AS A DRIVEN LEAF by Milton Steinberg


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The extraordinary success of The Nazarene will in a sense pave the way for this book, which also has a Palestinian setting, and a religious motive. The period is later -- the early second century -- and the story deals with Elisha ben Abuyah, Jewish rabbi, a dissenter whose life was torn by internal struggles towards faith. It is a book which should appeal to the market of Lion Feuchtwanger's The Jew of Rome, for Elisha ben Abuyah was virtually another Josephus, betraying his people to the Romans, despised by both sides. A childhood under Hellenistic influence; an adolescence and early youth under strict Jewish teachers, a marriage without love, and the beginning of a lifelong attempt to rationalize his beliefs. The story of a failure, of the ultimate discovery that Faith is essential to Life, and that not all elements can be fitted into the pattern of Euclid, that reason alone cannot control life. Semi-historical, semi-biographical, but written as fiction, with whole periods -- unknown to historians -- filled in. Not a book for the average reader, but a book that those interested in far off periods of history which have their parallels today, and in the search for a faith as a motive of life, will find interesting and challenging.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1940
ISBN: 0874411033
Publisher: Bobbs, Merrill