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Im Winter 1959/1960 beschließt Schmuel Asch, sein Studium in Jerusalem (Thema der geplanten Abschlussarbeit: Judas in der Perspektive der Juden) abzubrechen. Zum selben Zeitpunkt verlässt ihn seine Freundin, um einen früheren Freund zu heiraten. Dazu kommt, dass seine Eltern sich finanziell ruiniert haben und ihn nicht mehr unterstützen können. Daraufhin will Schmuel IsraeIm Winter 1959/1960 beschließt Schmuel Asch, sein Studium in Jerusalem (Thema der geplanten Abschlussarbeit: Judas in der Perspektive der Juden) abzubrechen. Zum selben Zeitpunkt verlässt ihn seine Freundin, um einen früheren Freund zu heiraten. Dazu kommt, dass seine Eltern sich finanziell ruiniert haben und ihn nicht mehr unterstützen können. Daraufhin will Schmuel Israel verlassen. Er entscheidet sich anders, als er eine Anzeige liest, die ihm ein Auskommen in Jerusalem erlaubt, auch wenn er sich verpflichten muss, von seinem Aufenthalt niemandem zu berichten. Die Anzeige führt ihn ins Haus eines eigentümlichen alten Mannes namens Gerschom Wald. Nachts liest er ihm vor und unterhält sich mit ihm – über die Ideale des Zionismus, über die jüdisch-arabischen Konflikte, kurz: über Gott und die Welt. Und dort trifft er auf die geheimnisvolle Atalja Abrabanel, deren verstorbener Vater einer der Anführer der zionistischen Bewegung war. Sogleich ist Schmuel gefesselt von der Schönheit und Unnahbarkeit dieser Frau. Nach und nach gelingt es ihm, ihr Geheimnis zu enthüllen – und damit die menschliche Tragödie vor und nach der Gründung Israels im Jahr 1948. Amos Oz hat einen Liebesroman geschrieben und zugleich ein Buch über das Land und das geteilte Jerusalem – eine Geschichte seinen Landes mit seinen Hoffnungen und seiner Verzweiflung....

Title : Judas
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ISBN : 9783518424797
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 335 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Judas Reviews

  • Adina
    2019-05-18 11:22

    Little did I imagine when I was around 30% into the novel that I would award it 4* since I was seriously considering to putt up my hands up and surrender any hope to enjoy this novel. The main character annoyed me to no end and I wanted to slap his laziness out of him. Still, the writing slowly grew on me and the ideas put forward made me ponder and discuss them with my father who is a world politics enthusiast. I still did not feel too much sympathy for the main character at the end, so not change there. Ok, I’ll get serious now. Schmuel Ash is given three major blows by fate, which were more or less his doing. His father losses his business and cannot finance Schmuel’s studies anymore, his girlfriend leaves him to marry another man and he gives up on his studies. In order to support himself he gets hired by a mature woman, Atalja, to offer company for a few hours per day to an old crippled man in exchange for home, food and a small salary. For me, the whole setting is only a pretext to discuss the idea of loyalty and treason. Amos Oz chooses two important and controversial examples to illustrate his thesis that loyalty can be disguised as treason. Schmuel studied religion and his abandoned thesis was named Jesus in the Eyes of the Jews (or something like that). From his research, one idea is borne, namely that Judas was the first real Christian because if Jesus hadn’t been crucified and resurrected Christianity would not have existed. The 2nd subject of discussion comes from the identity of Atalja father, a politician who was consider a traitor because he considered that the use of force was not necessary during the creation of the state of Israel and that a compromise could have been reached with the Arabs. These two major themes, and more, are discussed between the three characters and the merit of the novel is that it made me wonder if there is some truth in these beliefs. In addition, I learned interesting facts about Israel’s history and politics regarding which I am looking forward to expand my knowledge. The appearance of a plot was given by the unshared love Schmuel begins to nurture for Atalja and his efforts to win her affection. Without it the book would probably resemble more to an essay, however an interesting one. I believe this novel has chances to win the Booker prize and I would not mind if it did.

  • Elyse
    2019-05-25 14:14

    I can't remember the last time spending so much time with a book --- and I'm not done yet. I'm preparing for a serious die-hard discussion coming up at my temple. I've listened to the audiobook, have read the ebook, and will get a copy of the physical book to examine soon too. By the time my book club meets -I'll have read this book 3 times.The more I research this book's topics - themes - and Amos Oz's personal political-and religious point of views - mixed with the realities that Israel was established a Jewish state in 1948. (David Ben-Gurion became Israel's first premier)......the more 'uncertain' I become on my own views. The time period in which Amos Oz set this story is worthy of discussion itself -late 50's to early 60's. The Arab-Israeli conflict- six Day War of 1967 was just around the corner. It doesn't particularly take strenuous effort to read this book - but where it can be fatiguing is in the grappling with the puzzling questions addressed regarding betrayal, theology, anti-Semitism, Zionism, religion, history, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The humor -and the personal Intimate side between the characters -- was a great balance when exploring Jewish-Christian philosophy- thoughts - beliefs -bigotry -and debates. The two questions that most stand out for me from this novel are: ......was the State of Israel – in 1948 as a Jewish state - a mistake?......And in the end....who was the traitor? The three main characters - Shmuel Ash, Atalia Abrahanel, Gershom Wald, and 4th ghost character --Shealtiel Abravanel.......either young and reserved, sensuous and mysterious, old, opinionated and outspoken, a hero or a villain, each of the characters - as we slowly get to know them, we come to learn their own personal struggle with violence with association to Israel. The writing and storytelling are both equally wonderful - informative-complex and thought provoking. Grab some tea and biscuits- as there is an abundance throughout this story - might as well join in -- and do not forget to feed your fish!However-- don't think Bella is coming over to do your laundry!NO VISITORS ALLOWED WHEN TAKING YOUR TURN TO READ THIS BOOK --enjoy your solitude! Shmuel sure 'tried'. For a girl who resisted reading this book for a long time - Its probably the first book I've read that has 'shaken' my thinking about Israel in a long time. I have a lot of respect for Amos Oz and the questions he created with this novel.

  • Angela M
    2019-05-16 13:18

    3.5 stars This is my first book by this prolific author, who I have known about for many years, but never took the opportunity to read until now. The book is complex in some ways and I found multiple levels here - political, religious, and for me mostly the emotional level. In looking at some biographical material, it appears that Oz is not only prolific but political and not without his critics in standing for a two state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. The intellectual, religious aspect of the book is depicted as the main character, a young man has just abandoned his research on the Jewish view of Jesus. Consequently, there are parts of the book that discuss his view of whether Judas was a traitor or whether by betraying Jesus , "there would have been no Christianity." The political/religious aspect was covered in the story of one of the character's father and whether he was a traitor in favoring a two state solution. So is it about the question of whether a traitor is really a traitor, about loyalty? All of this, in all honesty is just a bit too heady for me. However, there are things that drew me into the book. It did not feel like a translation in any way. There are wonderful descriptions and lovely writing in general and I found the three main characters appealing, wanting to know more about them and how they would end up. Shmuel Ash, 25 , has lost the financial help he received from his parents after their bankruptcy. He has lost his girlfriend who married her former boyfriend and lost his enthusiasm for his research and in some ways it seems he's lost himself. He takes a job as a care giver to an disabled man and his main responsibility is to keep the man company and converse with him in the evening. Gershom Wald, too suffers a loss - his son in 1948 in the Arab-Israeli war. While Ash is trying to escape what life has dealt him , to be away from it all , he finds a lonely life until he is attracted to Atalia Abravanel, widow of Wald's son , 20 years his senior. There as I mentioned above a lot going on here on an introspective, intellectual level, but for me the meaning of the story was about loss and loneliness and the connections that Shmuel makes with Atalia and Gershom. There are several reviews in major publications that will give a more in depth analysis on what Oz was perhaps trying to do here and for anyone interested I suggest you look for those . From my perspective, I'm glad I read this for the writing and the poignant moments of connections between the characters. I received an ARC of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt through Edelweiss,

  • Trish
    2019-04-26 15:29

    This is the third outstanding work I’ve read by an Israeli in as many weeks, and I find myself falling under a spell of admiration again for a culture that fights back against the worst aspects of itself, interrogates itself relentlessly, and creates humor around the morose recognition of man’s fallibility. Into a novel describing three generations living together in Jerusalem in a small house, Amos Oz weaves history, religion, politics, and leadership into a meditation on the why and how of Jewishness and the concept of a Jewish state. Not for a moment do we believe the characters have a life beyond that of describing a conflict. The generous nature of Oz’s characters make us willing to suspend judgment and place our trust in his hands awhile, to hear what he has to say. In our modern world one is rarely willing or able to hear an opposite view, but this seems a safe place to examine ideas. In a review in the New York Times, Oz speaks of this novel as a piece of chamber music. A grouping of voices influence one another, each different than the other, three generations of Jews in Israel.The time is late 1950s or early 1960s. A student Shmuel has found his thesis, “Jewish Views of Jesus,” not as unique as he’d imagined and less interesting than something he'd bumped up against in research: “Christian Views of Judas.” Shmuel discovers that without the traitor Judas Iscariot, there would be no Christianity. Jesus and his apostles were all Jews. Without the crucifixion, there would have been no rift in beliefs. Needing to ponder this theory further, Shmuel has left his thesis unfinished and has taken a job as evening companion to learned old Gershom Wald in exchange for room and board. The old man spends his days arguing vociferously with friends and enemies, and is a strong supporter of David ben-Gurion’s Zionism. Wald’s daughter-in-law Aitalia holds an opposite and more radical view that reflects her own father, Shealtiel Abravanel’s opinion that the concept of nation states and ownership of land and resources is a faulty one. "Aitalia’s father was one of those people who believe that every conflict is merely a misunderstanding: a spot of family counseling, and handful of group therapy, a drop or two of goodwill, and at once we shall all be brothers in heart and soul and the conflict will disappear. He was one of those people convinced that all that is required to resolve a conflict is for both parties to get to know each other, and immediately they will start to like each other…"The novel is a multi-layered examination of the idea of ‘traitor,’ and whether or not it is, in fact, an enlightened state “which really ought to be seen as a badge of honor:”"Anyone willing to change," Shmuel said, "will always be considered a traitor by those who cannot change and are scared to death of change and don't understand it and loathe change…"……Shmuel added in a hushed voice, as though afraid that strangers might hear: "After all, the kiss of Judas, the most famous kiss in history was surely not a traitor’s kiss…"But old man Wald reminds us that it is the name Judas which has become a synonym for betrayal, and perhaps also a synonym for Jew. "Millions of simple Christians think that every single Jew is infected with the virus of treachery…So long as each Christian baby learns with its mother’s milk that God-killers still tread the earth, or the offspring of God-killers, we [Jews] shall know no rest."In a review for Riad Sattouf’s graphic memoir Arab of the Future, I’d expressed some concern that Arab schoolchildren in the Middle East were learning religious hatreds early, never considering that North American Christians were of course learning religious hatreds at the same age.Oz makes no secret of his own opinions in interviews, but in this work he makes us puzzle it all out. He gives us the old conundrums in new ways, making us want to take them up again for examination. We question everything from the ground up. This work reminds me why I love literature: Oz is able to layer complex motivations onto history and take a stab at trying to explain what man is and what we should expect of him.The translation of this work into English by Nicholas de Lange from the Hebrew is especially easy to enjoy. The Blackstone audio production is excellent, the work narrated on ten discs (11 hours) by Jonathan Davis. The hardcover published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is useful to return to some ideas. Though the novel is not difficult to read, the ideas challenge readers and may require a second or third look to tie the threads together. This is great stuff. Oz is seventy-seven years old. He should be proud of himself, and we should be grateful.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-05-15 18:26

    3.5 Dense and cerebral. A young man in Jerusalem abandons his thesis to take a position with a disabled, intellectual recluse. For rom, board and a small stipend he agrees to speak, listen and discuss nightly with Wald, five hours a night. Older than he is, Wald's daughter in law provides the love interest.This is a brilliantly written book, covers so much, informative especially for this reader who little understands the ongoing Israeli and Arab struggles. Not a book that called to me, definitely not a quick read, but immersive once picked back up, teaches much. Politics, the difference in the Jewish and Christian perceptions of Jesus, the role of Judas, all discussed nightly by Wald and Schmuel.Also, a novel about a young man trying to find his way. Friendship, love, respect, crush on an older woman, and the seeking of knowledge. The ending I found quite poignant.

  • João Carlos
    2019-05-25 19:15

    "(...) um calendário com imagens de uma planície, colinas, oliveiras, uma ruína, e uma cordilheira, do pintor Reuven Rubin." (Galilean Landscape)”Esta história decorre no inverno de finais do ano de 1959 princípios de 1960. Há nela engano e desejo, desilusão de amor e uma certa questão religiosa que ficou por responder.” - são estas as primeiras linhas do último romance do escritor israelita Amoz Oz (n. 1939) e que resumem admiravelmente ”Judas”.”No início de dezembro, Samuel Asch interrompeu os estudos na universidade com a intenção de deixar Jerusalém por causa de um amor falhado, de uma pesquisa que marcava passo e, acima de tudo, porque a situação económica do pai se degradara e Samuel viu-se obrigado a procurar trabalho.”. (Pág. 11- 12)Samuel Asch é um jovem estudante universitário, com vinte e cinco anos, asmático, corpulento, barbudo, tímido, de lágrima fácil, sensível, ”de entusiasmo fácil e desilusão imediata”, que está a escrever uma tese de doutoramento com o título “Jesus visto pelos judeus”, membro do Círculo para a Renovação Socialista, e que, infelizmente, tem que procurar trabalho; através de um anúncio no quadro de cortiça da Universidade Hebraica de Jerusalém, acaba por aceitar uma proposta de emprego numa casa antiga feita de pedra e onde ”Sobre tudo aquilo pairava o silêncio de uma noite fria de inverno. Não era um silêncio do género dos silêncios transparentes, que nos chamam e incitam a juntar-nos a eles, antes um silêncio indiferente, antigo, um silêncio que pairava de costas para nós.” e que tem um pátio interior que lhe transmite "uma emoção que era um misto de tristeza e de prazer: como uma única nota de violoncelo no meio da noite escura.”. É nessa casa que vivem Gershom Wald, um septuagenário culto, irascível e incapacitado fisicamente e Atalia Abravanel, uma mulher de quarenta e cinco anos, de olhos castanhos, enigmática e sensual – é nessa casa que viveram Shealtiel Abravanel, o pai de Atalia, e de Micha, marido de Atalia e o único filho de Wald. Amoz Oz em ”Judas” combina inúmeras temáticas, incluindo, as religiosas, as sociais e as políticas, evocando a Guerra da Independência de Israel em 1948, o período de 1959 – 1960 em que parte da cidade de Jerusalém estava ocupada pela Jordânia e várias histórias de amor.“Eu, meu caro, não acredito no amor universal. A capacidade de amor é limitada. (...) Não fomos feitos para amar mais do que um punhado de pessoas. O amor é um acontecimento íntimo estranho e contraditório, pois muitas vezes amamos uma pessoa por amor-próprio, egoísmo, luxúria, desejo físico, ou vontade de dominar o amado e de escravizá-lo; ou, pelo contrário, por desejo de ser escravizado pelo objeto do nosso amor e, no fundo, o amor assemelha-se muito ao ódio e está bem mais próximo dele do que a maioria das pessoas pensa. Por exemplo, quando amamos ou odiamos alguém, em ambos os casos estamos sempre ansiosos por saber onde e com quem está, se está bem ou mal, o que faz, o que pensa, quais os seus receios. Nada mais enganador que o coração, tantas vezes perverso: quem pode conhecer os seus segredos? (Jr 17,9).(…)No Cântico dos Cânticos, no mesmo versículo, é-nos dito que o amor é forte como a morte, e violento como o sepulcro é o ciúme (8, 6). (Pág. 134) Amoz Oz (n. 1939)Amoz Oz é um escritor empenhado politicamente, defende a solução de dois estados para o conflito israelo-palestino baseada nas fronteiras pré-1967, assegurando que deve haver um acordo com os palestinos sobre o estabelecimento de um estado independente na Cisjordânia e na Faixa de Gaza, porque os problemas de Israel não podem ser resolvidos pela força ou pela repressão.A escrita de Amoz Oz é meticulosa e envolvente, pausada e brilhante no enquadramento histórico, introduzindo a vertente religiosa – com partes dos capítulos da tese de Samuel Asch (ele está convencido de que Judas foi o verdadeiro fundador do cristianismo, o mais fiel de todos os discípulos e o único que realmente acreditava que Jesus era o Filho de Deus.) – sobre as “opiniões” judaicas de Jesus e as ideias cristãs sobre Judas Iscariotes, com um suspense sobre o mistérios ou os mistérios que envolvem directa e indirectamente as personagens e que progressivamente o leitor vai compreendendo. ”Judas” é um romance notável sobre o amor, a solidão, a religião, os sonhos, o sofrimento e a traição."(...) um calendário com imagens de uma planície, colinas, oliveiras, uma ruína, e uma cordilheira, do pintor Reuven Rubin." (Galilean Landscape)"Judas" de Amoz Oz faz parte da short-list para o prémio - The Man Booker International Prize 2017http://themanbookerprize.com/news/man...

  • Sidharth Vardhan
    2019-05-16 16:21

    On Hurting GodThere must seem something paradoxical to some of the religious folks in the idea that anyone could in anyway hurt God or his relative. They thus want to argue that such people who might have done something against God were, in fact, folks who just wanted to Give the God (and relations) leverage to create drama or God made them that way for drama. Many versions of Ramayana would have you believe that Ravana, in fact, was a devotee of Rama and, all he did, was to get killed from same ( talk about Machoist love!). Bible said God made Pharaoh refuses Moses' offers so that he could bring plagues to Egypt to prove his existence (and then they blame me for creating scenes!) a Borges version said Pharaoh was intentionally serving God by refusing Moses' offers (and letting his people suffer and die). On JudasIt is thus natural that a similar argument should be visited upon Judas by some of Christians. How could anyone betray Jesus? No, it makes more sense to believe Judas was in one way or other serving Jesus." And yet, had it not been for Judas, there might not have been a crucifixion, and had there been no crucifixion, there would have been no Christianity." In this case, there is a lot of room for arguments - some of them are forwarded by the author himself. Though two most obvious ones aren't - why should Judas kill himself after seeing Jesus' death? What kind of guilt did he feel if he wants Jesus to die? It would have made more sense if he had killed himself on seeing Jesus' rise again, ain't it? Again, if Jesus had foreknowledge of what was about to happen - as he showed at the last supper, then why didn't he left the place? Oz isn't the first man to see those holes in the story, they are so very old. A very impressive short story on same lines is Judas Iscariot by Leonid Andreyev.On TraitorsAnyways, Judas has been turned into an unwilling brand ambassador of all traitors - the only others I know who have anything even vaguely approaching his popularity are Brutus and Vibhishana. Judas also came to be a major reason behind Christian prejudice for Jews though he had turned Christian (understandable - religious people do not like to think evil people belong to their religion). Though as a character in book argues that Christians would have found one reason to hate Jews one way or other.Can a traitor be in fact serving his mater by his/her betrayal? Oz should know being labeled a traitor by some people in his own country. "Anyone willing to change,” Shmuel said, “will always be considered a traitor by those who cannot change and are scared to death of change and don’t understand it and loathe change."For a person wants a change because he is not happy with present ways and people who are not satisfied with something are going to criticise it. Those who refuse to change think of it betrayal. Oz was called traitor because he supported two nation solution like a character, Abravanal, within the novel. The ultra-nationalists who call then that must be like those RSS-BJP supporters who think anyone differing with them is a traitor.On Israel and NationalistmAbravanal was perhaps too idealist in believing that Jews and Arabs could live together without there being a nation of any sort needing a military etc - he believed there should be no nations at all. He believed that Jews and Arabs have both suffered at hands of Europe and so can be natural friends - what he forgot was that they had trust issues (understandably) with exactly because of that very reason.“The fact is that all the power in the world cannot transform someone who hates you into someone who likes you. It can turn a foe into a slave, but not into a friend. All the power in the world cannot transform a fanatic into an enlightened man. All the power in the world cannot transform someone thirsting for vengeance into a lover.”Shmuel, who is a bit of baby boy, too saw how unjust it was:" And even if we suppose that Shealtiel Abravanel was right in his opinion that all nation-states were a disaster and a scourge, even if he was right in saying that the scourge of nationalism would soon disappear and all states would wither, surely at least until the vision of a stateless world finally became a reality, at least so long as every nation had bars on its windows and bolts and locks on its doors, was it not also ght that the Jewish nation should have a small house with bolts and bars, just like all the others? And especially after a third of this nation was slaughtered a few years earlier, only because they did not have a house or a door with a lock or a piece of territory of their own? Or an army and weapons to defend themselves? When the day came that all the nations would finally rise up to demolish the walls dividing them, then definitely, by all means, we too would willingly demolish the walls we had built around us and happily join in the general festivities. Even if, out of neurotic caution, perhaps this time we would not necessarily be the first in the world to give up our bolts and bars. Perhaps this time, for a change, we would be the third in the world or the fourth in our region. Just to be on the safe side."In the end, that is the only argument for nations to exist - lack of mutual trust among people.*It is a novel of ideas and is at its best when discussing them. The plot-line is thin. The areas where it does try to have a plot are the weakest.Finally, if you really care about my opinion, I think both Jewish claims based on their religious books and Arab's claims of owning land for having lived their for centuries are equally stupid. You do not own a land just because you were there first or have been there for centuries (which is another thing those Hindu nationalists of my country don't understand). It is inhuman to ask people to leave their home or to deny homes to those in need on basis of those absurd reasons - even if it is for two-state solution (which is just the best of bad solutions). Anyone should have a right to live anywhere (provided their innocence). Right? To me, the blame for the problem really lies with Europe. New and Arabs are just two oppressing races fighting, fighting because their histories have taught them that 'neurotic caution'.More Quotes"Is it really possible for us all, without exception, to love all of us, without exception, all of the time? Did Jesus himself love everyone all of the time? Did he, for example, love the moneychangers at the gates of the Temple, when in a fit of rage he violently overturned their tables? Or when he proclaimed, ‘I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword’—did he forget at that moment his own exhortation to general love and his commandment to turn the other cheek? Or when he urged his apostles to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves? And especially when he said, according to Luke, ‘But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me.""Have you ever thought, my young friend, how right the English were when they invented the excellent phrase ‘to fall in love’?”"The real tragedy of humankind,’ Shealtiel used to say, ‘is not that the persecuted and enslaved crave to be liberated and to hold their heads high. No. The worst thing is that the enslaved secretly dream of enslaving their enslavers. The persecuted yearn to be persecutors. The slaves dream of being masters."

  • Fran
    2019-04-28 15:08

    One man's traitor is another man's loyalist. In Amos Oz's new tome "Judas", a coming-of-age novel, the theme of loyalty is explored. Shmuel Ash, a shy, emotional, twenty five year old university student is adrift. He is dealt three blows to his ho hum existence; loss of funding for school due to his father's bankruptcy,a breakup with his girlfriend, and stalled research on his masters thesis on Jewish Views of Jesus. Shmuel replies to an ad seeking a part-time caregiver and companion for a seventy year old invalid with room, board and a small stipend included.Gershom Wald, an emotionally detached septuagenarian delivers scathing lectures and arguments daily by phone to sparring partners. Shmuel must keep Gershom verbally engaged from 5PM to 11PM .Residing in the dark, dreary, silent home with Gershom Wald is Atalia Abravanel, war widow and Wald's daughter-in-law. Atalia has a hypnotic, alluring hold on Shmuel's emotions.Spending the winter of 1959-1960 in this household, Shmuel considers whether Atalia's father, Shealtiel Abravanel was a traitor. Abravanel opposed the creation of Israel in 1948 feeling that Jews and Arabs should live together as equals. He was asked to resign his post in the Zionist Executive Committee. Traitor or loyalist?Shmuel starts to rethink his views on Judas. Perhaps Judas was not a traitor. Perhaps, although misguided, he was the first Christian. Without Judas, Jesus would not have died for our sins. Perhaps Judas was not a traitor but used by God as an instrument of change."Judas" in a multi-faceted tome. It is hoped that peace, love and understanding might one day prevail. Kudos to Amos Oz.Thank you Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "Judas" by Amos Oz.

  • David Gustafson
    2019-05-22 16:24

    The narrator of Amos Oz's esoteric masterpiece is Shmuel Ash, a university student, recently rejected by his girlfriend, who must abandon his master's thesis, "Jewish Views of Jesus," because of his family's financial difficulties to unexpectedly seek a new means of survival in the real world of 1959 Israel.Answering an advertisement offering room and board in an old Jerusalem apartment in return for entertaining the seventy-year-old scholar, Gershom Wald, with five hours of conversation every evening, Shmuel does not exactly end up in the real world. Besides Wald's daughter-in-law Atalia, who provides the story's necessary love-interest, Shmuel will find himself among two other spirits from the past who have never left. They will constantly prey upon his musings once they have entered into the conversation. One is Atalia's father, Sheatiel Abravanel, a political opponent of David Ben-Gurion who sought compromise with the Arabs. The other is her husband Micha, Gershom Wald's son, who was killed during the fighting in 1948.Within the confines of this apartment, against the backdrop of the Israeli-Arab conflict, Amos Oz uses Shmuel to search out a rational explanation for the holocaust and the suffering of centuries of Christian pogroms and inquisitions.With inspiration from his dialogues with Wald, Shmuel's "Jewish Views of Jesus" evolves into what he perceives as the Christian misinterpretation of Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus that put a price on the head of every Jew for centuries thereafter.I do not wish to infringe upon the reader experiencing this argument first hand, but it is worth mentioning that Shmuel's Judas is very similar to second century interpretations from Gnostics such as the Cainites.As I mentioned in the beginning, this is an esoteric novel. Mr. Oz has the narrative craftsmanship to make it spellbinding. I consider it to be a soft-spoken masterpiece.As a history nerd and a Catholic with a mild theological bent, I was thoroughly entranced. Amos Oz has jumped to the top of my list of contemporary authors.

  • Portal in the Pages
    2019-05-13 17:22

    I didn't want this book to end. It did so wonderfully but I never wanted to leave this world. A gorgeous story.

  • Paul Fulcher
    2019-05-10 19:26

    Anyone willing to change, Shmuel said, will always be considered a traitor by those who cannot change and are scared to death of change and don't understand it and loathe change.Book 10 of 13 from my reading of the 2017 Man Booker International longlist.I have previously read Amos Oz’s classic A Tale of Love and Darkness, also translated by Nicholas de Lange, which was very strong. Judas isn’t quite in that league but more than worthy of its place on the MBI longlist and a thought-provoking read. Judas is a story from the winter days of the end of 1959 and the beginning of 1960 set in then still divided Jerusalem, a decade after the 1948 Arab-Israel war.Shmuel Ash is 25 years-old and studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is working on his Master’s thesis on the “Jewish views of Jesus”. However, he is in something of a crisis: his girlfriend Yardena abruptly leaves him to marry a previous boyfriend; his entirely non-proletarian and only 6-strong “Socialist Renewal Group” undergoes a schism after the revelations about Stalin at the 20th Congress and, crucially among the four who split off were the two girls in the Group, without whom there was no longer any point; and his financial support dries up as his parents are bankrupted in a lawsuit with their business partner.Shmuel is a wonderfully sketched character – simultaneously younger and older in spirit than his age would imply (the following is a edited excerpt of the character sketch) :He would be instantly intoxicated by new ideas, provided they were wittily dressed up and involved a paradox. But he also tended to tire quickly, possibly on account of an enlarged heart and his asthma. His eyes filled easily with tears, which caused him embarrassment and even shame. He loved to lecture anyone who would listen, particularly his comrades from the Socialist Renewal Group: he loved to clarify, to state the facts, to contradict, to refute and to reinvent. He spoke at length, with enjoyment, wit and brio. But when the reply came, when it was his turn to listen to others' ideas, Shmuel was suddenly impatient, distracted, tired, until his eyes closed and his tousled head sank down onto his shaggy chest. He was kindhearted, generous, brimming with goodwill and as soft as a woollen glove, going out of his way to make himself useful, but at the same time he was muddled and impatient. He never knew where he had put his other sock, what exactly his landlord wanted from him, or who he had lent his lectures notes to. On the other hand, he was never muddled when he stood up to quote with deviating accuracy what Kropotkin had said about Nechayev after their first meeting, and what he had said two years later. Or which of Jesus' apostles was less talkative than the rest. A few days before she left him, Yardena said: 'Either you're like an excited puppy, rushing around noisily - even when you're sitting on a chair you're somehow chasing your own tail - or else you're the opposite, lying on your bed for days on end like an unaired quilt’.He rushed across but roads at an angle, hurling himself into the heart of a skirmish, his bushy, bearded head thrust forward, his body leaning with it, as if eager for the fray. His legs always seemed to be chasing after his body, which in turn was pursuing his head, as if they were afraid of being left behind when he disappeared around the next corner.Once he met Stalin In a dream. The meeting took place In a low back room in the grimy cafe where the Socialist Renewal Group convened. He failed to explain to Stalin, who was smiling under his moustache, why the Jews rejected Jesus and why they still stubbornly turned their backs on him. Stalin called him Judas.He decides to abandon his studies and return home when he spots an advert on the University noticeboard:Offered to a single humanities student with conversational skills and an interest in history, free accommodation and a modest monthly sum, in return for spending five hours per evening with a seventy-year-old invalid, an educated, widely cultured man. He is able to take care of himself and seeks company, not assistance.He takes the role, and finds himself in the quiet home, with no visitors other than the cook and cleaner, that the elderly Gershom Wald shares with the mid-40s Atalia Abranavel.Atalia is the daughter of the late Shealtiel Abranavel. In Oz’s novel the fictional Shealtiel was the lone dissenter from the Zionist Executive Committee and the Council of the Jewish Agency in the post War period who (per Wald) tried in vain to persuade Ben-Gurion in 1948, that it was still possible to reach an agreement with the Arabs about the departure of the British and and the creation of a single joint condominium of Jews and Arabs, if we only agreed to renounce the idea of a Jewish state, after which he resigns, jumped or pushed being unclear, and lived out his life in self-imposed internal exile, condemned, after the 1948 War, as a traitor by his former colleagues.Amos Oz himself is known as a long-term advocate of a two-state solution to the Palestinian question, and one expects his sympathies lie with the “Judas” Shealtiel, but through the differing views of the Zionist Wald and the secular Marxist Shmuel we get a balanced account of the issue.Shealtiel’s argument was that the Arabs feared that a Jewish state could ultimately, in decades to come, dominate the area, giving rise to the conflict, whereas Wald has the opposite view:I actually think that more than the Arabs feared the future power of Jews, they were tempted by their present weakness.andThere's no one quite like Ben-Gurion,' Wald said. 'The Jewish people has never before had such a far-sighted leader as Ben-Gurion. Few understand as he does that ‘the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned amongst the nations’ is a curse not a blessing.The exact relationship between these characters and why they are living such an isolated life is part of the this novel-of-ideas’s relatively limited plot development (view spoiler)[Atalia is Wald’s widowed daughter-in-law. Her husband and his son, a mathematician, volunteered despite a medical issue that should have kept him from active service and then died a horrible death in the 1948 war, leaving Atalia and Wald both devastated recluses in Atalia’s father’s house, joining him in his self-imposed exile. Atalia, disillusioned with life and men (with their macho desires to take part in wars) employs students like Shmuel so she doesn’t have to keep debating events over and over with Wald, students who she usually allows to fall in love with her, giving them a night or two of her affections, before asking them to leave and seeking a replacement. (hide spoiler)]Shmuel spends his time in the house lying in his room reflecting on both his life and his thesis, verbally sparring, as he is paid to, with Wald, and gradually finding himself infatuated with Atalia who tells him.Your predecessors in the attic also began to tell me their dreams. Then they left us, each one in turn. You'll leave us soon too. This monotonous life in a dark, ageing house with only a garrulous old man and an embittered woman for company doesn't suit a young man like you. They embark on long walks together, full of unrequited feelings and unspoken thoughts on Shmuel’s side (He ought to tell Atalia. He ought to tell her now. But what should he tell her.) through the streets of and hills surrounding Jerusalem. The city itself is invoked beautifully in the text, albeit at a detailed street-by-street level that would be more meaningful to someone who knows the modern city.Atalia remains a larely closed book to both Shmuel and the reader, although the narrative sometimes drops rather anomalously into her thoughts, (she felt responsible for his injury although she could find no logical explanation for this feeling),. I wasn’t clear of the literary intent as it is almost as if Oz occasionally forgets that his third-person narration is from Shmuel’s perspective.Another striking feature is the repetition of certain signature features of the characters' appearances – Shmuel’s distinctive walk with his legs chasing after his head, his stubby fingers “thick and short, as if they each lacked a knuckle [which I don’t think masks a Donald Trump reference] and Atalia’s unusually deep furrow from her nose to her upper lip.Oz’s key theme is of betrayal but how sometimes the betrayer is the true believer.Anyone willing to change, Shmuel said, will always be considered a traitor by those who cannot change and are scared to death of change and don't understand it and loathe change. Shmuel’s thoughts and debates with Wald enable the novel to expand on this theories of the writings of Jewish scholars and polemicists down the centuries on Jesus. The atheist Shmuel isn’t a believer in the Gospel but is attracted by Jesus’s moral teachings, which he believes could have led to a combined Jewish-Christian philosophy rather than two warring religions:It's a curious fact, Shmuel wrote to himself on a loose piece of paper, that however much these Jews engage with the supernatural stories surrounding Jesus' parentage and birth, his life and death, they studiously avoid any confrontation with the spiritual or moral content of the gospel. It is as if they are content to refute the miracles and contradict the wonders, and as if my this means the gospel itself will disappear without trace. And it is also strange that in all these writings there is no mention of Judas Iscariot. And yet, had it not been for Judas, there might not have been a crucifixion, and had there been no crucifixion there would have been no Christianity. And Shmuel is particularly occupied with the topic of Judas, the disciple that anti-Semitic Christians regard as the epitome of the treachery of the Jews, but who Shmuel regards as the first Christian. The late Christian. The only Christian.Shmuel believes that Judas engineered the crucifixion in order to prove Jesus’ divinity, including to Jesus himself, expecting him to miraculously climb down from the cross. He regards the resurrection and the Christianity that emerged as a largely Pauline invention, and his version of the gospel story has Judas hanging himself from the fig tree that Jesus cursed (Mark 11: 12-14, 20-25) as Judas realises, with hindsight, that this odd incident showed that after all, he was no more than flesh and blood like the rest of us. Greater than us, more wonderful than us, immeasurably greater than all of us, but flesh and blood. Overall certainly a thought-provoking novel although one that hangs together rather uneasily. Shmuel’s theories on Judas are rather less original than he - and I suspect possibly the author – thinks they are, although the link to the story of Shealtiel provides justification for their inclusion in the novel. Shmuel and Wald are memorable creations, but Atalia felt a little artificial and the May-to-September romance with Shmuel introduced an unnecessary element to the text.3-4 stars and on the fringes of my personal shortlist for the MBI – although one that I suspect will stay with me longer than some of the lighter works on the list.

  • Chrissie
    2019-05-13 12:32

    This story covers a three-month period, the winter of 1959 to 1960. The place is Jerusalem. There are three central characters. Schmuel, he is at loose ends – his girlfriend has deserted him and married a previous beau. His father has gone into bankruptcy and can no longer pay for Schmuel’s studies. He had been working toward his MA, writing his thesis on how Jews view Jesus. This has stalled and his participation in a socialist group had been brought to a halt too, the group having split into two opposing factions. So, he wants to take a break, put his life on hold, retreat. Schmuel is soulful, emotional, clearly intelligent, but at the moment without direction, lost. He wants to feel connection to……..something, someone, a girl or a cause. He sees a handwritten note on the school bulletin board. A job, including room and board in a house on the fringe of the city. He is hired to be company to an elderly man. Make him tea, give him his medicine, warm up his evening porridge and to listen to what he may have to say, for five hours every evening. The rest of his time he is free. But he must tell no others of the arrangements. It is all a bit strange; there is in the house a third person, an attractive middle-aged woman. It is she that employs him. As he sees it, here, he can escape. That is the set-up, the beginning, and then we learn about the three - Schmuel, the elderly man and the middle-aged woman. Through these three people we observe, no we experience, life in Jerusalem under David Ben-Gurion. Is it at all possible for Jews and Arabs to live together? Could it have been possible if history had taken another path? How do Jews view Jesus, how did Jesus see himself and what role did Judas play? How has Judas been seen and how should he be seen? (view spoiler)[Without out Judas, would Christianity have ever come to be? No. (hide spoiler)] These are the political and religious questions around which the story is built. The course of history and religious conflicts mold the people who live through the events. Relationships and love affairs and choices made are shaped by history.The writing is vivid. In my mind’s eye, I s-a-w the people - their clothes, how they hold their bodies and move. Each one’s personality melds with what they do and say, where they live and how they dress and the choices they make.So what gave me trouble and why not more stars? The book looks at relationships and it looks at the Jewish nation and how it came into being. The characters do not change. Why is that? Because only three months have passed? Because people do rarely change? Because history has irreparably marked them? There are different causes for different characters, but given this lack of change, for whatever reason, the book’s focus falls back on its religious themes. These themes are repetitively presented. Quite simply there is not enough in the book or just too many pages for what it says. I do not like the audiobook narration by Jonathan Davis. This has not influenced my rating of the book. I insist on separating the two; I think this is only fair to an author. The mix of exaggerated pauses and then rapid spurts of words irritates me. You cannot hear which character is speaking; one must pay attention to who the author tells us is speaking. Men and women sound exactly the same. OK, it was never hard to distinguish what exactly was said. Each word is clear. Still, I have given the narration one star; listening was not enjoyable.Good writing, but lacking in content. I wanted the book to say more. ********************It is interesting to note that the author supports a two state solution to the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.Are you curious to know what I think the author is saying? See message two below. *******************Book I have read by Amos Oz, in order of preference:A Tale of Love and Darkness 4 starsMy Michael 4 starsPanther In The Basement 4 starsJudas 3 starsThe Same Sea 1 star

  • Iwan
    2019-05-18 19:34

    Het is nu ruim een week geleden dat ik Judas dichtsloeg en sindsdien heb ik heimwee naar dit boek. Heimwee naar de metaforen waar Oz mee strooit, heimwee c naar de 3 hoofdpersonen en heimwee naar het kleine universum (het huis en de tuin van de oude man en de weduwe). Dit boek verdient 5 sterren. =====================Prachtig boek dat ik in enkele dagen (en vooral nachten) heb uitgelezen. De driehoeksverhouding tussen de student Sjmoeël, de oude man (naar wie hij elke dag van 17 uur tot 22 uur moet luisteren) en de mysterieuze vrouw boeit tot de laatste pagina. Dat ik het boek geen 5 maar 4 sterren heb gegeven, ligt aan de soms wat breed uitlopende discussies over het Joodse geloof. Die kant van het boek gaat me soms net iets te diep. ===Elke dag lees ik een pagina of 20 en dan leg ik Judas weer weg. Alsof ik een dure fles Schotse whisky in mijn drankkast heb staan waarvan ik geregeld een klein bodempje schenk. De aantrekkingskracht van Atalja, huisbazin en werkgeefster, op Sjmoeël, de 25-jarige ietwat sukkelige en verlegen student, doet me soms denken aan de mystieke krachten tussen de gevluchte hoofdpersoon uit Kafka aan het strand van Murakami en de oudere dame die boven een bibliotheek woont. ===Tijdens het lezen van dit boek (mijn eerste roman van Amos Oz) krijg ik regelmatig de behoefte om kreten van verrukking te slaken. Dat gevoel om 'oh' en 'ah' te roepen kreeg ik bijvoorbeeld bij deze passage uit hoofdstuk 4 waarin hij een tuin beschrijft:'Langs de muur van de tuin en onder aan het huis en ook op de vensterbanken brandden vuurtjes van geraniums, rode, witte, roze, lila en paarse. Ze bloeiden hier in allerhande verroeste pannen en oude ketels die hun dienst erop hadden zitten, kwamen op uit de oogkassen van petroleumstellen, vertakten zich tussen emmers, schaaltjes, blikken en een gebarsten wc-pot.'

  • Μαρία Γεωργιάδου
    2019-05-23 17:06

    Πέντε αστέρια. Πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο απελπισμένα ειρηνιστικό, που επιστρέφει στις ρίζες της διαμάχης Εβραίων-Παλαιστινίων, σε ορισμένα σημεία κλειστοφοβικό, το οποίο μου έδωσε την ευκαιρία να περάσω εν μέσω καλοκαιριού πέντε μέρες στη χειμωνιάτικη Ιερουσαλήμ του 1959. Το δεύτερο καλύτερο του Οζ που έχω διαβάσει (το πρώτο είναι φυσικά το αριστουργηματικό «Ιστορία αγάπης και σκότους»).Το βιβλίο διαπερνούν δύο οριζόντιοι άξονες και ένας κάθετος. Ο πρώτος οριζόντιος άξονας είναι μια διαφορετική ανάγνωση της μορφής του Ιούδα, που δεν τον βλέπει ως προδότη αλλά ως τον πιο πιστό μαθητή του Ιησού. Ο δεύτερος οριζόντιος άξονας είναι η ιστορία του Σαλτιέλ Αμπραβανέλ, προσώπου μυθιστορηματικού, που τα κρίσιμα χρόνια πριν την ίδρυση του κράτους του Ισραήλ, ήταν ενάντιος σε αυτήν, καθώς πίστευε ότι η μόνη λύση είναι η συνύπαρξη Αράβων και Εβραίων σε μία κοινότητα και χωρίς την ύπαρξη εθνικών κρατών. Ο κάθετος άξονας είναι η μοναξιά. Και οι γυναίκες του Οζ, πάντα μα πάντα αμείλικτες.Bonus: Οι σελίδες όπου περιγράφεται η σταύρωση του Ιησού και οι τελευταίες ώρες του Ιούδα και θα μπορούσαν να αποτελούν ένα μικρό, ανεξάρτητο διήγημα. Στις σελίδες αυτές (αλλά και σε ολόκληρο το βιβλίο) ο Οζ μας αποδεικνύει ότι αν και Εβραίος, έχει εμβαθύνει στη διδασκαλία του Ιησού πολύ περισσότερο από πολλούς ένθερμους χριστιανούς. (δώστε το Νόμπελ στον Οζ γαμώτο σας)

  • Roger Brunyate
    2019-05-14 19:11

    IdealpolitikAs it happens, two of the six novels on the shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize were by distinguished Israeli authors. Both writers are concerned about the foundation of the country in their parents' generation, and the consequences that flow from it to the present day. But there are differences between the two. The winning novel, A Horse Walked into a Bar by David Grossman (b. 1954), features an aging comedian performing what may be his last stand-up routine; the novel works primarily in terms of its character development, and any social or political relevance is a background bonus.The other book, Judas by Amos Oz, is by an older author who was a child in 1948 when Israel became a state. He sets his novel in 1959/60, in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, surrounded on three sides by Arab snipers; the War of Independence is still a living memory, and the Six Day and Yom Kippur wars, in which Israel would consolidate its territory, are still to come. Nevertheless, the real battleground in Oz's book is in the realm of ideas, and he addresses the political dilemma as clear-headedly as anything I have ever read. Personally, I found this fascinating. But the human story, the interplay of characters that provide a framework for these ideas, is secondary and nowhere near as well developed as Grossman's; there may be readers who regret this.Shmuel Ash, a graduate student in history and religion, abandons his studies and takes a live-in job as companion to an old man named Gershom Wald in an old house in Jerusalem. His actual employer, Atalia Abravanel, is Wald's widowed daughter-in-law. Although she is almost twice Shmuel's age, there is a distant (and very Israeli) chemistry between them:There she stood, with one hand on her hip, waiting. When she raised her elongated brown eyes to Shmuel, she was not smiling, but her face wore an expression of curious sympathy with a faint hint of challenge. As if to ask: So? How about you? What can I do for you? What little surprise have you brought us today? And also as if trying to tell him that even though she was not smiling, a smile was definitely possible and should not be ruled out.Over the course of a long winter, Shmuel's relationship with each of his hosts will deepen, but really this is just a frame for the novel's play of ideas. Shmuel had been preparing a dissertation on Jewish Views of Jesus. While this topic is by no means new (Oz mentions several such works in his appendix), I was fascinated by Shmuel's citations from old Jewish scholars, and in particular by his own views on the role of Judas, whom he calls "the first Christian" and the man who set up the Crucifixion to prove Christ's godhood to the world.“It’s like this,” Shmuel said. “I can easily understand why the Jews rejected Christianity. But Jesus wasn’t a Christian. He was born and died a Jew. It never crossed his mind to found a new religion. It was Paul, Saul of Tarsus, who invented Christianity. Jesus himself says explicitly, ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law.’ If only the Jews had accepted him, the whole of history would have been different. There would never have been a Christian Church. And the whole of Europe might have adopted a milder, purer form of Judaism. And we would have been spared exile, persecutions, pogroms, the Inquisition, blood libels, and even the Holocaust.”“Are you a Christian?”“I’m an atheist. Three-and-a-half-year-old Yossi Siton, who was run over and killed while he was chasing his green ball yesterday not far from here, on the Gaza Road, is sufficient proof that there is no God. I don’t believe for a moment that Jesus was God or the Son of God. But I love him. […] I have loved him ever since I first read his teachings in the New Testament, when I was fifteen years old. And I believe that Judas was the most loyal and devoted of all his disciples and that he never betrayed him, but, on the contrary, he meant to prove his greatness to the whole world.”The title character of the book, however, is not the Biblical Judas Iscariot, but Atalia's late father, a politician named Shealtiel Abravanel. Oz has him stand alone against the militant impulse of David Ben-Gurion, who realized that Israel could never be won without the necessary use of force against the Arab population. In opposition to the pragmatic Realpolitik of Ben-Gurion, whose legacy continues to this day, Shealtiel offers an Idealpolitik based on mutual understanding and the sharing of an unnamed state. It is all a fiction, of course, and probably quite impractical; like the idealistic Judas, Shealtiel was eventually branded a traitor. But what a dream, what perceptive prophecy!If the Jews persisted in setting up an independent Jewish state when the British Mandate came to an end, Abravanel warned, on that day a bloody war would break out between them and the whole Arab world, or perhaps the entire Muslim world. Half a million Jews against hundreds of millions of Muslims. That war, Abravanel predicted, the Jews could not win. Even if a miracle occurred and they managed to overcome the Arabs in one round, or two, three, or four, in the end Islam would get the upper hand. The war would continue for generations, because each Jewish victory would only deepen and redouble the Arab fear of the Jews’ satanic abilities and their crusading ambitions.The novel reaches its peak in a magnificent chapter (47) imagining Judas at the Crucifixion. This deserves to be widely anthologized; it is a tour-de-force. After that, though, the novel quickly declines. I think Oz was probably trying to round it off with a palindromic reflection of the opening chapters, but it comes over as repetitious and, what is worse, inconclusive. A pity, because I was prepared to give it a very enthusiastic five stars.

  • Neil
    2019-05-14 19:15

    After a failed love affair, Shmuel Ash accepts a job helping with the care of an old man (albeit with very limited duties). There is another inhabitant of the house where this old man lives. She is a woman and an attractive woman at that. It's inevitable that Shmuel falls for her.But this novel isn't really about plot, but rather about ideas. And the meat of the novel is not in the relationships between Shmuel and the man and woman, but more in the philosophical, theological discussions between Shmuel and the man he is employed to talk to. A lot of the substance of the book hinges on the role of Judas (no spoiler - this is obvious from the book's title) in the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus (it's very appropriate, therefore, that I read this book over the Easter weekend). However, the ideas presented about Judas aren't new ("And yet, had it not been for Judas, there might not have been a crucifixion, and had there been no crucifixion there would have been no Christianity.") and if that's all there was to the book it would be a disappointment. But the book overcomes this by using these ideas as a platform for a discussion about idealism versus treason by also following a story about a more recent Jewish leader who was called a traitor by his people."Anyone willing to change,’ Shmuel said, ‘will always be considered a traitor by those who cannot change and are scared to death of change and don’t understand it and loathe change."At what point does idealism become treason? And who decides on that? We all know there are at least two sides to every story and one man's traitor is another man's visionary.In what is a mini-spoiler, my rating for this book is lower than it could have been because I was disappointed with the fact that Shmuel and Atalia got together briefly: I would have preferred it if Atalia remained unreachable and apart. Other than that small quibble, this was a though-provoking book which I enjoyed reading both for its style and its ideas (even if some of them are maybe not as new as the author might think they are!).

  • Ron Charles
    2019-04-30 15:35

    “Judas,” a new novel by Amos Oz, is a paradox of stillness and provocation. The Israeli author, a long-rumored contender for the Nobel Prize, has reduced the physical action of this story to a tableaux of domestic grief. But beneath a scene of fermented woe, he incites a storm of theological and political arguments about the founding of Israel and the origins of Christianity.The plot sounds almost repellently static. In the opening pages, set around 1960, Shmuel Ash, a young graduate student in Jerusalem, loses his girlfriend and his parents’ allowance. Despondent, he abandons his master’s thesis and takes a job as a companion to an elderly intellectual named Wald, who “larded his speech with quotations and allusions, witticisms and plays on words.” In exchange for room and board and a modest allowance, Shmuel agrees to. . . .To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post:http://www.washingtonpost.com/enterta...

  • Katerina
    2019-05-19 16:15

    Давно не читала по-русски ничего столь приятно повествовательного, старомодного, неспешного и не манерного. Сюжет может показаться занудным (или вовсе отсутствующим: отчислившийся и брошенный подружкой студент устраивается нянькой к старику и ведёт с ним религиозно-политические беседы; есть любовная линия, но мне она показалась вторичной и даже не вполне необходимой), но я читала с интересом, отчасти благодаря удивительной описательной манере Оза. Например, задыхающийся главный герой с его извечным "студенческим пальто", тальком для бороды, упрямой гривой жёстких волос и стремительной походкой представлялся мне совершенно как живой. Меня особенно покорило, как автор пишет о Иерусалиме, где я была лишь однажды, но вот теперь все вспомнила. Просто читая про город, залитый лунным светом или скупым зимним дождём, с прозрачным воздухом и бродячими котами, я все время странным образом испытывала чувство почти исступленного благоговения, подобное тому, что всякий раз душило меня в Риме, – ещё одно подтверждение тому, что тысячелетняя история жива, осязаема, небесплотна.Отдельно хочу отметить восхитительное русское издание: обложка, шрифт, номера глав; уже держать эту книгу в руках – восторг.

  • Jill
    2019-05-25 14:10

    This was my first Amoz Oz book and was another pleasant surprise on the Man Booker International long list. The theories about Judas Iscariot were interesting and make me want to revisit the New Testament details. (I'm pretty sure that Judas is not mentioned as being present at the crucifixion, and that the timeline was laid out as he had killed himself before then?). There were many sections, mainly when Gershom Wald was speaking, which I reread for their beauty & wisdom.I think I would have preferred the story if Shmuel & Wald's daughter-in-law circled around each other rather than coming together briefly, because that seemed very unlikely to me, but otherwise a great book for me! In my top 3.

  • Kamil
    2019-04-24 16:23

    My video review : https://youtu.be/rABSin_NQ6I

  • Dannii Elle
    2019-04-25 19:21

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Judas Oz, and the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , for this opportunity.This is a vastly intellectual read that broached political and religious subjects with a bluntness that provides the reader with no option other than to approach their own beliefs, on the matters discussed, with the same appetite. Whilst these features of the text were shocking in nature and whilst this was certainly insightful of the historical period it covers, I found the actual bones of the story a little, sadly to say, underwhelming.

  • Gumble's Yard
    2019-05-01 17:26

    The book is set in Jerusalem – just over 10 years after the 1948 Arab-Israel war. The key protagonist is a 25 year old socialist student, writing a thesis on the Jewish view of Jesus. As the book opens a breakdown in his Socialist group and a series of personal crises cause him to respond to an advert: Offered to a single humanities student with conversational skills and an interest in history, free accommodation and a modest monthly sum, in return for spending five hours per evening with a seventy-year-old invalid, an educated, widely cultured man. He is able to take care of himself and seeks company, not assistanceAs he later explains I came because my girlfriend left me and married her ex-boyfriend. I came because my father lost a lawsuit and was declared bankrupt and couldn’t afford to pay for me to study anymore. And also because my thesis had been stuck for several monthsHe finds that the home is occupied by two people – the elderly Gershom Wald and a lady in her 40s Atalia Abranavel. We quickly find that Atalia is the widow of Gershom’s mathematician son, killed in the 1948 war and also the daughter of the late Shealtiel Abranavel who was the lone dissenter from the Zionist Executive Committee and the Council of the Jewish Agency in the post War period who “tried in vain to persuade Ben-Gurion in 1948, that it was still possible to reach an agreement with the Arabs about the departure of the British and and the creation of a single joint condominium of Jews and Arabs, if we only agreed to renounce the idea of a Jewish state” – for which he was condemned and isolated by his Jewish peers as a traitor and also lost his contacts with his Arab friends as the war made such relationships impossible. Wald was on the other hand an enthusiast for Ben Gurion but the death of his son (and Shealtiel’s son-in-law) overshadowed their differences and the two of them and Atalia live in a state of semi-permanent mourning. After Shealtiel’s death, the mourning of Wald and Atalia increases as does the bitterness between them (Atalia believing her husband’s death due to the militant tendencies of those patriots like Wald) and they resort to hiring graduates to keep Wald company so as to minimise the need for Atalia and he to talk. Atalia seems to enjoy the effect her haunting presence has on the graduates, occasionally deciding to sleep with one of them shortly before dismissing them. Shmuel is no exception to the largely (although not entirely) unrequited passion the graduates form for Atalia, at one point he reflects.He asked himself what he was doing spending all the winter in this house full of the smell of death, between Abravanel’s ghost and the old man who kept talking like a broken mechanical toy, and the unreachable woman who loathed the entire male sex – even if on occasions her pity could be stirred. And he replied that he was shutting himself away.He also develops his ideas on the Jews and Jesus with a particular focus on the figure of Judas – developing the theory that far from being a traitor Judas was in fact the only true believer in Jesus among the disciples, and while initially an undercover agent of the religious authorities sent to infiltrate Jesus’s inner circle and check what danger he posed, he ends up deliberately engineering Jesus’s crucifixion in the firm belief that Jesus will perform an incontrovertible miracle by coming down from the cross. Treachery is the key theme of the book – and in particular how those often accused of treachery are often those who are really the keenest adherents or patriotsShmuel lists at one point a long list of those considered traitors – his grandfather (who served in the British Mandate police but was actually passing information to the Jewish underground, whose members then murdered him as they thought he might be betraying them in turn, de Gaulle “those who previously enthusiastically supported him [the supporters of French rule in Algeria] now call him a traitor”, Jeremiah “considered a traitor by the Jerusalem rabble and by the royal court”, Abraham Lincoln, the German officers who tried to assassinate Hitler, “Even David Ben-Guiron, when he agreed twelve years ago to the partition of the land into two states” and he reflects “My parents and my sister now accuse me of betraying my family by giving up studying” and concludesAnyone willing to change will always be considered a traitor by those who cannot change and are scared to death of change and don’t understand it and loath change. Sheatiel Abravanel had a beautiful dream, and because of his dream some people called him traitor.Certainly a great novel of ideas and very skilfully written. The book is however not without its flaws – in particular Shmuel’s thesis on Judas is far from original, the relationship between Shmuel and Atalia sits awkwardly alongside the rest of the book and at times the dialogue (particularly when Shmuel is speaking on history or on the Jewish view of Jesus) reads more like a written lecture.

  • Fiona
    2019-05-07 11:13

    Shmuel is a character that touched me from the very beginning. A young man whose heart has been recently broken, who has lost his way with his studies and doesn't see what the future holds for him. He reads a notice on the university notice board just after resigning from his studies. This takes him to an address on the outskirts of Jerusalem, to the house of the now deceased Abravanel, his perplexing widowed daughter Atalia, and Gershom Wald, an aged and crippled academic whose son Atalia had married.This is a book about outsiders. Shmuel, as we later discover from his sister, has never fitted in either to his family or to society as a whole. He is an earnest young man, believing in a communist revolution but who is, by his own later admission, simply 'a cafe revolutionary'. He goes to live in Abravanel's house where he is given lodgings in return for spending every evening listening to and debating with old Wald. He is fascinated by Atalia with whom he quickly falls in love, even though she's more than 20 years older than him. It transpires that Abravanel had been ostracized for his views on Israel as an independent state. He had disagreed with its creation and with partition, believing that it could only lead to perpetual war with the Arabs. He had argued that the Jews should share the land with the Arabs with whom they would eventually live in peace. His views are Oz's views and they lead to many interesting discussions in the book between Wald and Shmuel and Shmuel and Atalia.Atalia is a deeply unhappy woman who, according to Wald, takes advantage of the young men she employs to care for Wald, not discouraging them to fall in love with her and then letting them leave at a time of her choosing. She is also an outsider, made so by her unloving father and his views, and by her bitterness at the early death of her husband and the means by which he died. She lives a shadowy life, much of it solitary.Throughout, Shmuel continues to work on his university thesis about Judas whom he does not believe betrayed Jesus. (view spoiler)[He argues that as a wealthy man who owned a lot of property in Jerusalem, he would not have been interested in bribes, far less of 30 pieces of silver which was not worth very much. He also argues that there would have been no need to identify Jesus to the Romans given his very public entry into the city days before and the overturning of the moneylenders' stalls in the temple. He believes he was the only one of the apostles who really loved Jesus and who truly believed he was the son of God. His devastation at his death led him to hang himself. Judas was the outsider amongst the apostles due to his wealth and, we assume, education. Most of the others were poor fishermen from Galilee. (hide spoiler)]I found this a very moving book but mainly my enjoyment came from how much I learned about the founding of the State of Israel. I'm also interested in theories about the life of Jesus and found Shmuel's argument quite plausible. 4 not 5 stars because the ending seemed a little trite to me, although in fairness it's difficult to think how else the story could have ended.Finally, a respectful message for Amos Oz. Women of 45 rarely, in my experience, have even 'faintly wrinkled hands' and they certainly don't have liver spots. It's clear from the outset that Atalia is a very attractive 'older' woman. To bless her with features belonging to a woman 10 years older is downright silly (unless women in Israel age more quickly than elsewhere).With thanks to NetGalley and RandomHouse UK for an ARC.

  • Siv30
    2019-05-12 18:24

    שמואל אש, סטודנט ירושלמי, שנאלץ להפסיק לימודיו באוניברסיטה מפאת פשיטת רגל של אביו, נענה למודעה מאתגרת לשמש בן שיחה לנכה זקן בתמורה למגורים, שכר צנוע ואוכל.השנים, סוף שנות ה 50, ירושלים עדין חצויה, המחלוקות בין הפלגים הפוליטיים עדין מהדהדות, כך גם תוצאות מלחמת העצמאות.שמואל שחברתו נטשה אותו כדי להינשא לאהובה הקודם, רווי יאוש מחיו, ממחקרו על האופן שבו היהודים רואים את ישו הנוצרי ומבדידותו. בבית הישן הוא פוגש את עתליה המבוגרת ממנו ב 20 שנים ומתאהב בה נואשות.בין חיזור ביישני לפלרטוט עם עתליה, הוא מנהל ויכוח עם ואלד, הזקן הנכה על פוליטיקה ישראלית, על מקומו של יהודה איש קריות הנחשב כבוגד בנצרות בהפיכתו של ישו לאל ובמקומם של בוגדים בתרבות בכלל.הספר מרתק באספקטים של הנצרות ובעיקר בשאלת בוגדנותו של יהודה. מאידך עמוס עוז נוטה לחזור על עצמו ועל רעיונותיו עד לזרא וגם הטון הדידקטי של ההרצאות שנושאות הדמויות לא עוזרות לטשטש את האג'נדה שאותה עמוס עוז מקדם ואותה הוא מוביל. וזה בסדר, אני גם מזדהה עם חלק מהאמירות שלו ואני גם מאמינה שספרות צריכה לקדם אג'נדות. אבל יש גבול עד כמה הוא יכול לדחוף אותה לגרון של הקורא.סהכ הקריאה קולחת ומעניינת אם כי הייתי מעדיפה שבחלקים מסויימים העורך יקצץ ויפסיק את הלהג במיוחד זה שחוזר על עצמו.

  • Jeanne
    2019-05-13 12:06

    Quiet is one word I would use to describe this story.At a glance it doesn't seem to be much of a story, but in the odd 300 pages it has the author manages to discuss contemporary and historical Arab-Israeli relations and provide a very different perspective on Judas's role in Christianity. It's quite frankly amazing how well those themes and commentary fit into the story.

  • Dominique
    2019-05-15 11:32

    Shmuel Ash, a biblical ex-student, works during the cold winter of 1959 in an old house in Jerusalem. In return he gets to live in the small attic and receives a humble compensation. The house is full of mysteries and questions wanted to be answered by Shmuel, and there is of course the attractive Atalja - Shmuel is from the moment he saw her obsessed with this twenty year older lady. His job is to keep the old man living there, Gershom Wald, busy at night with conversations and discussions about various (Jewish) subjects, mostly politically charged.Why would this young man choose to accept this job and spend a full winter in isolation? Because his girlfriend left him to marry her ex-boyfriend. Because his father´s shop went bankrupt so that he couldn´t help paying Shmuel´s study. Because Shmuel´s research about Judas in the eyes of the Jews stranded. The main theme of this novel is betrayal.Amos Ozgives a different, but in my opinion, interesting view on Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus but also the one with the most controversial role. For centuries, Judas is being considered as one of the worst traitors ever, but Oz shines a different light on him and presents him as the one and only true Christian. Without Judas, there would be no crucifixion. No Christianity. No Church. Without Judas, Jesus would be long forgotten, just like all the other so called miraculous charlatans and preachers from Galilee. At first I thought the abound metaphors were far-fetched (for example the comparison of Shmuel entering the house for the first time with a baby´s head finding its way through the birth canal). Besides, the amount of information about the Jewish and Israelian history was initially just too much for me.But... Nevertheless I was not able to put this book aside. Instead, the parts concerning the Jewish and Israelian history began to interest me in such a way that I started to look for extra information about some things myself. Furthermore, the story made me curious about what Shmuel would unravel and what would happen between him and Atalja. ★★★: On the one hand, you could regardJudasas a kind of bildungsroman, on the other hand you could regard it as a historical novel with a mysterious touch. I wouldn´t recommend this book to everyone, because you must possess some kind of interest in the Jewish and Israelian matter. But for me it was a very fun way to learn and think about these topics, while the story itself unfolded in a satisfying way.

  • Steven Z.
    2019-04-24 18:16

    It is December, 1959, Shmuel Ash, an asthmatic university student preparing his thesis on “Jewish views of Jesus” decides to abandon his studies and leave the divided city of Jerusalem. Ash’s girlfriend, Yardena has decided to breakup with him and marry a previous boyfriend. With his research stalling, and learning that his father’s finances have been ruined over a lost court case he can no longer support his student lifestyle, so he decides to embark on what he hopes will be a coping journey. Shmuel is an overly sensitive and emotional individual who has doubts about his own virility and cannot avoid tears when he witnesses mundane events. He loves to debate others, but does not have any interest when people present their views, and he now finds himself at the age of twenty-five in crisis.Upon posting a notice of the sale of his possessions, Shmuel sees an ad for a companion to a seventy year old cultured invalid offering a room and some money. Shmuel answers the ad in a house on the western fringe of Jerusalem and after speaking with Gershom Wald, a cantankerous intellectual who suffers a number of health issues, and his forty five year old daughter in law, Atalia Abravanel he decides to take the position. We will learn that Wald and Abravanel are haunted by the memories of two other people; Shealtiel Abravanel, Atalia’s dead father, and Micha, Atalia’s late husband killed in the 1948 War of Independence, who was also Wald’s son. Amos Oz’s new novel, JUDAS focuses on the three characters that are alive, but a number of those who have passed play a significant role in the story. The major part of the book consists of dialogue between Wald, Atalia, and Shmuel as they discuss religion, the proper role of Zionism, the legacy of the 1948 War, and issues pertaining to their private lives.David Ben-Gurion, the Jewish leader during the 1948 War and Israeli Prime Minister plays an important role, almost as a foil for Oz. Shealtiel Abravanel, Atalia’s father had been a member of the Zionist Executive Committee and the Council of the Jewish Agency before and during the war and he was the only one who opposed Ben-Gurion’s approach toward the Palestinian Arabs, eventually being forced to resign from both positions. Oz uses Gershon Wald to debate the justification of a Jewish state. He presents Arab fears of the Jews through the words of Wald and in conversations with Shmuel he discusses his admiration for Ben-Gurion and his Zionist vision. For Oz, Ben-Gurion stands for the justification of the founding of the Jewish state. For the Palestinian people, the 1948 War is referred to as Al Naqba, or the Catastrophe. For Atalia and Wald, the same term applies because one person lost a son, and the other a husband, and with that undercurrent seemingly always be in the background.In a sense Oz’s characters make the book a referendum on Ben-Gurion’s leadership. Wald and Shmuel debate whether Ben-Gurion was correct in his refusal to try and reach some sort of an accommodation with the Palestinians and forgo the concept of a Jewish state. In addition, Ben-Gurion agreed to the Sevres pact with the British and French leading up to the 1956 Suez War. A war that proved to be the death knell of Britain’s Middle East Empire, but it also linked Israel to two dying colonial powers (the French would eventually withdraw from Algeria in 1962), creating a schism with the United States, and elevated Nasser’s status at home and the Arab world to new heights.Shmuel and Wald spend six hours each day talking, arguing, and listening to the news on the radio, and for Shmuel, he at times had to succumb to Wald’s soliloquies on numerous topics. Be it Darwinism, the concept of love and hate, the validity of medieval critiques of Jesus, the Crusades, the plight of the socialist revolution following the disclosures by Khrushchev concerning Stalin in February, 1956, or Shmuel’s thesis “Jewish views of Jesus,” Wald would hold court, but gradually Shmuel would respond in his own thoughtful manner. Further, Shmuel would listen each day as Wald would pontificate, sometimes with a malicious tone on the telephone for what seemed like hours on end to the two or three friends that he still maintained. Despite what some would see as an ordeal, Shmuel developed affection for Wald and their relationship flourished. But, what most gnawed at Shmuel was the secrecy that existed, particularly on the part of Atalia, with whom he develops a rather curious relationship. He seems to be falling in love with a woman twenty five years older than himself, and she continues crawl out of her shell, then subsumes herself to a life of bitterness.Throughout much of the novel Oz puts forth meditations concerning the life and death of Jesus zeroing in on the writings that focus on the validity of Christianity and its place in history. Much of what Oz has to say emerges from Shmuel’s research, which centers on his understanding as to why the Jews rejected Christianity. For Shmuel, Jesus was not a Christian, he was born and died a Jew and it never crossed his mind to found a new religion. Christianity’s creation was the work of Paul and his cohorts and they invented its concepts and ceremonies. Shmuel believes if only the Jews had accepted Jesus, their history of persecution would not have taken place. The one thing Shmuel cannot come to terms with is why the Jews refused to accept him, since all Jesus wanted to do was “purify the Jewish faith of all sorts of self-satisfied cultic accretions that had attached themselves to it, all sorts of fatty protrusions that the priests had cultivated and that the Pharisees had burdened them with…. [The Jews] were groaning beneath the yoke of the rich, bloated priesthood in Jerusalem.” (113)The concept of betrayal goes to the core of Oz’s thought process. We witness it almost from the outset of the novel. Shmuel fantasizes about replacing his parents with people he can relate to on a different level. Shmuel’s grandfather may have been a double agent during World War II for the British. Obviously, Judas’ actions toward Jesus. The entire discussion concerning Atalia’s father involving his “treasonous” acts against the creation of the state of Israel, Ben-Gurion, and the Jewish people. Lastly, Atalia’s behavior for her job recounts a number of examples of betrayal as are her feelings for Shmuel, particularly as the novel comes to a close.In summation, the novel is a journey for Shmuel Ash that takes him to a secluded place where he meets two individuals suffering from loss. All three characters seem to be at different stages of the Eriksonian life cycle with different needs and roles to play in each other’s lives. They argue, love each other in their own way and produce affection that will linger, in a sense love that each person could not fathom three months earlier as Shmuel enters Atalia and Gershon’s lives. Oz orchestrates the journey, he begins it, and knows when to bring it to a conclusion.

  • Кремена Михайлова
    2019-05-17 12:27

    Каквото и да напишат двама съвременни писатели, сигурно всичко ще ми хареса и ще съм пристрастна – това са Амос Оз и Салман Рушди. Без да имат общо като стил, еднакво ги харесвам като личности - с всичките им политически, исторически, хуманни позиции и знания. Може „Юда” на Амос Оз да не ми стане любим роман, но си припомних познати негови теми:- За проблема евреи-араби – от „Как да излекуваме фанатик” „Никой не бива да гради тук държава, казваше, нито еврейска, нито арабска. Би трябвало да живеем едни до други и едни с други, евреи и араби, християни и мюсюлмани, друзи и черкези, гърци и католици, и арменци, съседски общности, между които няма граници. Едва тогава постепенно ще изчезне страхът на арабите от това, което те смятат, че е честолюбивият план на ционистите – а именно – да направят цялата земя еврейска. В нашите училища децата ще учат арабски, в техните – иврит. А най-добре би било, казваше той, да се строят общи училища. Това би сложило край на трийсетте години британски интриги на принципа „разделяй и владей”. По този начин, вярваше той, не за ден и не за година, а много бавно, биха могли да се появят първите зачатъци на доверие и вероятно на лични връзки между араби и евреи.” - Някои чисто семейни и лични отношения – от „История за любов и мрак”„Никога не беше виждал родителите си да се докосват един другиго, та дори за да махнат някой конец от пуловера на другия, но през всичките години на детството си беше усещал, че майка му крие, че носи в себе си някаква болка, а баща му потиска някакъв гняв. Родителите му почти никога не говореха помежду си и ако това все пак се случеше, то беше само за да се уточни кой какво има да върши.” Сравнително нова беше за мен идеята за предателството (макар и засегната в „Пантера в приземието”) и в частност историята на Юда (не само като „предател” на Исус, а и като първоизточник на презрението към евреите след това). Оригиналното заглавие на романа всъщност е „Евангелието от Юда”.„И вярвам в това, че Юда Искариотски е бил най-верният, най-преданият му ученик и че не го е предал. Никога и за нищо на света, напротив, искал е да покаже на целия свят неговото величие. Ще ви го обясня някога подробно, ако поискате да го чуете.”Интересно ми беше това - по принцип мислите за предателството. Но със самите детайли от християнството (и която и да е религия) не съм запозната добре. По-скоро възприех темата по-общо и като „оправдание” за евреите пред християните, както и като връзка между това „религиозно предателство” и обвиненията към самия Амос Оз заради позициите му по арабско-еврейския конфликт. (споменава и такива „предатели” като Дьо Гол и Линкълн)В „Юда” чрез героите си Амос Оз още по-смело заявява вижданията си за:- грешното решение за създаването на еврейската държава „… защо бързате с огън и кръв да градите тук поредната държава лилипут с цената на вечна война, след като скоро, така или иначе, всички държави ще изчезнат от картата на света, занапред ще има само различни общности с различни езици, които ще живеят едни до други, едни с други, ще забравят разрушителната игра на политически и военен суверенитет, няма да има укрепени граници и смъртоносни оръжия…” - религиите „И юдаизмът, и християнството, и дори ислямът проповядват съчувствие и милосърдие, но само дотогава, докато докопат властта - тогава създават килиите за изтезания и издигат бесилките. Всички религии, дори ония, които възникват в наши дни, неизменно омагьосват сърцата на последователите си с благородни цели, идват уж да ни спасят, а наместо това проливат кръвта ни.” Иначе безспорно „скучна” история – от типа на Амосовото скучно (което аз харесвам, от типа и на Уортъновото „скучно” – с описание на много детайли). Чак след стр. 100 започнах да усещам героите. Но една от причините може би е затвореността на самите тях. Едва след средата започна леко разледяване. Дори само в тези три откъса мисля, че са описани добре – младежа, стареца и жената.„Понякога си просто сърцераздирателен. Макар че аз нямам сърце.” / „Вие не сте млад мъж, а старо момче.”„Чуйте ме, Шмуел, може да се случи така, че съвсем против волята си да ви обикна мъничко. Понякога ми приличате на костенурка, която е загубила корубата си по пътя.”„Тя носи в себе си някакъв хлад, който прилича на топлина, нещо, което те държи настрана и в същото време привлича както лампата – нощните пеперуди. Понякога ми е жал за вас. Вие все още сте същински хлапак.”Опознах и тримата герои, но всъщност мисля, че те са четирима. Може четвъртият да е и най-важният – липсващият Абраванел (за да изрази идеите си чрез него Амос Оз).„Той беше убеден, че ционизмът не може да се осъществи чрез конфронтация с арабите…”„Абраванел не изпадаше във възторг от каквито и да било държави. Никога. Никъде. Не искаше да живее в свят, разделен на стотици национални държави. Когато безкрайна редица от клетки в огромен зоопарк. Той не знаеше идиш, говореше иврит и арабски, говореше ладински (ибероромански) и английски, и френски, турски и гръцки, но станеше ли въпрос за държавите и света, казваше точно на идиш: „Голям ташак”. Държавите за него бяха отживелици, клетки в зоопарк…”Преглеждайки пак романа, отново разбирам защо толкова харесвам Амо сОз – заради самото писане, заради мекотата и мъдростта, но и заради тези силно мои идеи (невъзможни, нереални, но не пречи да си ги представям):1. Държавите „Абраванел обаче не вярваше в държавите. Не вярваше и в някаква обща, принадлежаща на двата народа държава, на арабите и на евреите. Според него свят, разделен на стотици държави с граници, бодлива тел, паспорти, знамена, армии и различна валута беше примитивен и смъртоносен пабиринт и идеята за него – толкова остаряла и изчерпана, че би трябвало да се забрави и изчезне колкото е възможно по-бързо.” 2. Религиите „Да бихме могли за ден само да освободим света от всички религии и всички революции, от всички, без изключение, тогава, вярвайте ми, би имало далеч по-малко войни.”3. Т. нар. „търсене” (понякога го приравнявам с терзаене – често излишно)„Бих искал да открия какъв е смисълът на всичко това.”Може би, драги ми Мули, сега точно е моментът да спреш да търсиш истината, която не съществува, и да започнеш да живееш живота си.”В крайна сметка:„Светът е пълен с мед.”

  • Vanessa
    2019-05-11 12:22

    3.5 stars.Another Man Booker International 2017 book, and this one was the first that I had actually heard a lot about prior to the prize. So obviously I had very high expectations, which is more often than not a mistake. Ultimately, although I did like this book, I wasn't blown away, and doubt I would read it again.We follow our main character Schmuel, who is in a problematic stage of life. His girlfriend has left him for her ex boyfriend who she has now married, his father is no longer able to fund his studies, and he is having negative thoughts about his Masters thesis and just the general point of it. So when he sees a notice on his university noticeboard looking for someone to sit and talk to an elderly invalid man, with full room, board, and a modest salary to do this job, he takes it up to pursue a more isolated, reflective life. He soon becomes sucked into the lives of not only the old man but also the mysterious older woman who also resides in the house.Oz plays with some really interesting topics in this book - religion, politics, war, relationships, and my favourite, broody male protagonists. I really found the conversations on the subject of Judas, and the perception of Judas by Jews, to be really interesting, despite the fact that I usually don't enjoy books that are heavy on religious subjects. However, I did find that my interest waned a little towards the end - this isn't a plot-heavy book, and that's fine, but I wasn't particularly a fan of most of the characters. I also didn't really enjoy Oz's description of characters, particularly Schmuel, as it began to feel incredibly repetitive and unnecessary.Overall this is worth checking out if the subject matter appeals to you, but if it wasn't for the MBI2017 prize, I probably wouldn't have chosen to pick it up.

  • Anya
    2019-05-08 19:10

    “Judas” by Israeli author Amos Oz, is about a rather childish and socially awkward young man named Shmul. As a result of some unfortunate circumstances, Shmul is forced to accept a job in the household of an argumentative old man and his beautiful female relative.The narrative alternates between Shmul’s mysterious interactions with his new employers, excerpts from his research on Jesus and Judas, and the political decisions of the 1940s-1950s which led to the creation of a Jewish state. All of the three plotlines focus on the concept of treachery, e.g. what does it actually mean to be a traitor? And who can actually be considered a traitor?The arguments advanced in the novel about how Judas was not a traitor, but ironically the ‘first and only true Christian’ are not new to literature. I read exactly the same arguments in Leonid Andreyev’s “Judas Iscariot”. The points made were, however, well presented and interesting to read. I also found the juxtaposition of the Judas arguments with the arguments for and against creation of the Jewish state to be very interesting. The third and final plot regarding Shmul’s mysterious employers also added a welcome touch of mystery to the book.In summary, “Judas” was a novel that I very much enjoyed reading and learning from. It was a great introduction to 1940’s-1950’s Israeli politics, and all-in-all, a book that I would recommend to anyone interested in religious and political themes.