THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT by Melville Shavelson

THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yet another schlep to that storehouse of benevolent Jewish stereotypes, presumably cherished by All--an endearing if dangerous assumption. Again, nothing is as adorable as a crazy zayde (grandfather); as awe-inspiring as the lofty frigidity of the Jewish Princess; as hilarious as Yiddish-based syntax from unexpected sources (like God or Golda). This is a broad-beamed satire with cameos by such as Kissinger, Golda, the Pope--about how 75-year-old New Yorker Schoenbaum, in Israel to marry off his far too liberated daughter to a N.J. Boy, hits oil on his newly-bought property. (He's been digging for water because water taxes, he yells, are too high.) Nu--Schoenbaum's well drains all the oil from Arab neighbors, and Israel, once the whipping boy, is now the belle of the UN ball game. But with the riches comes the withering of the golden virtues: edge-of-precipice smarts, bracing guilts, and the work ethic. And the Arabs have launched a plan to flood Israel with sexy houris who will eventually Arabize Israel--until God's Voice directs the wayward to the 11th Commandment: ""Thou shalt not shtup shiksas."" Over the decades Jewish humorists have touched on the genius and dilemma of Israel with the lightest of ironies; Shavelson's hammers irony to silly putty, and a little dab'll do ya.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Reader's Digest Press/Dist. by T. Y. Crowell