JBOM stands for Jewish Book of the Month Club. This is a book club that was started this past March by Messianic Rabbi and blogger extraordinaire Derek Leaman www.derek4messiah.wordpress.com. The motivation behind starting this book club was to get a group together within the greater Body of Messiah reading, getting educated and sharing our thoughts on Jewish works with those who might not normally come in contact with such (like myself ). The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million was the JBOM selection for May.
“Time, time, time, is on my side. Yes it is!” goes the old Rolling Stones lyric about a fractured relationship in which “time” would be certain to have its impact and say in the matter. But is time really on our side? That depends on a million different angles and the short answer is most certainly both yes and no. The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn is largely a book about “time”. About the things related to time that we can’t control-the families we’re born into, the generation that we’re a part of, the decisions our parent’s make for us when we’re not of age to make them ourselves, plus other’s all play a part in the “big picture” of how and where we land in that little piece of history that is marked out for us. Of the things related to time that we can control (or at least we like to think so)- who we’re friends with, our spouses, where we live, education, employment, children, vacations, ect are often made because of an introduction or a chance meeting, a being in the right or wrong place at the right or wrong time. Mendelsohn says “. “For everything, in time, gets lost”: from the great civilizations of ancient history such as the Greeks and Romans up to the specifics of someone we hold dear in our lives who has a “beautiful smile” or a certain “way” about them. Things that we hold significant or other’s hold significant, in time become infinitely insignificant to most until they are virtually “lost” to “time”. Towards the end of his amazing journey where “time” was both on his side and against him, Mendelsohn says “….at the very end of my search I was standing, finally, in the place where everything begins: the tree in the garden, the tree of knowledge that, as I long ago learned, is something divided, something that because growth occurs only through the medium of time, brings both pleasure and, finally sorrow.”
The Lost is specifically about the lifelong search for six of Daniel’s relatives that “perished” in the Holocaust, at least that’s how it began, but as “time” goes on and takes him through the proverbial “ups and downs” it becomes a search that far exceeds his initial expectations with unforeseen but far-reaching relational impacts and emotions that stretch the globe over. To sum up the over-arching feel and layout of this amazing story, I quote Mendelsohn on p.413 when he is relaying how his late grandfather told stories “The long windup, all that background, all those Chinese boxes; and then, suddenly, the swift and expert slide into the finale, the finish line where the connections between all the details you’d learned along the way, the seemingly irrelevant facts and subsidiary anecdotes he’d lingered over at the beginning, suddenly became clear.”
This is a great book that contains not just one but many amazing stories within stories that no matter the seemingly irrelevant facts all tie together to make the whole continue to build and build until the grand finale. Highly Recommended!!!
May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah!