For most of the world, 1945 marked an end of six years of wrenching global warfare. But for over 120,000 Jews in Iraq, 1945 ushered in a period of intense, government-sponsored persecution, a terrifying era that would only end with their mass exodus to Israel five years later. That exodus was sparked by a heroic young woman who would become known from Baghdad to Jerusalem as "The Mother of the Pound". Her story provided the inspiration for this book, which explores the story of the Jews of Iraq, their deep historical roots, their defining traditions and spiritual values. To that story, the author brings both intimate knowledge, for he was born and and raised in that culture, and unique insights gained in nearly three decades as a practicing psychiatrist educated in Lebanon, Israel, and the United States. In a personal and engaging fashion, this book provides a panoramic view of this segment of the Jewish Diaspora, and the author's psychological perspective gives new insight into the evolution of culture and issues of religious and spiritual life. Emphasizing the importance of pride in heritage, this story of the survival of a people offers inspiration and direction for all who confront discrimination and prejudice today.
by David Kazzaz