In March 1884 a man named Moses Wilhelm Shapira committed suicide in a small hotel in Rotterdam. A Jewish convert to Christianity, explorer and crook, collector and forger, Shapira was one of the most intriguing characters of his time in Jerusalem. His death sealed a mystery which has not been solved to this day: were the scrolls bearing the Ten Commandments which were found in the Jordanian caves genuine or forged? The British Museum’s offer to buy them from him for one million pounds precipitated a scandal which shook biblical and archaeological circles. In this biographic-historical novel, Shulamit Lapid attempts to decipher Shapira's complex personality, while depicting the complexities and intrigues of life in Jerusalem in the latter half of the 19th century.
Brims with humor and wit... Shulamit Lapid succeeds in maintaining the suspense and the tension throughout the book, up to the surprising end.
Shulamit Lapid does not merely tell a suspenseful story, but with a deft hand, she pulls the average Israeli’s leg.
Shapira's greed and immorality in business are described...as contributing factors towards achieving his goal. More than mere material success - although inseparable from it - his aim was to achieve a spiritual greatness, a social, financial and scientific standing.
English translation available (for publishers only)
|Title|| ||As a Broken Vessel|
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Lapid|
|Author's First Name|| ||Shulamit|
|Language(s)|| ||German, Estonian|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Keter|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||1984|
|No. Pages|| ||312 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Ka-Cheres Ha-Nishbar|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
German: Reinbeck, Rowohlt, 1991; pback: 1993; Munich, btb, 1997; ebook: Reinbeck, Rowohlt, forthcoming
Estonian: Tallinn, Olion, 2003