This book is the written transcription of a lengthy conversation between the Hebrew philologist and scholar Ilan Stavans and Mordecai Drache, contributing editor to Zeek Magazine. The conversation took place over a period of more than a year via e‑mail and telephone and has now been presented as a lively discussion of various themes in the Hebrew Bible. The parameters of the topics are laid out in the beginning and rather disappointingly the Hebrew translation chosen is the King James version of the bible. Given how many other translations are available which more closely mirror the original Hebrew, one wonders, why this choice? During the reading of this book one will want to have a copy of the text close by to join the argument on the meanings of the ancient biblical stories.
While the conversation does follow a logical path from B’reshit to Job, the path is a meandering journey incorporating the ideas of literature, art, and culture into the interpretation of the text. The authors jump around from discipline to discipline in their quest to both draw out meaning and make the text relevant to contemporary society. While the conversations are interesting and one can learn much from them, overall the book does not present a coherent analysis of the stories and the historical context of ancient society. But read in small sections one can gain some knowledge and insight into specific passages of the Bible.