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by Shmuel Shimshoni
The author, Shmuel Shimshoni, born in Montreal Canada and now living in Israel, has created a number of imaginative essays, some bordering on fictionalized reality. We find David, a timid clerk looking for the host. His cell phone indicates an incoming call that happens to be from the elusive host. The voice notifies him, "I won't be joining you for the Sabbath retreat. Therefore it's up to you to take things in hand and organize a program."
With no alternative, our central figure somehow finds a way to become the leader of thirteen other men who were likewise invited to attend this event in total ignorance of what to expect.
Throughout the story a fine strand connects all fourteen total strangers. They all have something to contribute; as between courses during their meals, each one tells of an event in his life that unwittingly relates to the other participants.
But before they even get to eat their first meal they are introduced to a discourse based upon a little known religious ruling about how guests are supposed to conduct themselves, especially when the host is absent.
All the seemingly disconnected guests share something in common. But it is not till the very end of the day that they learn what it is, as a most completely unexpected secret is revealed.
About the Author
Shmuel Shimshoni, at age 80, is on full time, and even overtime retirement.
He likes to record his experiences and thoughts, even fictionalizing and spicing them up with little humorous angles. Having been an electrician, master locksmith, pneumatic automation technician, undertaker, and filling in spare time with varied volunteer functions, he has plenty of raw materials to write about.
That is what he did when he incorporated much of his collection into this volume, connecting the fruit of his pen into one tome.
(2012, paperback, 192 pages)