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Mary of Nazareth: A Novelby Marek Halter
Synopses & Reviews
The torpor of early morning was shattered by the cries of children.
They're here They’re here
In his workshop, Joachim was already at work. He exchanged glances with his assistant, Lysanias, but did not let himself be distracted by the noise. In a single movement, they lifted the cedar beam and placed it on the workbench.
Groaning, Lysanias massaged his lower back. He was too old for this heavy work, so old that no one, not even he himself, could remember when exactly he had been born, in a village somewhere far away in Samaria. But Joachim had been working with him forever, and could not imagine replacing him with a young apprentice. It was Lysanias, as much as his own father, who had taught him the trade of carpentry. Together, they had made more than a hundred roofs in the villages around Nazareth. Several times, their skills had been demanded from as far away as Sepphoris.
They heard footsteps in the courtyard as the cries of the children still echoed around the walls of the village. Hannah stopped in the doorway of the workshop. The morning sun cast her shadow across the Xoor as far as their feet.
They've arrived, she said.
The words were unnecessary, she knew. But she had to say them, to give an outlet to her fear and anger.
Joachim sighed. I heard.
There was no need to say more. Everyone in the village knew what was happening: The tax collectors of the Sanhedrin had entered Nazareth.
For days now, they had been going from village to village in Galilee, and the news of their coming had preceded them like the rumor of a plague. Each time they left a village, the rumor grew. It was as if they were devouring everything in their path, like the locusts inXicted on Pharaoh's Egypt by the wrath of Yahweh.
Old Lysanias sat down on a wooden block and shook his head. We should stop yielding to those vultures We must let God decide who to punish: them or us.
Joachim ran his hand over his chin and scratched his short beard. The previous evening, the men of the village had gathered to give vent to their fury. Like Lysanias, several of them had decided they would give nothing more to the tax collectors. No grain, no money, no objects. Let each person step forward empty-handed and say, Go away But Joachim knew these were just words, the hopeless dreams of angry men. The dreams would fade, and so would their courage, as soon as they had to face reality.
The tax collectors never came to plunder the villages without the help of Herod's mercenaries. You might be able to present yourself to the tax collectors empty-handed, but anger could do nothing against spears and swords. It would simply provoke a massacre. Or drive home your own powerlessness and humiliation.
The neighborhood children stopped outside the workshop and surrounded Hannah, their eyes bright with excitement.
They're in old Houlda's house they cried.
Lysanias stood up, his lips trembling. What can they possibly hope to Wnd at Houlda’s? She doesn’t have anything
Everyone in Nazareth knew how close Houlda and Lysanias were. If it had not been for tradition, which forbade Samaritan men to marry Galilean women, or even to live under the same roof, they would have become husband and wife a long time ago.
Joachim stood up and carefully tucked the ends of his tunic into his belt. I'll g
A provocative fictional account of the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, captures the turbulent world of an idealistic young woman who risks everything to bring a much-needed miracle to her people and describes the influence on her of the three most important men in her life--her father, a rebel, and Joseph, a family friend. 60,000 first printing.
A fictional account of the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, captures the turbulent world of an idealistic young woman who risks everything to bring a much-needed miracle to her people.
About the Author
MAREK HALTER was born in Poland in 1936. During World War II, his family escaped the Warsaw ghetto and settled in France. He is the author of several critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling novels, including the Canaan Trilogy: Sarah; Zipporah, Wife of Moses; and Lilah.
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