The Adventures of Yadel the Dreidel
Praise from the San Francisco Book Review!
"Andy Lazris beautifully recounts Jewish history in an engaging, humorous manner through his novel....
Yadel humorously describes Jewish history under the ruling of various Roman emperors, Christian monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, and so much more. He focuses much on the rise of Jewish zealots who he states tear their people apart, and how these communities were built back together after destruction and terror. Yadel also focuses on what he believes the true message of the Torah to be: love your neighbor as yourself.
Overall, any reader, young or old, who likes history would enjoy this book and Yadel’s travel throughout time." SEE THE FULL REVIEW
From Kirkus Reviews:
“This narrative device effectively allows Lazris to comment at length on various events…in Jewish history. Lazris manages to fill the proceedings with a good deal of narrative energy as the story proceeds. A dense, atmospheric, and enthusiastic religious fantasy.”
This is a two-part epic journey of Jewish History told through the voice of Yadel, a Roman Jew who lives through history and promotes Hannukah across the world and across time. Yadel lives during the must tumultous time in Jewish history during the Jewish Revolts against Rome, and in that setting he mingles with some of the more famous and infamous Jews and Romans, helping forge a new path of Judaism after the Temple's destruction, one that we still live with today.
From the editor:
"I thoroughly enjoyed the book because of its mix of humor, Jewish history, and pathos. The narrator of the book has a wicked sense of humor but is also able to convey vast swathes of Jewish history with poignancy—the pogroms, the othering, and the sufferings and tribulations, as well as the rise of zealotry and how it destroyed the Jewish people and drove them out of their own land. The message of peace and harmony, of humans uniting, of religion dividing people, the dangers of adhering blindly to rituals while forgetting humaneness, the perils of fanaticism . . . all this had been put forward in an engaging manner."-Amnet Editorial Board
DRAWINGS FROM THE BOOK: CLICK TO SEE
All Art is by Marilyn Lazris
“Here we are, thanks to a new crop of zealots,” I smiled at my friend Sam as a piercing beam of sunlight slipped through the maple’s fading leaves. “Who would think that after two-thousand years of everything we have been through, this is what it would take to cancel our holidays?”
I worried about Sam in this state; flashbacks of being assailed by masked-wearing zealots in Jerusalem during the horror of revolt two thousand years ago, having our lives destroyed and our society decimated by a self-righteous few who infused fear into our souls and doused it with the flames of deception and death, how was this any different, how could my good friend not be, excuse my expression, shitting in his pants when he sees it all happening again?
But Sam merely laughed, big and deep, with his signature “Ho, ho, ho,” and he dropped his over-sized arm around my neck. “Yadel, if this is all the zealots can conjure up—staring at us for not pretending that flimsy cloth is God’ new instruments of salvation, and labeling our holidays a threat to everyone’s safety, God forbid past leaders made such proclamations when real dangers abounded, we’d be out of business!—then it’s well worth the price. Having a break from my travels after all this time is a welcome relief, especially if I get to spend it with my very best friend in all of eternity!”
Immortality has a way of washing away rancor between two old friends. Sometimes it takes a thousand years or so to iron out differences, and that’s about how long it took us. But, we did it. And thus, after so much enmity, Sam and I are united again at the edge of Hollywood, Florida’s Broadwalk. Over the past few decades we made a pact to meet here, under Sam’s favorite old oak tree, whenever Hanukah and Christmas fall on the same day, a rare event indeed. But this year, the geniuses of earth—zealots posing as leaders and scientists—said it was simply not safe to have our holidays, they’d have to be postponed. Human happiness fell prey to fear. That’s what zealots do; they twist fear to convince people to do their bidding. What can I tell you? This is the way of the world!
My entire life has been consumed by zealotry! That’s what made me and Sam into the men we are, that’s what almost had us killed during our many battles against zealotry—especially against our old friend Simon, who had become immortal like us—during our time together in Judea, it’s what gave us our powers and it is what, in the end, drove us apart. But here we are again, brought together by, of all things, a new crop of zealots, able to meet earlier than we had expected. How tantalizingly ironic!