web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Seven Blessings


Title: Seven Blessings
Author: Ruchama King
Publisher: Martin’s Press, New York
258 pages, $23.95

 

 

Once Jerusalem has touched your soul, it never lets you go! I was reminded of this when I read “Seven Blessings“, a debut novel for Ruchama King, a young woman whose writing I encouraged when she was a student in Jerusalem in the 80′s. She lived here from aged 17 for ten years, and even though she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children, the spirituality and magic of the city has never left her. It resonates in every word she writes, and although I have lived here for decades, I found in her writing nuances and new insights into Jerusalem’s holiness and beauty.

Basically, it is a story about matchmaking – the matchmakers who spend their lives trying to pair so many disparate, and often desperate, characters; and the single men and women who seek their services. No one knows the scene better, as the author herself went on countless blind dates and even lived in a famous Jerusalem matchmaker’s home for two years.

There is, however, a deeper sub-theme, based on Torah study, which subtly explores the relationship between searching for G-d and searching for one’s bashert or soul-mate.

The main story focuses on Beth, a single woman of 39 and Akiva. He is also single, but suffers from frightening epileptic fits that have prevented his finding a mate. Then there is Tzippi who owns the grocery store, who is having her own marriage problems; as is Rebbetzin Judy. Add to the mix Binyamin, an artist, whose striving for perfection leads tp his being black-listed by all the match-makers.

King devotes as much time to these men and women’s relationships with G-d as with fellow humans. They are all seeking spiritual fulfilment by different means. The polarization between Jerusalem’s religious and secular population is also touched on with the incident of the burning bus shelters which promoted immodest advertising.

The title of the book, Seven Blessings is derived from sheva brachot, the traditional blessings recited at the conclusion of the marriage service and for a week afterwards. “Soon may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from their canopies nd of youths from their feasts of songs.”

Emerging from the novel is the undeniable fact that for a single Orthodox Jewish woman, the clock is always ticking. For men, the pressure is much less.

All the characters are skilfully drawn, and their human frailties cause our compassion and understanding. When they triumph, as most of them do eventually, we find ourselves cheering.

Dvora Waysman is the prize-winning author of nine books, including Woman of Jerusalem and The Pomegranate Pendant.

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 “Title: Seven Blessings”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Sections Stories
Nimchinsky-102414-Flag

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Schonfeld-logo1

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

Kupfer-102414

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

More Articles from Dvora Waysman
Overall view of garden model

Just imagine you are walking through a beautiful garden. Feast your eyes on the colors of the flowers, the grass at your feet, the leaves of the trees in shades from green to silver. Listen to the birds. Let the sunshine caress your face. Smell the perfume.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, zt”l

His dream was to reach out to every Jew, even the most secular.

This is a remarkable book to assist those of us – and that means everyone – who are trying to find our way in life, with all its setbacks and pain, as well as for people who want to help people.

Forty-six years ago, in the first week of June, Israel stunned the world when it wasn’t looking. Four years later, Israel stunned me when I wasn’t looking.

Jerusalem was never real to me. It was a name I came across in books of Bible stories as a child. If I’d ever tried to imagine it, it would have been like places in my books of fairy stories. I knew it was a city with crenellated walls, with domes and towers and minarets. In my mind, I saw it peopled with old men with long beards and flowing robes, and women with clay jugs precariously balanced on their heads.

Jews all over the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day – even those who have no intention of ever coming on aliyah, and many of whom have never even visited Israel. “It’s a kind of insurance policy” one overseas friend told me. “By supporting Israel financially and emotionally, I know that its sanctuary is available to me or my children or grandchildren should the need ever arise.”

As we get older, nostalgia takes over many areas of our life and we often yearn for things from the past.

One of the most popular of our chaggim is Simchat Torah, which falls on the last day of Sukkot. As its name suggests, Simchat Torah celebrates the joy of the Torah. There is no record of this holiday before the 11th century, and its origin may have been in Spain.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/title-seven-blessings/2004/10/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: