Did this Jewish science fiction novel predict the killer tsunami that struck Asia, killing over one hundred thousand people.... More Below
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The Temple of Hashem
A Jewish science fiction that predicted the future?? Perhaps! The recent killer tsunami that struck Asia, killing close to one hundred thousand people, is one of the largest natural disasters the world has ever seen. Author, Hyam Yona Becker, wrote of life-threatening tsunamis in his 1997 Science Fiction novel, The Temple of Hashem. “What happened that bright, sunny morning became known as the ‘Cataclysm of the Century’. The major brunt of the tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean with the power of one megaton per square inch at a velocity of two hundred miles per hour.”
A landmark in Jewish science fiction! Infused with religious fervor and a sublime sense of humor, Becker introduces us to a world-renowned rabbi, Jewish Eskimo, Russian scientist, and a neurotic American mountain climber in their search for the truth about the Torah.
Critic Reviews: “Witty, imaginative, and enthralling... a thrilling science fiction adventure story. ...You don’t have to be observant, or even Jewish to fully appreciate and enjoy this masterful work of science fiction.”
-Rochelle Caviness The Jewish Eye
The Temple of HaShem by HYBecker: Fantasy, 4.4, Fascinating story! Growing up in ‘Christian America’ I hardly realized the way religion shapes the way we think…until I was drawn into the world of Judaism through The Temple of HaShem. Becker does a wonderful job of bringing us into his world, giving us just enough information to keep us on our toes. I’ve never ‘researched’ a book topic before, but found myself searching the internet to better understand these people who have so much in common with Christians, but who see the world in such different ways. Excellent book: the storyline is coherent and involving, the characters are interesting and consistent, and this ‘universe’ (for it is akin to a new world for me…) of Judaism is presented very well (not too much, not too little information).
The Henriksen Parallax 2005
When I first picked this book up I must admit I had no idea of what I might find within the pages. It was a book that I felt I had to read when I heard of it. It would become the first book I had ever read where the plot would revolve around aspects of the Jewish faith, and would be based around a highly devout Jewish University professor. I am not Jewish, I know little about the core of Jewish faith and so was intrigued.
Shlomo Tzadok, the lead character, is a University professor in Israel. At the start of this tale, he had decided, as he was becoming a more devout Jew, that he would end his career in archaeology and devote himself to studying his faith.
So just as he is about to leave academia he is contacted by an official of the Israeli government who wants him to lead an expedition to Antarctica to investigate an unusual reading observed there, in an area of the continent recently ceded to Israel. A sensible request given Tzadok being one of the few Israeli archaeologists with experience of arctic environs.
Just as he is about to say no to this idea, the government official plays a trump card, for Tzadok's guide in the arctic, an eskimo named Enki who wears a Star of David under his furs, has been imprisoned for trying to uphold his belief in the old ways, and the official offers a way for Tzadok to affect his release. So Tzadok agrees to lead the expedition to Antarctica, with Enki as the guide of a multi-racial team trying to uncover the origins of a mystery.
The world the author has introduced me to, is alien to me from my perspective on life in middle England. In some ways parts of it, although not a great part of this book are almost as alien as an alien society could be, although laced with the familiar terms that anyone who has heard the news over the last few years would be aware of. But the real joy for me in this book is the interaction between Tzadok, the Jewish academic and Enki, the Eskimo who is devoted to the traditions of his ancestral people.
Now okay this tale is laced with references to the Jewish faith and it is very obvious that the author is a believer, but does that mean that this is a book that the Gentiles of the world will not enjoy. Well, no - and far from it, the author has crafted an enjoyable story here, and the references to Judaism do not place a barrier between you and enjoyment. So if you can accept the world of Judaism for the time you are reading - whether or not you believe - then there's much to be recommended here. As you might expect from the tone of my description of the plot of this book, my apprehension was unnecessary. This is a good book, and I hope that it's one that will get a decent readership.