular leaders and founding fathers have tried to present her as modern as possible. Distancing themselves from the awful experience of exile, some have grown contemptuous of everything in their past. When planning for the future of the Jewish people in Zion, they are unwilling or unable to acknowledge the dynamics of Jewish existence as a unique phenomenon that precludes that all generations cohere as a unity.
This unity of being began at Sinai and for that generation it was manifest in a shared emotion ‘as one man with one heart’…. Those who have been running the country have taken into account a mere part of the reality, ignoring the fact that the history of the Jewish people is utterly incomprehensible unless it is seen as a realization of the Divine Design, until it is understood that Israel is a beautiful daughter of G-d – even when she appears in secular dress.”
Commenting on the episode of Moses and the Burning Bush, Dr. Faier writes: The paradox of Israel’s endurance is expressed in the paradox of the perpetually burning bush. The sustaining fire is a symbol, as well, of Divine presence in human affairs.