web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Seven Blessings


Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Title: Seven Blessings”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: