In Featured at HBT, Reflections: Rabbi Zachary Goodman

Israeli Books Go Live

What do silent children and talking animals have in common? It may not seem like much, but perhaps we can explore the connections later this month as Holy Blossom’s Israel Engagement Committee launches its summer book club! The first book we will be reading in our “Israeli Books Go Live” group will dive into the magical world of Etgar Keret and is overflowing with absurdity, humour, sadness, and compassion.

This July, escape into an incredible collection of the most extremely short of short stories; Etgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock on the Door.  In August, join us as we adventure into pre-state Israel, with Matti Friedman’s easy read, Spies of No Country. We will be meeting virtually on the last Wednesday of the month; BYOB! (Bring your own book!) For more information about this new initiative, please follow the link below.

Born in Israel to Holocaust survivors in 1967, Etgar Keret is known for his extremely short stories, graphic novels, and scriptwriting for film and television. His work has influenced many writers of his generation as well as bringing a renewed surge in popularity for the short story form in Israel. Keret is the recipient of numerous awards including the Prime Minister’s award for literature, the Ministry of Culture’s Cinema Prize, the Charles Bronfman Prize, the Sapir Prize for Literature, and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. Rarely extending beyond three or four pages, the stories found in “Suddenly a Knock at the Door” offers a window into a surreal world that is at once funny, sad and complex.

To further pique your interest, here is an excerpt from one of the short stories found in Suddenly, A Knock at the Door:

“Tell me a story,” the bearded man sitting on my living-room sofa commands. The situation, I must say, is anything but pleasant. I’m someone who writes stories, not someone who tells them. And even that isn’t something I do on demand. The last time anyone asked me to tell him a story, it was my son. That was a year ago. I told him something about a fairy and a ferret–I don’t even remember what exactly–and within two minutes he was fast asleep. But the situation is fundamentally different. Because my son doesn’t have a beard, or a pistol. Because my son asked for the story nicely, and this man is simply trying to rob me of it.

Whether you read from cover to cover, or only have time for a few short stories, all are welcome to join “Israeli Books Go Live” for our first gathering on July 29, at 7:30 pm.

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