It is the eve of the First Crusade. Young David lives in the land once called Israel, now ruled by Muslims. From his shackled destiny, David rebels and seeks adventure and freedom. But at what cost? Brilliant Rebecca and Rabbi Elazar have found a haven in the idyllic German lands, where Judaism blossoms. Then comes the fateful November cry for revenge. With love and laughter, courage and betrayal, together – and apart – they step into war.
Fast-paced but profound, as much comic as tragic, Window to Yesterday: The Torchbearer brings to life time and place rarely covered in fiction: Jewish life under the Muslims in pre-Crusades Palestine; women’s rights and the development of German Ashkenaz; Torah commentary and Rashi; and the impact of the First Crusade on German Jews.
As much for teens as adults and filled with adventure, young romance, and ethical issues, The Torchbearer captures Jewish history’s harrowing glory. The novel is historically accurate and includes detailed historical notes on medieval Jewish life from the Cairo Geniza and other sources.