A TIME FOR LOVING by Herbert Tarr


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Rabbi Tarr, who has previously published two lighthearted tsouris-reports on being Jewish and a Rabbi, here examines in a highly colored homiletic fashion aspects of love via a fanciful Biblical/ historical setting for ""The Song of Solomon."" The Shunemite here is a 17 year-old shepherdess, dark, round and lovely, bound by love to the shepherd Don and by her brothers to a piggish merchant. As she pleads her case, Solomon, who has been grappling with self-doubt and the aridity of approaching old age, succumbs to passion and takes her into his harem. Eventually, as the girl witnesses the King's agonies -- the importuning of his weak heir, the rebellion of a favorite soldier, searing comparisons with the rule of his father David -- her despair turns to pitying love. Solomon then releases the girl, choosing for Don ""another's future over his own present,"" which might be after all the true meaning of love -- for a mistress, and in a larger sense, all who surround a king. Phrases from the Song are scattered throughout, sometimes with disastrous results: ""I'm still,"" says the Shunemite, ""a plain rose of Sharon, an ordinary lily of the valley."" Foxy little novels like this spoil the poetry, but Tart has illuminated his sermon with sprightly personages and an energy of his own.

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 1972
Publisher: Random House