Winner of the National Jewish Book Award: A novel of a Polish king and a rebellious rabbi, "full of sudden delights and mocking humor" (The New York Times).
The Polish monarch has outlawed a portion of the Jewish funeral rite, and none of the community's lawyers, judges, or scholars will come forward to defend the custom before the crown. Only one man dares challenge the sovereign: the spindly old Rabbi Eliezer of Rimanov, whose eccentric habits conceal the mind of a dreamer and the curiosity of a child.
The rabbi is reduced to laughter at the sight of the king, for the country's ruler is but a boy-and Rabbi Eliezer knows how to speak to youngsters. They make a bet: If the rabbi can convince him that there is more to the universe than meets the eye, the funeral rite will be restored. To make his case, Eliezer launches into the story of Judah ben Simon, a tale of such majesty and wonder that it promises to make a dreamer out of all who hear it, changing them forevermore.
Judah the Pious is a lively, early novel set in seventeenth-century Poland by one of today's most accomplished writers, a National Book Award finalist and the New York Times-bestselling author of Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man; and Reading Like a Writer.