From Hollywood to the the Holy Land - Book Review
Not sure if this is a book Review or Life Review. Anyway, as Tzvi Fishman says – I hope it is a Rave. A word of caution. I did not pay to read or buy this book nor is the author paying me yet to write this review. Tzvi as a gesture of desperation or goodwill allowed us to download PDF versions of his books. See.
Anyway, it made a jolly good read and a good way to pass the time at Home (during Covid-19)
This is the story of how Barbie girl Ken became Tzvi. How this American pseudo Goy discovered his Jewish Heritage.
How a Jewish ignoramus discovered the truth of the Torah that God is a Zionist, and the Torah is the ultimate Zionist guidebook in his first naive reading of the Bible. It reminds of how Rabbi Akiva first learned the Bible at age 40. he got straight to the punch line, and as result he was able to give a no punches insight which made him such a force on Jewish history.
I am both in awe and jealous of Ken, not only through the way he describes his masculinity, and powers with women, but how Ken saw through the facade of Haredim which did and does not continue to combine Torah and Zionism. I am not sure I would have been so quick to show my dirty laundry in public like he has done. Hats of him for this. He has more guts than me.
We all have interesting stories how we found our Judaism , but mine is quite boring and parve compared to Ken, whose story like that of Forest Gump finding himself at the right places, mostly without any planning. He gets involved in a Project to bring volunteers to Israel, by accident, and he thrust in the forefront of the Religious Zionism of Rav Kook, and his destiny
My journey to discover Rav Kook was much more detoured, with lots of potholes.
Although, Ken listened and was inspired by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach music and stories, not sure why their paths did cross.
My guess is that Ken who became Tzvi needed to learn and spread Rav Kook teachings. Indeed, he co-authored 4 books in English on Rav Kook with Rabbi David Samson. I have a few of these books, without knowing the story of author.
In fact,the Art of Teshuva has been go to book for me for quite a few years nows and was a big door to learning not only about Rav Kook, aswell quick and easy (or not easy) guide to Teshuva.
The book Hollywood to the Holyland ends when leaves us hanging in mid-air when he proposed to his wife. Maybe, he is holding out for a sequel. In fact, I am surprised that Ken aka Tzvi story is not a Netflix best seller yet. It makes the Shtisel series look boring and contrived.
A noble unpaying, embarrassing past time trying to bring some humour to our lives. He also is one man band to promote Aliyah and does not mince his words.
Anyway, when I saw he selling his Books on Tevye in the Holy Land, I made an excuse to visit him in his Warehouse (OK his Home) a few times to help the struggling novelist sell a few books.
So, I met Tzvi. To his credit, he has shed his barbie girl Ken image. hmm in more ways than one.
In all seriousness, Tzvi has launched a one-man campaign together with a few faithful choir members to encourage, force the Jews to make Aliyah and spread the message that as the Israel is the only place where a Jew can fulfil his destiny.
I hope to join his choir.
Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."