The Hidden Scroll
Jerusalem, 1929. Palestinians Haj Amin Al-Husseini and Ahmid Ibn Najid found Bismillah, an international organization purportedly helping poor Muslims; in reality, it is a well-funded network designed to drive Jews from Palestine.
Tel Aviv, 1930. The spirits of Avner Amram and Rabbi Akiva tell Benjamin Amram that his newborn son, Avner, “will be a new Maccabee, but not the last Maccabee.” Avner and Ahmid, and later Amid’s son, Bashir, battle each other for Jewish legitimacy in Palestine. Central to their fight is the golden Menorah missing since the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 CE. Such a discovery would be central to the building of a third Temple and the establishment of a Jewish state. Loathing both, Ahmid forges scrolls to thwart its finding. He, and later Bashir, also attempt to steal relevant authentic parchments. Prepared by backgrounds in both engineering and archaeology, Avner doggedly follows the trail through the founding of Israel, the Six Day War, and the Yom Kippur War into the near future, 2015. Not only does Avner unravel the mystery of the scrolls, with the help of Farid, Bashir’s son, he also reveals the true purpose of Bismillah.
The Hidden Scroll presents a fascinating panorama of Jewish history from Biblical times onward. Although pro-Israeli, it avoids demonizing Islam by including moderate Arabs. The novel would have been more compelling, however, had there been more show and less tell. —