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After returning from our holiday this summer in the middle east, I spent an afternoon with a friend, showing her our photographs and telling her about the culture and customs we had witnessed there. She is very interested in Jewish history, and lent me this book entitled 'Betrayed' by Stan Telchin, which you can purchase on Amazon for £5.39.
The front of the book sums up the main focus 'The Bestselling True Story of a Jewish Family's Search for the Messiah'. Do not be put off however if you are not religious, as the book in itself is an interesting look at judiasm and christianity, and how they differ and compare.
The book starts with Telchin receiving a telephone call from his eldest daughter who has some news - she just become a Christian believer. Stan Telchin and his wife Ethel are jewish, and even though they are not 'practicing' Jews as such, they very much follow the traditional jewish customs and way of life. Such a statement from their eldest daughter is enough to nearly send them over the edge, and feel utterly betrayed.
Following this outburst, Stan and Ethel decide to fly out to their daughter who is away studying at College. They notice a big change in her - she has a vitality and spirit they had never seen before. Their daughter Judy explains how she converted to Christianity, and wants her mother and father to look into this as well.
Stan however, has other ideas, and him and his wife, set out, armed with a Christian bible for the first time to prove their daughter wrong - that Jesus Christ is not the Messiah that the Jews have been waiting for. They aim to prove that the only way is the Jewish way, and that this is just a flash in the pan.
The main thrust of the book is taken up with Stan's investigations into Jewish history, and what it is that he actually believes, and some of hte prophecies about the Messiah in the bible, and whether of not these point to Jesus as Messiah. Along the way, he meets with many people, some steering him away from his investigations, others helping them by inviting them to a meetings of Messianic Jews (that is Jews that believe in Jesus as Messiah) and showing them new scripture to confirm prophecies.
As I already said, some may be put off by thinking this is a purely religious book, and yes there is a huge amount of religious basis to it, but to those who are interested in Jewish history, it is a very worthwhile read. My old criticism is that I thought it dragged a little in the middle, as it was pretty obvious that he has made his mind up about what was true, but it seemed to dwell on his deciding for a lengthy time. All in all, however this was an interesting book for us to read, especially after seeing so many of the Jewish customs right before our very eyes whilst on holiday.