Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Kabbalist by Yoram Katz

Genres: Historical fiction, Murder, Mystery
Kindle File Size: 2639 KB
Print Length: 339 pages
Printed formats: Kindle, Paperback
ISBN-10: 1484946448
Published date: September 24th 2013
Publishers: Yoram Katz; 1 edition (September 27, 2013), CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Edition Language: English
Purchase link: Amazon Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.;  Barnes & Noble

An old letter, discovered in Normandy, sends Jean de Charney, a young Frenchwoman, to present-day Israel, in pursuit of a 200 year old family secret. She teams up with local private-eye Yossi Luria and the two quickly realize that the old mystery is lethal and still claiming victims. Their quest takes them back into the Holy Land's history, through the Napoleonic era and the Crusades, right into the origins of Christianity and of Kabbalah – the Jewish mystical tradition. What is this old secret that people in the 21st century are ready to kill for? It turns out to be startlingly more profound than a family mystery, with direct impact on Jean and Yossi’s personal lives. 


Murder embedded in a historical mystery...surprising, thought-provoking, thrilling, controversial 

Isreal. Safed, Jerusalem.

A murder mystery turns into a journey through history, starting at Shimon – Galilee, 149 AD, passing through the ages to March 6th, 2010, spanning the life of Yeshua Ben Yossef aka Jesus, The Roman Empire, the wars in Europe, including the Napoleonic wars, WWII, the Israeli wars.

The death of a monk, on January 16th, 2006 quietly phased out as a burglary gone wrong. However, behind the scenes, another story is enfolding when a private investigator,(an ex-cop) Yossi Luria, gets involved in a case to solve a mystery for Jeanne de Charney, a masters degree student of France who is looking for information on her family.

His investigation opens up a hornets nest around secret documents which are claimed by both Christian (possibly also known as 'The Holy Grail') and Jewish religious groups. The origin of the "Kabbalah" becomes the center of all events, including the murders. For some keepers of the secret, the secret scrolls are an essential negotiating tool, for others it is proof that Jesus was not a Christian at all...

Who was Jesus really? History has taught us to always consider who the recorders of history are.Each conqueror claims a different version. This story proves it.

Through these wars and deadening battles, these documents would be handed over from generation to generation for safekeeping and to protect the status quo. But there were different groups demanding possession and ownership and people would die in the process...

This book is a riveting, cannot-put-it-down, detective tale, embedded in a historical mystery that keeps the reader mesmerized while feeding astonishing information through the narrative. A brilliant book in which Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" is contradicted with an equally profound hypothesis.

The author says: "One thing I learned in the process of writing this book is that it is not too difficult to come up with a conspiracy theory and substantiate it. It is probably as easy as defending an old and improbable established myth. The lesson I take from this, and which I hope to share with you, dear reader, is that we should always use common sense and good judgment when
examining a new and thrilling conspiracy theory, as well as when examining an old and established dogma. Both can be incredibly enlightening, terribly misleading or even both simultaneously– it is up to us always to keep an open, inquisitive and critical mind."
- Yoram Katz.

I do not believe in fate, but the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that it was fate having me read three books in succession about the French Revolution, the world wars and the clashes of Religious dogmas through the ages, by totally different authors from different nations.

The more astounded I became, reading this book, the more I remembered the quote(anonymous): "Different people build different bridges to God, but instead of worshiping God they worship the bridges instead."

I did not like Dan Brown's commercially-driven books at all, mainly due to the hype that was built around it to sell it, and partly because it aimed to shock. I was disgusted when it ended. I gave all his books away, just wanted to get rid of it.

The Kabbalist, on the other hand, inspires the reader to rather think, to measure, to debate, with no shock-value intended at all, although the story is spellbinding. This book kept me reading and reading with the intention to read it again and digest more of the ideas and theories expressed in it. Although it is also partly historically correct, and partly an imaginary 'what if' - exercise, I can somehow relate more to it.

The different viewpoints from the different religious denominations were presented objectively and I am sure many readers would love to debate these issues, since so many hypotheses were offered.

I recommend this book to historical fiction enthusiasts who also enjoy a mystery that covers hundred of years and end up as the background to a fascinating murder. However, it is essential to approached this book with an open mind.

The characters were exciting, the clues well-hidden. The story fast-moving. The information staggering. Love plays a role - an endearing one. The combination of these elements worked perfectly. An excellent experience.

This book needs a big audience.

Five stars.

Yoram was born in Haifa, Israel.
After serving his mandatory three years in the IDF (as most Israelis do), Yoram studied and completed his B.A. in psychology and Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Having spent two years in Europe and Africa, Yoram returned to Haifa for his B.Sc. in Computer Engineering, and has spent most of his career since in the hi-tech industry, half of it in senior managerial positions.

In one of his roles, Yoram relocated with his family to Singapore for three years - a cultural shock and an experience that will be probably reflected in a future novel.

Reading has always been an obsession. Fiction, history, science, nonsense and virtually everything is routinely devoured by Yoram in large doses.

At some point, while spending a lot of time in business trips, Yoram started using the long flights and time between meetings, realizing that his life experience, as well as living in a county which is steeped in history and adventure, serve as great catalysts for writing.

"The Kabbalist” is Yoram's first published novel.

Yoram is happily married with 3 grown-up children and looks forward to becoming a grandfather next year.

(Information source: Yoram Katz)

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