Tova Murad Sadka portrays the frustrations, joys, and cultural ties of Iraqi Jews both in Iraq and as they disperse to Israel and the U.S. She captures her believable protagonists’ thoughts and frames their circumstances in beautiful prose with a sharp eye for detail.
In “The Melting Pot,” Sadka describes what life was like for Iraqi Jews after they made aliya, and the differences and conflicts they had with Ashkenazi Jews in the Holy Land. In “The Crossroad,” Naiim, an Iraqi Jew in Israel, marries a younger woman and watches in frustration as she transforms herself from a dutiful wife who cooks, cleans, and irons his clothes, to one who enjoys going out and socializing with friends. The longest of Sadka’s stories, “The Crossroad” clearly conveys the cultural differences between the Iraqi Jews and the Israelis living alongside them in Israel. The reader can feel Naiim seethe and convulse with anger as he considers that his wife and her friends are mocking him and robbing him of his honor.
Each story in this collection offers a peek into the mind of an Iraqi Jew. Sadka’s ability transcends generations. Read Farewell to Dejla to catch a glimpse of Jewish Iraq with its wealth of traditions, foibles, and complexities.