Friday, October 28, 2011

Daniel Levin's The Last Ember

The Last Ember teaches.  It teaches about ancient history and contemporary events.  It rehabilitates Josephus and uncovers the injustice being perpetrated on the Temple Mount.  Although it is fiction, one can derive many lessons.  If one is interested in a fast paced action packed twist filled thriller, The Last Ember delivers.

The book fits into a modern trend to rehabilitate Josephus.  In the past, Jewish Historians peg Josephus as a traitor, however, currently many historians cut Josephus some slack by justifying his self preservation and appreciate him in the context as being an essential source of first century history of Israel and Rome.  Daniel Levin goes so far as to conjecture that Josephus was actually not a traitor, but rather a clandestine operative with the mission to keep the golden Temple Menorah burning perpetually. The book reports that Titus made a mistake and brought back a forgery and that Josephus saved and hid the real golden Temple Menorah.  Josephus here is depicted as a hero.

The Last Ember publicizes the destruction going on under the ancient Temple Mount.  This is consistent with the desire among some to deny the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.  Many Islamic leaders have purported Islamic hegemony and deny Jewish history and identity with the Temple Mount.  The plot is the denouement of the Waqf authority's complicity with the destruction of artifacts.

The book fits into the genre of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code: a merging of historical fact and fiction, fast paced page turner.  Although I found the protagonists not developed as much as the secondary characters, nevertheless, its an edifying experience and a fun read.

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