Friday, July 25, 2014

Beginning ~ with a funeral

In the Name of Sorrow and Hope ~ by Noa Ben Artzi-Pelossof, 1996, memoir
A king, three presidents, an acting prime minister, the Secretary-General of the United Nations . . . one after the other, they walked slowly to the podium.  They spoke solemnly, admiringly, about Yitzhak Rabin, the peacemaker, the politician.  Their words floated by me.  My mind, still numb with shock, was elsewhere.  I looked down at the piece of paper in my hand.  I folded it and unfolded it.  I tried to see the words I had written on it, but I could only see Grandpa's face.  Do it well, I kept telling myself.  Noa, show him that you are strong.

Suddenly my name was called out.  I could no longer pretend it was a nightmare.  My sadness was real.  I rose, quite unaware that the entire world was watching me.  I thought my legs might give way, but they did not.  I walked to the podium and stood there alone.  To my left, only yards away, lay Grandpa, also alone.
I've had this book on my shelves for several years.  With the current clashes between Israel and Palestine militants, this seems to be a timely book for me to read.  Here's an overview of the book.
When Noa Ben Artzi-Pelossof spoke at the funeral of her grandfather Yitzhak Rabin, she touched the world's heart.  She does so again, in this deeply moving memoir and plea for peace.  A stirring voice from yet another Israeli generation living in turmoil and in danger, Noa, at age nineteen, reflects on her life to date:  a childhood scarred by tragedy and rescued by her family's love; a constant fear — fed by random bombings — for the lives of relatives and friends; the chaotic impact of war — Lebanon, the Intifada, the Gulf war; the hate from outside, and now from within, Israel.  Noa talks of her grandfather's assassin and the extremists who nourished his violence.  She shares her precious memories of her grandfather, with whom she lived until the age of six and to whom she remained close to for the rest of his life.  She offers insights into his transformation from soldier to leader to peacemaker, his courageous determination to change the course of the Middle East conflict, and the steps he took in search of a lasting peace for future generations of Israelis.  Noa speaks to him, and to the world.
It seems not much has changed in the Middle East since Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in 1995 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Katherine P said...

What a powerful sounding book. You're right about it being a timely read. Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

This sounds like an amazing book -- a first-hand look at the Middle East. Unfortunately, it seems to be an endless conflict, doesn't it?
Here's the link to my Friday post: REMIX.

Elizabeth said...

Wow...excellent beginning.

The main character hopefully will do well for her beloved grandfather.

Sounds good. THANKS for sharing.

Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings

Fiza Halliwell said...

Great beginning, sounds like a powerful read :)

My BB and 56 :)