Worlds apart together: Binyamin, ultra-Orthodox, married and a father of five, left his home and his faith in order to live with Elia. She is secular, widowed, and a psychotherapist. The two met when Binyamin came for marriage counseling, and their complex relationship eventually results in Elia becoming pregnant. Although both were still married at the time, Elia chose to raise their son Netanel, and it is only later that the two decide to spend their lives together.
At the age of 28, when he in turn is married and has a son, Netanel is killed in a tragic accident. His senseless death reawakens old tensions between his parents, Binyamin finding comfort in religious orthodoxy, Elia in psychoanalysis, so that they feel they are losing one another too. There is also conflict between Netanel’s young widow and her parents.
Netanel, whose name in Hebrew means "given by God," recalls the words of Job: "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed by the name of the Lord." Written by previously ultra-Orthodox Judith Rotem, this moving story gives us unique insight into the tensions between the various sectors of Israeli society.
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Rotem`s book arouses curiosity and creates anticipation. She is Elia Horovitz, who ages and deals with her weaknesses, and in her maturity even gains insight.
The main charm in writing about elderly people stems from the depth and the layers that accumulate over the years, like rings on the trunk of an ancient tree. And her main characters really are multilayered. A rich selection of topics and characters.