Fascinating novel. Instructive and enjoyable. Although [it] has all the elements of a spy novel, it is really a call to action in disguise. Impressive the way Lerner weaves biblical and Rabbinic texts into his story. . . to use Orthodoxy’s own texts to argue for change in halachah and Israeli public policy. Leaves the reader with hope for the future of Israel and her people.
CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly, Fall, 2018
I was moved by. . . a well written and fascinating story that deals with a vital issue facing Israel today. Since the survival of Israel is essential to the survival of the Jewish people, this book is very important. Highly recommended not only to Jewish readers, but to all who care about the preservation of Israel. Roberta Kagan, best-selling author of Jewish fiction
Israel's spy masters awaken their prime minister to a human rights nightmare: rapid population growth can bring ultra-Orthodox control of Israel's parliament in a generation. Mossad and Shin Bet covertly recruit the secret secular scion of a powerful and supposedly childless Hasidic rabbi's hidden affair. They offer a startling proposition, a daring and risky gambit to transform that future.
A well-documented tale of predictive fiction, like a Grisham novel, the tense plot revolves around a critical domestic social issue, but in Israel, where imperious religious orthodoxy rides roughshod over rights while threatening Israel's economy, security, and the nature of the Jewish State. The novel's struggle for Israeli democracy yields stunning but workable solutions.
The Mossad Messiah challenges the soul and ethic of Israel and of Jewish people everywhere, right to its surprising last pages.
Rabbi, teacher, and writer, Leigh Lerner has served synagogues in the United States, Canada, and Italy. His articles have appeared in secular and Jewish periodicals. He is a continual advocate and worker for social justice in Israel.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS / BOOK SIGNINGS
Next: Dec. 21-22, Temple Sinai, Las Vegas, NV
Accepting speaking engagements for spring & fall, 2019,
Recently completed -- Nov. ,'17, Mt. Zion, St. Paul, MN; Dec.,17, Temple Sinai, Burlington, VT
Jan. , '18,Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle; Azrieli Inst. for Israeli Studies, Concordia Univ., Montreal;
Mar., '18, Shir Hadash Congregation, Florence, Italy; Beth Hillel, Rome, Italy ; Aug. , '18, Israel Congregation, Manchester, VT, Aug,
The race to neutralize
Israel's Ultra-Orthodox future.
Read sample chapters, buy on line:
READERS PRAISE THE MOSSAD MESSIAH
-- Written in the spirit of Daniel Silva, . . .an enormously entertaining, unabashedly Jewishly-grounded novel. Courageously addresses a growing internal danger that Israel neglects at its peril. And, remarkably, Lerner ultimately offers a brilliant, unique solution. Rabbi Robert A. Alper, author of Thanks. I Needed That And Other Stories of the Spirit
-- Not only did I enjoy the story, I found the topics raised both eye opening and thought provoking! . . . The book also brings in women's issues . . ., characters felt real; plot kept me fully engaged; the theme keeps replaying in my mind. Add it to your reading list! Terry Brashem, verified purchaser
-- Excellent book -- so real, presents many problems of modern Israel and the Jewish people dealing with ultra-Orthodox birth rates and non-productive activity . . ., looking into another way of seeing the functions of a messiah, showing a loving but critical view of the State of Israel and her problems for the future -- with love and humor and with a combination of tremendous yiddishkeit - quotations form Torah, Mishnah, and Talmud. A good read. Dorit Deckelbaum, verified purchaser
-- An important book, a "novel" way of highlighting important challenges Israel and world Jewry face. I hope your book is widely read. . . I admire your scholarship, ingenuity, and stimulating style. It was really a good read. Kol Ha-kavod! Rabbi Charles Sherman
-- Although Leigh Lerner's novel has all the elements of spy/thriller page-turner, it's really a novel of ideas in disguise . . . The real importance of the book lies in its courageous invitation to discuss the elephant in Israel's living room: the challenge of finding a way to enroll the rapidly growing Haredi population in the Zionist enterprise. Sam Hilt, verified purchaser
-- a suspenseful story that is political, intellectual, amusing, and accessible to those with and without prior knowledge of Jewish texts. . . The writing is beautiful, conversational with many touching poetic images. I couldn't put it down! Peggy Sakow, verified purchaser
-- For those who like to second-guess the ending as they read, you’re in for a surprise! Rabbi Lawrence Englander
Leigh Lerner is available to speak to your group. His "Israel's Ultra-Orthodox and Us: What We Need to Know" is opening eyes nationwide. To contact him, use this form.
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