By the Waters of Babylon

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

This is the sto­ry of Ya’el, a twelve-year-old girl liv­ing in Jerusalem at the time of the Baby­lon­ian con­quest in 586 BCE. When the Baby­lon­ian army rounds up sur­vivors of the siege, Ya’el is marked for the long march to exile. At a time when few peo­ple are lit­er­ate and girls are edu­cat­ed only in the domes­tic skills, she’s a bud­ding scribe and an avid stu­dent of the sacred Tem­ple scrolls which will lat­er form the basis for the Bible. The hos­til­i­ty this caus­es among cap­tives and cap­tors alike will plague her dur­ing the long march to exile. She’s deter­mined to sur­vive the bit­ter trek, but she’ll do it on her terms.

The novel’s focus on a head­strong and pas­sion­ate young woman engages read­ers and brings them ful­ly into this trau­mat­ic time, a time from which the Bible will lat­er emerge, and with it the reli­gion of Judaism.

With its mes­sages of empow­er­ment and Jew­ish spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, the nov­el appeals to adults and young adults alike and leaves an indeli­ble impres­sion on all who read it.

Discussion Questions