Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The English Jew Who Read My Book

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The English Jew Who Read My Book

Article excerpt

From his fidgetiness I took him to be one of those embryonic, not-quite charactersnot quite a barrister, not quite a doctor. A law clerk maybe, or a pharmacist. Not quite married. We were by the pool of the King Solomon's Palace Hotel in Eilat, he the only man among a group of women doing a morning keep-fit class, I sitting under an umbrella reading, resting up during my first visit to Israel. I needed a break from Jews asking why this was my first visit to Israel. The minute he saw me he made a scribbling motion with the hand that wasn't holding up his shorts. The gesture reminded me of the way my father used to call for the bill at the end of a meal. Mene mene tekel upharsin he might have been inscribing on the restaurant ceiling, so magnificent in its portentousness was the movement of his finger. …

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