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Synopsis

AARON HITTIN,(24) a religious Jewish youth, studies to be a Rabbi. Three years after his marriage to ESTHER (19)- she commits suicide, being distressed and horrified - having born a baby who is lacking hands! (the Rabbi sees this as an omen, and a symbol of the helplessness of the Jewish people)... The Rabbi’s friend from the past- brother of Esther- is ELYA RUHIN(24) who has deserted religion and became Stalin’s follower. Though he blames Rabbi Aaron for Esther’s despair, he tries to help him, by sending his sweetheart, social worker NATALYA (23), to support the Rabbi to raise the cripple child, and help him to find work in town's Arts Gallery(he is avoided by Regime to be a Rabbi any more)… However, Natalya is a follower of Trotsky - Stalin’s enemy, and that is one of the reasons that her lover Elya quarrels with her and deserts her, while the poor Rabbi - who hears about that from her, falls in love with her. All this happens shortly before she is suddenly arrested by Gepau (secret police), brought into a ‘show Trial’ and sent to Siberia. After two years she is released, and marries Rabbi Aaron- That happens after the Rabbi's meeting with Stalin himself and begging from him(the meeting had been arranged by VIP Communist Elya).. . But the Gepau buddies now want to revenge Rabbi's success. They humiliate and prosecute the Rabbi non-stop. He now appeals to Stalin in writing, to let him and his family get out of the country, because the atheist regime consistently persecutes him and his small congregation. But the answe is always: Niet!...When ANTONOV(40)- Head of Gepau in town- abducts his deformed child from the rabbi(who wants to educate the boy as a God Believer), the Rabbi seems to have become mad; really he fakes madness. He is taken into an asylum, where he suffers from starvation, tortured by electric shocker and faces many queer inquiries, as the communists consistently suspect him to be sane…In his willingly imprisonment he meets other insane pretenders- as well as true, real mads, and their suffering is described here in a grotesque, humoristic and passionate way. ..Despite his suffer, the Rabbi succeeds to survive in his disguise. After more than a year in asylum - his wife finds something that changes his life: The dictator agrees suddenly to sign an 'order of ‘deportation’ to Rabbi's family. How and why all that had been achieved - in a regime that no one could leave, because it feared that millions would emigrate?- An answer to that you will find only by reading the whole novel.

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