Flower of God: A Jewish Family's 3,000-Year Journey from Spice to Medicine
Flower of God tells the story of the author's paternal ancestral family from the time of the Temple of Solomon to the present: their migration from ancient Israel to Babylon, to Persia, to Anatolia, to Europe and finally to the United States.
Dr. Herbert Ausubel's saga of his family history is a captivating story of the Jewish experience, at once universal and unique. It is Everyman's tale, and the family's struggles are immediately recognized by anyone who knows something of the immigrant's journey, whatever the ethnicity. It is easy to empathize with the characters because Ausubel captures their humanity, and their difficult search for a hard-won life of dignity, purpose and acceptance.
This book is a testament to the unbelievable courage of the Jewish people and the indomitable human spirit. William Faulkner's marvelous Nobel Prize acceptance speech provides the perfect summary of their struggle: ''We will not merely endure, we will prevail.''
Dr. Ausubel has written with a sensitive pen, using poignant language, evoking compassionate images, describing action with its fortuitous consequences. Were this not a portrayal based on the lives of real people, documented by historical facts, environmental locales and interviews with remaining relatives, it would read like a compelling novel-the reader cheering the families on in their laborious quest for dignity, freedom and life. Lynne Gusikoff Hawes author of Guide to Musical America
Dr. Ausubel’s writing is highly colorful, meticulous, historically accurate, and beautifully expressed. The author obviously sees the Jewish experience from the inside out, and his ability to make the reader, Jewish and gentile, share his unfolding saga. Thus the reader is carried along in a most impressive “page-turning” experience. Dr. Arbie Orenstein Professor of Music, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College
Amazing history of one family!
By Nonfiction Lover - July 19, 2011
How many people can actually trace their families over a period of 3,000 years?! Extensively researched and beautifully written, "Flower of God" is the unique story of Dr. Herbert Ausubel's family. Dr. Ausubel, a New York oncologist, traces his family from the days of the Assyrian conquest of Israel to various parts of Europe, to their return to Israel, and to those who came to America. These Hebrew Children of the Book lived pious lives and raised wonderful, loving, productive families and, like the universal story of the Jews, were forced from their homes on many occasions under horribly destructive conditions. Some of these stories are harrowing and very memorable to the reader, as are many of Dr. Ausubel's relatives . I was in awe of the strength that his family displayed over the most trying circumstances. They were tested both spiritually and physically. Their story is one of survival, like the story of the Jewish people. It must've been fascinating to learn so much... read more
By Maureen Cray - September 27, 2011
I already see this book as a classic. The HISTORY is unbelievable and the moral lessons it teaches are priceless.
It is, without a doubt, one of the top 5 books I have ever read. Right up there with "NIGHT"!
This book brings out emotional levels of sadness, happiness, despair, moral values and family tradition.
As usual the Jewish people keep God as primary in their lives. Their trust and deep beliefs in their religion are brought to the forefront.
Herbert Ausubel takes one on a journey through history, geography and religion in a comprehensive way that one can easily follow no matter what religion you adhere to.
Dr. Ausubel commands the English language to bring forth the deep dark secrets and wrenching sorrow of his family and many other Jewish families.
This is a must read for anyone who has an interest in mankind and who is willing to read the past and try to secure the future without repeating the hate, bigotry and... read more
By Lorraine M. Weston - January 28, 2013
Flower of God: A Jewish Family's 3,000-year Journey from Spice to Medicine, by Herbert Ausubel is an incredible book, which takes the reader on the paternal ancestral road of one family over a 3,000 span.
The book holds a wealth of information regarding Dr. Ausubel's family, which has been researched in depth, not only by him, but by others, including historians. The extensive research and familial stories take the reader around the world, literally. During times of Israel being conquered by Assyrians, to several places in Europe, to Australia, China, Siberia, back to Israel and to America, the tapestry of time is woven with extremely beautiful prose, prose that is almost poetic.
Dr. Ausubel's research is intricate, and the stories reflect three millennium, generation upon generation of family members who lead peaceful and productive lives. But, within each situation, they had to flee their environment in order to survive, due to antisemitism.
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