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The 36 - Book Review

The 36

By Josh Even-Chen

independently published

Paperback; 506 pages

Cost NIS 85 plus shipping

Reviewed by Judy Shapiro

Josh Even-Chen has written an exhilarating, "can't put it down" book in the style of the Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. You should read it.

Even-Chen, a professional Israeli tour guide and Jewish educator was experiencing a hiatus in his profession because of Corona's travel restrictions. He had led hundreds of groups and thousands of participants throughout Israel's length, breadth and depths. For eight years he had wanted to write a novel using his vast knowledge of the history, archeology and geography of Israel and Corona gave him this golden opportunity. His latent talent in creative writing had been dormant and it has now come to the fore.

The 36 is full of excitement, mystery and history, archeology, kabbalah and religion. Even-Chen intertwines the plot with his wealth of knowledge of a tour guide to find the hero's kidnapped father, from whom he had become alienated, following clues left him by a mysterious group of Rabbis. These clues lead him to locations across the expanse of Israel. The hero, Adir, an Israeli Antiquities Authority law enforcement agent who has abandoned his orthodox lifestyle and is now an atheist, contacts his Hassidic, Kabbalist twin brother, Yitzchak, from whom he had become estranged, to help him find their father.

The writer takes us on a trail of riddles, spiritual challenges and physical obstacles. The answers to the clues left to the two young men are often hidden in the past and solving them brings the two brothers together as they share their knowledge and expertise. Their desire and ultimately respectful relationship and co-operation to find their father turn their mission into a quest not only to find a missing person, but to find their commonality and brotherhood.

The chapters of the book are divided alternately into two stories which take place at different historical times. The first tells the story of Jerusalem 70-73 CE, when the city falls to the Romans and the last rebels escape to Masada for the final stand.

The second and main story is Adir's and Yitzchak's search for their father who was abducted by a shadowy group. These two stories merge into one.

The book is 506 pages and I was sorry to finish it. It was both interesting, educational and also a very good read. Recommended.

Josh may be contacted through his email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Friday, 01 July 2022

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