It is with great pleasure to introduce you to author Zahava Englard’s work. Zahava stopped by with a guest post and a giveaway of her debut release titled “The Gilboa Iris”.
Dara Harow, the daughter of a rocket physicist for the US department of defense, sends her parents into a tailspin of dual-loyalty anxiety when she plans to wed Roni Ben-Ari, an Israeli officer in an elite counter-terrorist unit. When the Harows are targeted by a terror cell in hot pursuit of technology not yet found in any country’s arsenal, Dara finds herself at the center of a hierarchy of terror that threatens her life and the lives of those she loves. The Gilboa Iris is a blazing tale of romance, deceit and international intrigue. Its rich characters and explosive plot take readers from Israel’s Gilboa Mountains to the streets of New York, to Germany’s Zehlendorf Forest, and back to Israel amid seminal events that rocked the world between 1983 and 2002.
For a chance to win one e-copy of her book leave at the end of this post a comment answering the following question:
What’s the officer’s name Dara plans to wed?
The giveaway will run until 07/05 with the winner announcement on 07/06.
Now to Dara’s guest post:
I don’t like to be labeled
I was 17 when I decided to live for a while on a kibbutz and volunteer to work the land. I remember how some Israelis there asked whether I was American or Canadian or whatnot, and I responded with, “Ani bat-Yisrael.” I am a daughter of Israel. That response elicited much laughter from the Israelis. I didn’t care. I laughed at it myself…it was a tad dramatic. I defined myself as a Jew. A Jew who loved Israel and believed in the dictates of Judaism as a way of life. Plain and simple.
And don’t call me Orthodox. I’m not even sure what that means in practical terms. While I try to be religious, I’m certainly no saint, so let’s leave the labels of Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Conservadox, Conservative and the like out of the picture. The time will come, as it does for all, when God will judge my actions on earth, and while I have no inside information, I’ve got a feeling that my earthly label counts for naught in the eyes of the Heavenly Tribunal.
One can believe in the truth of the Torah (the Bible), and yet for whatever reason, not be so fervent in its dictates, while still having a constant spiritual perspective- always having God on one’s mind or in one’s heart. Oh, and don’t call me a settler, even though I’m proud of living in Judea. But I know what most of the world means, in large part thanks to an ignorant and biased media, when they refer to one as a “settler”. And please, please, please don’t refer to me as a beverage.
I don’t like being bunched into a category. Too claustrophobic and it doesn’t bode well with my in-your-face non-conformist persona. I prefer to flit anonymously from one labeled group to another, although I suspect that with my uncovered head, I would stand out in certain Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Mea Shearim and Geula, where the residents follow a strict adherence to ultra modest-type dressing. I guess my jeans would be a dead give-away too so let’s skirt that issue.
So, when you see me on the street, or talk about me behind my back, just call me Zahava. Or better yet, you can point at me and say, “Hey, isn’t she the great author, Zahava D. Englard?” That works for me too.
About the Author
A native of New York, Zahava Englard lived in Teaneck, NJ, before moving with her family to Israel in 2006. An outspoken activist in the United States on behalf of Israel, she served as trustee on the executive board of One Israel Fund, and as its executive director. Presently Zahava lives in Israel. Her writing includes Settling for More: From Jersey to Judea, and she lectures in the United States and Israel about her books, Jewish activism, and her passion for Israel’s well-being. Gilboa Iris is her first novel.