A closely meshed, heavily patterned family saga, this covers the years from before World War I and up to the bombing of Warsaw of World War II in the fortunes of the Mosk. Reb Meshulam Moskat, through his unpredictable actions, has acquired great wealth and notoriety in Warsaw's ghetto and when at 80 he marries for the third time he adds to his legend. His new step-daughter, Adele, and his granddaughter, Hadassah, are both attracted to the provincial greenhorn, Asa Heshel Bannet but although it is Hadassah he loves, It is Adele he marries and the triangle continues until he meets Barbara. After Meshulam's death, through the years the family's way changes -- there is a break to America, to Palestine, they die, marry, fight, argue, they watch the shifts during the war and see the family fortune, most of which has been stolen by their father's agent, dissipate as does their adherence to the Chassidic group and with the bombing it is Death who is the messiah for all. A detailed accounting of a part of the past, of a type of life and people now wiped out, this is impressive in its scope.