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The Magnanimous Thief

Jewish destiny and Israeli reality are both part of this exciting cops-and-robbers detective story. But this is no ordinary detective story, just as our hero is no ordinary thief. German-born Naphtali Bamburger is the deputy manager of a respectable bank in Tel Aviv. It is 1950 – Israel is overflowing with refugees from post-war Europe and hostile Arab countries, and the newly established state has to absorb these new arrivals. The newcomers are crowded into transit camps, each with scores of residents carrying memories of fear and pain. Naphtali decides to steal 500,000 Israeli pounds from his place of work and distribute the money to the people in the transit camps. He soon becomes their Robin Hood, but he promises to return all the money when the “special operation” is over. Naphtali keeps his word and the judge sentences the good-hearted thief to only a year in prison.

Title The Magnanimous Thief
Writer's Last Name Kaniuk
Writer's First Name Yoram
Genre Children
Ages 13 up
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
No. Pages 261pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Ganav Ha-Nadiv