Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jerusalem Interlude (novel)

Jerusalem Interlude (1991) is the fourth novel of Bodie and Brock Thoene's Zion Covenant Series.

[edit] Plot Summary

Charles, in the Chinese restaurant booth with Tikvah, has finished telling her his story--and has fallen in love with her.

Elisa, having completed a honeymoon (after legalised marriage) with Murphy, meets Leah and Shimon in Paris to bid them farewell for their trip to Jerusalem. She soon finds herself pregnant.

Thomas Kleistmann, having killed Georg Wand, is now on the run from a squadron of SS and Gestapo led by Leo Vargen. At a depot in Brussels, Vargen's men capture Thomas and take him to Germany. Vargen is now sent to Jerusalem to act as liaison and trainer (as replacement for the dead Georg Wand) to terrorists led by Mufti Haj Amin Husseini. Ernst vom Rath is summoned by Hitler to see the fate of the "treasonous" Kleistmann (who has remained resolute under torture, refusing to divulge further information than his non-remorse at having killed Wand--and whom Hitler has thus ordered crucified); Kleistmann nods to vom Rath to kill him quickly, which vom Rath does with a pistol.

Elisa's father, Theo, is invited to Berlin privately by Hermann Göring (under the conditions that he travel with a passport issued as "Jacob Stern", his forced-on name at Dachau) to discuss a scheme for allowing Jews to leave the Reich for moneys. He forces Theo to watch the burning of the books and works of art he has taken from Theo's home (which he has annexed), and then dismisses him; Theo now goes to the British embassy, having failed in his mission.

Eli Sachar, the eldest son of a rabbinical family is undergoing training in Jerusalem. He is in love with Victoria Hassan, the daughter of a prominent Arab Amal Hassan and his first wife, a deceased Christian. However, he finds that it runs into conflicts both with his parents as well as his education (where he is taught that Kohanes cannot marry proselytes--he hopes Victoria will embrace Judaism, while Victoria's brother Ibrahim hopes Eli will convert to Islam).

Shimon and Leah eventually arrive at Tel Aviv's docks, and take a bus-trip to Jerusalem--which proves gruelling for Leah. Eventually finding the apartment of Shimon's aunt (now deceased), they settle there--and worry about how to disclose to their neighbours their newfound faith in the Messiah--as well as Leah's recently-discovered pregnancy.

Ibrahim is forced by his brothers Ishak and Ismail to join the ranks of Husseini's goondas, whose goal is to eliminate the Jews of the Holy Land. He eventually plants a bomb at a bus-stop near where Leah is about to board; the explosion damages Leah's hearing and causes her to miscarry.

Victoria has been engaged, through the manipulations of her stepmother, to an older man named Ram Qadar, whom she does not like. When she voices her refusal, she is locked into her room. She escapes however, and arranges to meet Eli (through his younger brother Moshe) at the Orthodox Church. There, both she and Eli voice faith in the Messiah, and are married.

Her family, however, decides to destroy Eli--and plot with the Mufti to do it in a way which will cause riots. A prostitute is murdered (and mutilated unrecognisably) and when Eli comes to identify her, he is killed. Victoria becomes a nun at the Orthodox Church, letting the world think her dead.

Meanwhile, Hitler has ordered the deportation of all 12,000 Polish Jews (including those born in Germany) back to Poland--hoping to cause an incident which will give him a pretext to invade Poland. Amongst these Jews former Lindheim's tailor Lazar Grynzspan, father of 17-year-old Herschel who is now in Paris struggling to hide as he is there illegally. When he hears of the deportations, Herschel is greatly angered and goes to the German Embassy asking for an official to meet him. The official who meets him is vom Rath--whom Herschel shoots thrice.

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