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In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist

In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist

Author(s): Ruchama King Feuerman

Location(s): Jerusalem

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Contemporary

In this 2013 National Jewish Book Award Finalist, an eczema-riddled Lower East Side haberdasher, Isaac Markowitz, moves to Israel to repair  his broken heart and becomes, much to his own surprise, the assistant to a famous old rabbi who daily dispenses wisdom (and soup) to the troubled souls who wash up in his courtyard. It is there that he meets the flame-haired Tamar, a newly religious young American hipster on a mission to live a spiritual life with a spiritual man. Into both of their lives comes Mustafa, a devout Muslim, deformed at birth, a janitor who works on the Temple Mount, holy to both Muslims and Jews. When Mustafa finds an ancient shard of pottery that may date back to the first temple, he brings it to Isaac in friendship.  That gesture sets in motion a series of events that land Isaac in  the company of Israel’s worst criminal riff raff, put Mustafa in mortal danger, and Tamar trying to save them both.

As these characters – immigrants and natives; Muslim and Jewish; prophets and lost souls – move through their world, they are never sure if they will fall prey to the cruel tricks of luck or be sheltered by a higher power.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021