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Ari Barak and the Free-Will Paradox by Shaul Behr

Ari Barak and the Free-Will Paradox

by Shaul Behr

400 pages
Ari Barak, a mischievous ADHD teenager, meets up with the brainy Howard Segal in a yeshiva with a difference. What is Rabbi White's secret? Can Ari and Howard solve the paradox of free will? And how will they clean up the mess they've made of the history of the world?

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Category: Fiction:SciFi
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About the Book
FINALIST! The American Book Fest 2018 American Fiction Awards - Religious Fiction

A yeshiva is supposed to be a place where young Jewish men go to learn Torah. It follows an orderly, set routine. Decorum is observed. The food is occasionally palatable. The curriculum is predictable, following the tradition of centuries. In short, it is almost everything that Rabbi White’s yeshiva is not.

What conventional yeshiva, for instance, would employ a mute giant with superhuman strength? Or boast technology that would stun any future-tech company? What Rosh Yeshiva would encourage his students to climb sheer rock faces? Or serve them food that routinely sends them into gustatory rapture? Or give them a practical, hands-on guide to the workings of the universe—including field trips?

Ari Barak, a mischievous ADHD teenager, meets up with the brainy Howard Segal, and together they quickly discover just how different this institution is.

What is Rabbi White’s big secret? Can Ari and Howard solve the ancient paradox of free will? And how will they clean up the mess they’ve made of the history of the world?

 

Reviews
Ari Barak and the Free-Will Paradox by Shaul Behr is a hilarious story with deep cultural and spiritual underpinnings, following the journey of Ari Barak, a teenager with ADHD and mischievous tendencies, and Howard Segal, an intelligent young man in an unconventional yeshiva. They are about to find out the secrets of Rabbi White, because his yeshiva is nothing similar to anything anyone would expect in a traditional place where young Jewish men go to learn the Torah. These intrepid youngsters are on a quest to unravel the mystery of free-will, and will they?

From the prologue, the reader is absorbed in the story as they follow a rabbi’s encounter with his family on his death bed. The humor is prevalent and it fills every page of this book, enriching the dialogues, and creating an atmosphere that is feisty. The characters feel real and I enjoyed the fact that the author has written the story from true human experience, exploring religious themes and articulating brilliantly on tenets of the Jewish culture. Ari Barak and the Free-Will Paradox is written in a very simple style, with prose that sounds good to the ears. The author weaves traditional Jewish expressions into the narrative — and the footnotes are relevant and informative — and this gives the story a degree of authenticity. Shaul Behr is a good storyteller and he creates characters that young readers and adults will love to encounter — deeply human, real, and sophisticated characters. It is hilarious and utterly engaging.
- Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

 

 

About the Author
Shaul Behr is an Orthodox Rabbi, husband, father, software professional, and running enthusiast, who writes for fun in his spare time, of which he has none. Born and bred in South Africa, he now lives in Beit Shemesh, Israel, with his wife and five children.

 

 

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