What is love? An intriguing question, but maybe it’s one that’s virtually impossible to answer. Perhaps it’s futile for our intellects even to attempt a credible response. Love’s a deep and powerful emotion; it’s not intrinsically amenable to cold, analytical examination. And its quintessence doesn’t lend itself readily to a perfect, logical and universal definition. Ultimately, it could be that love’s mysterious, preoccupying intensity may be recognised and understood only when it’s actually and individually experienced.
Many of the stories in this anthology seek to touch aspects of love’s elusive nature. They embrace not only romantic passion but also other, more prosaic manifestations of that ubiquitous yet amorphous sentiment’s almost mystical quality. Love can be true, pure, profound, strong, eternal … Divine. Though love can be unrequited, ephemeral, paradoxical, forbidden, dangerous … fatal. Despite potential philosophical drawbacks, the reader may be moved by these tales to revisit some very private and personal notions of love’s diverse facets.
These fictional narratives are set in authentic Jewish scenarios, ranging from the Tsar’s provinces to the Holocaust, from England to Eastern Europe and Israel, from synagogue choirs to weddings and barmitzvahs. As with his book The Shtetl and other Jewish stories, the author senses that he’s writing as a conduit for the thoughts and feelings of the characters that walk through these pages.