&quote;A beautiful novel that coils the history and mystery of Jerusalem into a private and vivid tale of personal dignity, ownership, love-- and the overlap of all three, the space we call the soul.&quote; Dara Horn';The unlikely friendship of an intellectual New York Jew and a working-class Jerusalem Arab drives Feuerman's evocative second novelThis friendship is all the more unlikely because it occurs in the divided city of Jerusalem The city itself emerges as a character: its climate and topography are depicted with a lyricism that contrasts with the area's political tension. [The] story unfolds as a belated coming-of-age tale.[written in a] quiet, lovely mood.' Publishers WeeklyAn eczema-riddled, middle-aged former Lower East Side haberdasher, Isaac Markowitz, moves to Israel where he becomes, much to his own surprise, the assistant to a famous old rabbi who daily dispenses wisdom (and soup) to the collection of seekers gathered in his courtyard. It is there that he meets Tamar, a young American woman on a mission to live a spiritual life with a spiritual man, and who sees Isaac as that man long before he sees himself that way. Into both of their lives comes Mustafa, a devout Muslim, deformed at birth, unloved by his own mother, a janitor who works on the Temple Mount, holy to both Muslims and Jews.When Isaac, quite by accident, runs into the crippled custodian going about his work and suggests that he is, by cleaning this holy site, like a Kohain, a Jewish high priest, Mustafa is overcome: This Jew is the first person in his life who sees him as someone worthy. In turn, Mustafa sees Isaac as someone wise who can help him. When Mustafa finds an ancient shard of pottery that may date back to the first temple, he brings it to Isaac in gratitude. That gesture sets in motion a series of events that land Isaac in the company of Israel's worst criminal riff raff, put Mustafa in mortal danger, and Tamar trying to save them both. As these characters immigrants and natives; Muslim and Jewish; prophets and lost souls move through their world, they are never sure if they will fall prey to the cruel tricks of luck or be sheltered by a higher power.

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