A Blessing on the Moon
The English Disease is a remarkable feat, a story that mixes the Marx brothers and Maimonides, pornographic yoga with Polish paranoia, and the brutality of kindergarten with the beauty of the Kiddush. It's the tale of Charles Belski, an expert in the works of Gustav Mahler, who, like Mahler himself, is talented and neurotic, and a nonpracticing Jew. Belski suffers guilt over his own contribution to the decline of the Jewish religion, especially since he married a gentile and now has a gentile daughter. As if he can't conjure up enough angst on his own, his great-grandfather appears before him in a dream to admonish him for neglecting the obligations of his faith. For Belski, the dilemma is how an assimilated intellectual can connect with an ancient and irrational (to him) religion without losing his sense of self. Is he the self-hating Jew that his obstreperous colleage pegs him for? Can his wife and daughter bully him into opening up his heart and letting in a little joy? Belski tries to cometo grips with the meaninglessness of modern life, the demands of tradition, the nature of love and fidelity, and the true significance of the lyrics to "Goodnight Irene."
What people are saying - Write a review
A Blessing on the MoonUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Chaim Skibelski is dead. Or is he? In the opening pages, he is shot and pushed into a pit along with his fellow Jews in a village in Poland. Chaim, accompanied by his rabbi in the form of a crow ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Andrzej arms bakers beard belly beneath blood boat body calls Chaim Skibelski Chaimka cheder chest clothes coat course dark daughters dead Direktor disappears door empty Ester eyes face feel feet fingers forest glasses Hadassah hair hands Hasids head hear Herr Jude Holocaust humidor inside Jews JOSEPH SKIBELL Kalman knees kvass laughing lean leave legs Lepke lift light look Maitre d'Hotel Mama Marek Markus mezuzah moon moon's mouth move neck never night Ola's Pani Chaim Papa Pavel Perhaps Pillow pulls raises Reb Chaim Reb Elimelech Rebbe Rebbe's river rolls says Zalman Shabbas shoulders shout side sigh Skibell sleep snow someone stand stick stop sure tears teeth tell thick things throat tongue towels tree tureen turn versts voice walk whisper words Yiddish