The Cross and the Pear Tree: A Sephardic Journey
ISBN: 0520206525 Global Overview for this book
2 journalers for this copy...
Tracing the dramatic lives, through 500 years, of the old and distinguished Sephardic Jewish family from whom he is descended, Perera brilliantly recreates the history not only of his own people but of an entire culture.
In this vibrant, engaging chronicle, Perera, who teaches journalism at UC Berkeley, traces his family tree from the 14th century onward. Born in Guatemala to Sephardic Jews who emigrated from Jerusalem in the 1920s, Perera explains that his father came to the New World under a patriarchal curse. The author's great-grandfather, Yitzhak Moshe, rabbi of Jerusalem, exhorted his sons and grandchildren never to leave the Holy Land, threatening ``excommunication' to those who disobeyed. Traveling to Alexandria, Egypt, Perera visits the grave of his grandfather, Aharon Heim Perera, a Torah scribe from Palestine who flouted Moshe's injunction by traveling abroad. In recovering his Jewish identity, the author liberates himself from the family curse. This beautifully written odyssey passes through Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition; France, where brothers Emile and Isaac Perera, rivals of the Rothschilds in wealth and influence, built railways; and the Sephardic community of Salonika, Greece, from which Perera's forebears escaped before the Nazi slaughter. He also interviews members of Israel's Sephardic underclass, who tell of discrimination by Israeli Ashkenazic Jews of European descent. Photos. (Apr.)
My grandfather's surname was Perry, and the tree on the book is the logo for my brother's band.
Not to mention the book just plain looks like a good read.