Dov Elbaum
My Life With the Patriarchs

The paradoxical sub-title of the novel, An Autobiographical Legend, clearly reflects the unique composition of its source materials. On the one hand, it is a current and up-to-date story of a young Israeli man. [ . . . ] On the other hand, it is an uninhibited fantasy on the narrators relationships with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who come out of their Hebron cryptic residence every now and then to meet him in a certain park in Jerusalem. The patriarchs accompany the narrators life, tell him their stories as they really were, give him guidance, and converse with him from his early childhood until the age of thirty. Beyond the novels light fa?ade hide serious intentions. One level can be described as an original and sophisticated interpretation of the stories of the forefathers in the book of Genesis; an attempt to save them from a fate of heroes of some old fiction book, and to reshape them into distinct and tangible characters. Another level offers a satirical view of the many institutions and less-institutional frame-works that supply their merchandise to Israelis in search of spirituality and meaning. [ . . . ] Contrary to those paths of escapism, the narrator gradually discovers the magic of life in the present in the complex texture of concrete and simple actions and meaningful relationships. This is the world, and thats whats in it, are the words echoing in the narrators head like a personal motto, the essence of existence. These words also end the novel.

Holtzman, Avner. Yediot Achronot. 30 march 2001.

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