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5 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. Ellen Brazer says:

    Last week a unique and exciting announcement came out of Israel. The largest-ever known number of coins from the time of Bar Kochba, the Jewish leader who defeated the Roman invaders, and ruled Israel for three years, has been discovered in the Judean Hills by cave researchers from Hebrew and Bar-Ilan universities.

    The research team found three batches of bronze, silver and gold coins (total of 120 coins) in a deep cavern in a nature reserve. Pottery and weapons also were discovered.

    The cavern was used as a hiding place for Jewish rebels during the Bar Kochba rebellion over 1,900 years ago.

    I posted photos of the discovery at:
    http://www.jr.co.il/pictures/israel/things/bar-kochba-rebellion-treasures.htm

    I am writing about this era, this time, this man. It is so very exciting.
    Ellen Brazer Historical Fictional Author of Clouds Across the Sun

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  2. Ellen Brazer says:

    I am thrilled and honored to put the first 6 pages of my new book on the blog. I hope that along the way I will find my followers-the scholars that will keep my feet to the fire and go on this exciting journey with me into the world of what if!!!! Ellen Brazer, Author or Clouds Across the Sun.

    And So It Was Written

    A Novel by Ellen Brazer

    I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not nigh.
    There shall step forth a star out of Jacob;
    and a scepter shall rise out of Israel,
    and shall smite through the corners of Moab,
    and break down all the sons of Seth.
    The Star Prophecy of Numbers 24:17

              Chapter 1

    En-Gedi-Judea in the year 125 CE

    The clouds shifted away as the blazing sun streamed over the enclave of En-Gedi, an oasis in the Judean desert thirty miles from the holy city of Jerusalem. The region is a rugged no-mans land made up of deep gorges that fall towards the Dead Sea from the eastern slopes of the Judean mountains. A waterfall spilled from the bluff into the brook below. The precious water languished in pools before spilling into the riverbed that led to its home in the Dead Sea.

    Livel Cohen and his brother Masabala were playing in the palm grove that sat on the northern edge of the oasis, their antics watched by a herd of wild ibex, mountain goats with great curved horns that grazed on the steep cliffs overlooking the village. The boys darted from tree to tree, laughing, calling out to one another as they pretended to be Jewish zealots in search of Roman soldiers.

    Livel was sixteen, with huge liquid eyes the color of coal and a bulbous nose that perched on the end of his angular face. He had narrow shoulders and a narrow body. Livel was rather homely until he smiled or laughed; then his features ignited and his face was magnificent. He smiled a lot.
    In contrast, his younger brother Masabala was a handsome child with thick ebony hair and enormous sable eyes that reflected a maturity beyond his years. He had long legs, a sleek body, and at fifteen, he was already two inches taller than Livel.

    “Take that, you Roman swine!” Masabala held a stick in his hand, wielding it like a sword. He came toward his brother, his stance threatening. He sneered and pretended to stab Livel.

    “No, no! Have mercy, I beg of you!” Livel cried, grabbing his chest and falling to the ground.

    “Mercy? Never!” Masabala howled, motioning as if to stab his Roman victim yet again.

    Livel pulled Masabala to the ground and began to tickle him until they were laughing so hard they couldn’t catch their breath.

    “Enough!” Masabala screamed.
    The boys turned on their backs panting.

    “Let’s go explore,” Masabala said a few minutes later.

    “That’s not a good idea. You know the Roman garrison is camped nearby and Father says they kidnap Jewish children and make them slaves.”

    Masabala swatted the air with his hand. “You know he says that just to scare us.” He sat up, his eyes mischievous. “I saw a cave the other day that we’ve never been in. Come on. I want to go!”

    Livel stood. “Okay,” he said. Livel adored his brother and could never deny him. “But it will be dark soon so we have to hurry.”

    “I can’t wait until I’m older,” Masabala said as they walked in the desert, the white clouds dusting against an azure sky, the sun singeing the air, their sandals little protection from the burning sand as they headed toward a ridge of low cliffs. “I’m going to be a soldier. It’s too bad you won’t be by my side,” he teased, knowing that his comment would irk his brother.

    “Don’t be so sure of that,” Livel said, scratching his leg where a mosquito had stung him.

    The boys broke into a run. Masabala was swift as a gazelle, his stride long and elegant. Livel spurted beside him, his gate awkward, and his steps uncertain.

    “Father will never allow you to be a soldier,” Masabala said, breathing hard.

    Livel stopped dead in his tracks. “You don’t know that!”

    Masabala slid in the sand, turned, and placed his hands on his hips. “Yes, I do. Everybody is talking about you. Mother says even the rabbis in Jerusalem speak your name in whispers. You are going to be a great rabbi someday.”

    Livel knew that his brother’s words were true. He could recite more commandments by heart that anyone in the entire village; he could speak Hebrew, Aramaic, and had learned to speak Latin after spending just a week with a Roman merchant that had come to the village selling seeds.

    “I am going to be a great commander and lead our people to victory!”
    Livel laughed and punched Masabala’s arm.

    “I’m sure the entire Roman garrison will one day know your name, oh great Masabala, and they will tremble in your presence.” His words were light, but Livel did believe that one day his brother would become a great soldier and able leader.Livel kicked at a rock and began a silent game of chasing and kicking, lost in thought. He knew he had a unique gift—information stayed in his head, stored in compartments, available verbatim as needed. His reputation as a prodigy would mean that soon he would be sent to study under the tutelage of the great rabbis in Jerusalem.

    Masabala kicked the rock away from his brother and ran backwards. “Come on genius, I’ll race you!”

    The boys sprinted toward the ridge that led to the cave Masabala wanted to explore. It was then that they heard the thundering sound of horses’ hooves and the unmistakable clanging of armor. Horrified, the boys froze. The Romans were unmerciful adversaries. If they didn’t kill them they knew they would taken into slavery.

    “Listen to me,” Livel said, grabbing his brother by the shoulders. “You were right. You are the soldier and now you must do what a soldier would do. Run like the wind and warn Father!”

    “And leave you behind?” Masabala’s eyes filled with tears. “I won’t do that! We can hide.”

    “Where? They will be here before we reach the cave! You go. I will distract them and then follow.” He gave Masabala a shove. “Keep low and run. Go now!”

    Livel watched his brother head toward home. Then he crouched and began to run himself, not from the soldiers but towards them, intent on putting as much distance between himself and his brother as he could. Once the soldiers were in clear sight Livel turned back towards his village, running slowly, waiting to be caught.

    Within moments ten fully armed Romans who were on patrol searching for the Jews that had attacked their camp earlier in the day were upon him. A soldier dismounted and unsheathed his sword. Livel stood paralyzed, his body convulsing in spasms of terror.

    “Looks like this one is a real hero,” the soldier said in Aramaic, poking Livel with the tip of his sword. With squinted eyes he peered into the distance.

    Terrified that the soldier might spot Masabala, Livel drew back his foot and kicked the man in the shin.

    The soldier howled and grabbed Livel by the scruff of the neck. “What are you doing out here alone?”

    “I like solitude. Now, let go of me!” he replied in Aramaic, wiggling free.

    The soldier smiled at his friends, menace turning his eyes to fire. “My, my, my, a well-educated young Jew. Put him on a mount.”

    Tears streamed down Livel’s face. He tried to run but was grabbed around the waist.

    “Do you want me to tie you onto the horse, boy? Or perhaps you’d like to be dragged behind,” the soldier yelled, dangling Livel from the ground, his breath hot on the boy’s neck. Livel was tossed on to the horse and strapped to the saddle. 

    As they rode away the boy looked toward the heavens and began praying aloud to the God of Abraham.

    “Shut up,” one of the soldiers yelled in Latin.

    “Leave the boy alone,” came another voice. “He’s not bothering anyone.”

    “He’s bothering me.”

    Then another voice intervened, softer and filled with authority. “He’s frightened. Let him be.”

    They traveled throughout the night, moving rapidly whenever the rugged terrain allowed them to do so. Livel prayed until he no longer had a voice and when exhaustion overcame him, he fell asleep leaning on the soft mane of the horse, dreaming of home, his parents, and his little brother. 
    At dawn, the troop halted and Livel awakened with a start. Torrents of anguish washed over him as the sleep world dissolved. Recalling his mother’s eyes and his father’s voice he began to cry. I want to go home. Mother, Father, save me. Help me! He was not a man-child now, but a young boy. He longed for the safety of his parents’ arms.

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  3. Phil Jason says:

    Have you read Aram Schefrin’s novel THE TENTH COW? He as an unusual take on the Third Temple possibility — indeed, a world-wide Holy War, as forces align to build the Temple or make it impossible to build the Temple.

    It’s reviewed on my blog philjason.wordpress.com

    Is your first novel out? Send a review copy my way.

    And we’ll look into you being a speaker at our synagogue in Naples (Beth Tikvah, a new synagogue)

    –Phil

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  4. Eileen Sidlow says:

    This is very exciting and I am looking forward to more and more.
    I would like it to go on…….It feels like a winner. Good Luck

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