When we get the opportunity to look at both the visual and textual story of the dispersion of the Jewish people and of the lost tribes of Israel, the extraordinary and perhaps unique nature of the survival of the Jewish nation comes into clearer focus. That alone makes The Diaspora and the Lost Tribes of Israel by Amotz Asa-El an important book. Scholarly books in recent decades have examined this aspect of Jewish history but this volume presents the information in a more accessible form and in a beautifully illustrated manner.
Asa-El, The Jerusalem Post’s executive director, with many years of experience as a professor of Jewish history, has clearly retold the story of the migration of Jews throughout the world which began in the 6th century B.C.E. The book retells the story of the Jewish exile and of the various processes by which the exiles were integrated into the life of their host countries while trying to maintain their Jewish identities.
More than 270 magnificent illustrations and photographs convey a visual story that spans continents and centuries. Included are maps, paintings and posters, and photographs of sculptures, illuminations, architectural features, religious objects, and the various Jewish communities themselves. The text expresses the many complex ideas of this vast historic migration using language that should be understandable to all readers. In combination with the beautiful illustrations, it makes an attractive presentation of the fascinating history of Jewish life outside Israel.