THE SPARK AND THE EXODUS by Benedict & Nancy Freedman


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The authors of the popular Mrs. Mike (1947) again tell the story of pioneers- a small band of Zionists who dream of returning to the land of their fathers in 1906. Exiled and suffering under Russian oppression, there are a few among the Jews of Tolne who respond to the messages of The Spark and who secretly make their plans to migrate. But Meir, the half-Jew, spying for the police, betrays the group and is instrumental in causing the death of The Spark, and it is only Joseph, Saul and Deborah, Joseph's sister, who are ready to leave with their guide, the peddler Menachem. They are joined by the charity student, Johanan, and Meir, anxious now to escape the police, and head for their goal, Israel. Haunted by their Talmudic heritage, in fear of Russian apprehension, their travels bring many adventures that try their faith and their loyalty and, for Johanan, establish his love for Deborah. When Johanan is lost the others reach their destination, to live in despair until Johanan finds them and renews their confidence. Steeped in Hasidic thought, this makes vivid the enslavement of the Jews, the power of a dream and the personal problems of the pilgrims.

Publisher: Crown