Noted for popularizing Jewish topics, the author, a rabbi well-versed in history as well as Jewish texts, has combined his specialties in this interesting compilation of source material.
Beginning with the biblical period and continuing through the two powerful influences on Jewish history in the 20th century, the Holocaust and the State of Israel, Blech has selected primary documents to augment his historical perspective.
Chronologically arranged, the sections include the Second Temple Period, the first Millennium, Late Medieval Times, the Age of Emancipation, and Modern Times.
Selections from the Bible, the Talmud, Magna Carta, Ethical Wills, diaries and memoirs, as well as well-known literary and archival sources, are introduced in Blech’s overview, which sometimes may seem a bit sermonic.
The book, a one-volume distillation of material relating to Jewish history, is useful for educators but can be enjoyed by a lay readership.
It is similar to the 1997 publication Understanding Jewish History by Steven Bayme.