As a Driven Leaf was just recommended to me by Amazon.com. I read the book a few years ago and loved it. It’s historical fiction and follows the apostate Rabbi Elisha ben Abuyah through his life in the late first century CE. Rabbis Akiva, Yohanan, Joshua, Eleazar, and Beruriah all pop up in the narrative as Elisha struggles with his identity within Judaism and the Hellenized Near East, and what to do when the Romans come down hard on his family, friends, and community of faith. It’s a phenomenal read and it asks some very important questions. Check it out if you’re so inclined.
September 30, 2009