Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Pilgrimage of a Proseletyte" by David Patterson

So my friend invites me to synagogue one day, and there's this big box of FREE books.  I pick this one up and start reading.  Man oh man was I in for a surprise.  Written in soul-piercing prose, this memoir is of a Russian convert to Judaism.  In the month of May 1991, it chronicles his journey from Poland to Israel to Germany and finally back home to America.  He visits the concentration camps, sees the Western Wall, and sees where Anna Frank lived.  The impact of each location is powerful, and readers feel as if they are with David on his voyage across continents and across spiritual dimensions.  A few other characters are weaved into this book as the author highlights those who have touched him the most--from an elderly couple who helps the sick to a hunched over beggar on the streets.  I believe this book was meant for me.  Born in May of 1991, this book helped me discover that I was born on a Shabbat and on Shavuot.  I am also planning trips to Poland and Italy.  If there could be no more coincidences, there is a point in the memoir where the author and friends discuss Saint Teresa.

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