Forever My Jerusalem By Puah Shteiner

The poignant, autobiographical story of the fall and evacuation of the Jewish Quarter, as witnessed through the eyes of a young girl. With maps. Forever My Jerusalem

2019 just read this book.
good way to get personal view of contemporary historicalof Israel Forever My Jerusalem I’m teetering on 5 stars with this one because the ending was so inspiring. It was written for middle schoolers, though, so the language is somewhat simplistic. It’s the memoir of a woman who went through Israel’s War of Independence as a child, and interestingly, it has a very different feel than a Holocaust memoir. The deprivation and upheaval come alive, but there is no feeling of being hunted down and no descriptions of cruel brutality (perhaps because it is a children’s book).

Every Jew should read this book, regardless of age. It’s sort of like a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, except about Israeli history. So many of us know Holocaust history very well, but how many really know Israeli history? My own knowledge on that topic is pretty weak, and a war memoir, even about a young girl, is always a good place to start to really get the feel of the times. Recommended.
Forever My Jerusalem I usually do not rave about books from Orthodox presses because the focus is on teaching morals and lessons and not on the literary quality. So this book does have many elements of a frummy book: lots of praying and reciting Psalms; lots of Jewish rituals; and the lessons about modesty and faith and being content in what you have.

But Shteiner's eyewitness to history held my attention so that I could not put this book down. It was interesting to read about day-to-day life in pre-state Israel, and to learn first hand of what the people of the Old City experienced from about 1945 until they were expelled in 1948. They literally escaped with the clothes on their back, and her father was a POW for nine long months.

This is one of the books that will change everything. I will walk through the Old City with a new and profound respect for those who tried to hold the ground during the War of Independence, and I view Puah Shteiner and her family as heroes for the sacrifices they made on so many levels to be observant jews in Jerusalem. Forever My Jerusalem


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