Foreword by Michael Dallen
One of the great pleasures of my job is hearing from men and women who, having come up in very different traditions from mine, and having examined other traditions, philosophies and metaphysics, have finally “discovered” HaShem.
Dimitar Kosev wrote the remarkable short book here. His day job is processing roses roses into rose oil in the beautiful mountainous country of Bulgaria, in the Balkans, and selling it worldwide. In his “leisure,” besides raising his family, he studies history, languages, and – above all – Torah. He embodies, to my mind, the human ideal: the truth-loving, humble man who tries with all his might to make God’s will his own, to serve Him, with imagination, inventivness and humor, as effectively and consciously as possible.
The prophets promised that, one day, people of all the nations of the earth will finally begin to “get” God and what Israel is all about. I believe that day is dawning, and that this book, From Rehovoam to Nehemiah, exemplifies exactly what she should expect from it: marvelous and unexpected new insights and a the beginnings of a never-ending explosive increase in human knowledge.
“Wise” King Solomon had a son, Rehovoam, who inherited his father’s kingdom and proceeded to help ruin it. The united Jewish Kingdom of David and Solomon split apart. This book tells that story, based on both the Bible and archeology, and takes it forward, all the way to the later Hebrew prophets and the beginning of the next cycle in Jewish history, when the Maccabees arose and Rome established itself and the Jews produced the man Yeshua ben Yosef, whom Europe would call “Redeemer.”
Taking all that history and putting it into context with the political and social stirrings in the larger world, in a short book that’s a good read, is quite a laudable accomplishment. But the author, wisely, also connects it to the main Player in the Bible, God Himself, and to Israel’s world-redeeming mission: to help educate and elevate all humankind to holiness.
The author and I first met because of my work on an obscure aspect of God’s Torah called Noahide Law. He has a brief discursion on those laws – we call them the Seven Commandments or Seven Mitzvot (“commandments,” or divine “connections,” abbreviated as the 7M. I have a few things to say about that so the author has kindly permitted me to submit an afterword. God-willing, it will add to and not take anything away from this wise and profound work.
April 15, 2019; 9 Nisan 5779
Link to the book, "From Rehovoam to Nehemiah" PDF here