For those of you that have read the first novel in this trilogy, Deliverance, I'm pleased to let you know that the second book Defiance has now been released. It's been a while between installments but to refresh your memory, the trilogy takes you into the life of Joseph ben Matthias, aka Josephus, from a perspective that is not revealed in the cut and dry facts of a historical reference text. Josephus was far more than a historian, priest, warrior and what many have labelled as a traitor. He was flesh and blood, yet for all his human failing, he was both far more and simultaneously far less, than any human that we could claim to know or understand. An entire civilization revolved around this single man and I doubt very much that he even understood at the time how much his actions were influencing the lives and destinies of not only his nation, but an Empire, and even impacted on the lives we now lead. As a people, who and what we are today are the result of this man's life. Some will say that the existence of the diaspora and our expulsion were the result of his actions. Others will claim that we still exist today because of his ability to convince the Roman world to overlook our rebellious nature and appreciate our religious historical evolution. But I will say that he was a mirror of all that we are and all that we could have been. Our strengths, our weaknesses, our righteous qualities and our more sinister intentions are all reflected within his singular lifespan and it is by examining the man within the context of the then socio-political framework, that we can fully appreciate ourselves and recognize that we always were in control of our own destinies but only if we adhered and honored the morals, traditions and laws that God had provided to us. We lost our civilization, our land, our lives, not because of one man, but because we strayed from that moral highway that is so easy to recognize once we examine the life that Josephus lived.
A REFLECTION OF TODAY
We can easily dismiss the historical content of the trilogy as nothing more than a footnote in history but what cannot be overlooked is that the same issues and problems that plagued society in Josephus's time are no different than what we are experiencing in this 21st century. Two thousand years later and nothing has truly changed. We are the same divided people, the same despised, persecuted and subjugated race that dwelt under the shadow of a Roman eagle, except now the eagle is bald and the Emperor doesn't fiddle while the world burns; he plays golf instead, pointing a finger of accusation in our direction that the nuclear holocaust that we see hovering above our heads is our own doing because we have exposed the truth that the Emperor has no clothes. Much as Rome had divided us from being a unified force in Josephus's time, this Emperor has done the same. Those under the shadow of the Eagle enjoy their wealth and the illusion of their power too much to concern themselves with their brethren that our shouting the wolf is at our doorstep. Those that have amassed sidecurls stretching to the black collars of their moral jackets have isolated themselves from the reality of world events. Those that have traded beliefs in the Almighty for the belief that the Kardashians are real and that Steve Jobs was the Messiah that would deliver us from the gates of inequality have strayed too far from the compass of knowing which direction points to truth. Divided, isolated, and intolerant of each other, these are the same entities that existed two thousand years ago and now that we face the identical dangers of that first century AD, we still have not learned a single lesson from our past. Perhaps now you can appreciate and understand why I am compelled to write this miniseries of books about a historical event that everyone thinks they know but which I can certainly attest to that we know so little about. We must learn from our past in order to save our future.
A TASTE OF FREEDOM
Defiance shows you how close we came to winning our freedom, bringing an Empire to its knees, and securing our destiny as God's holy people, because truthfully there could have been no other explanation for our defeating the Roman Empire other than God was fighting along side our own warriors. But success only breeds corruption, an all too common theme among our people. Our jealousies, our pettiness, our intolerance of our own kind have always been our undoing. Nothing has changed. You can see it even now when there are those that would sooner call themselves Democrats rather than Jews because then they can support a policy to let the Ayatollahs continue to proclaim death to America, annihilation of Israel, eradication of the Jews, by pretending to impose peace on the Middle East through some twisted logic that giving the Iranians the ability to produce nuclear material will in some way breed tolerance among their people. You can feel it when you walk the streets of our sacred land, only to be told you do not belong here because you do not worship in the identical manner to others. You shudder when you turn on a television of indifference that fills your mind with images of death, destruction and immorality as if it is the normal fare of every day and we digest this filth as if it was a gourmet meal that should be relished. Unless we learn from the lessons of the past, we will suffer the same punishments well into the future. But sadly, as you will come to realize in my forthcoming articles, all these warnings, all my teachings through the writing of my books may actually be in vain. Yes, there was another epiphany this week. Those that know what I mean by this will understand that I have been shown something that has left me in despair. Whereas I always felt that my purpose was to change our thinking, avoid catastrophe, save us from the impending disaster, I now know that was not the case. That has been made quite evident to me and I will relate that message to you soon. God have mercy upon us.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana