“Gates to Tangier” by Mois Benarroch

26231918The book starts off at a  lawyer’s office, where the Benzimra family is being read about the deceased father’s will. The will informs the family that the late Benzimra has a illegitimate son and if they want to get their hands on the inheritance, they need to find him. The brother to all is to be found in Morocco where their father used to live. From that point onwards, the brothers and sisters go on a trip all together, apart from the little sister who is pregnant, in search of the new half brother of theirs.

The book travels the reader through many cities of the world, wherever there are Jews to be found, Morocco, Jerusalem, Madrid, New York, Paris and elsewhere. The Benzimra family leaves all over the world. Some are located in Jerusalem, a brother is in Madrid, another is in New York, a sister is in Paris. The family used to live in Morocco, but they emigrated to all those places in fear of what could possible happen to them, being Jews.

The chapters of the book are named after the brother or sister that is actually providing their thoughts and actions about this whole mess. Every chapter is different than the previous one as the story evolves. They don’t repeat the same events, but they carry on from where the previous one stopped. And this is the nice thing about this book, as there is one story told by many people and there is no re-telling!

The basic theme around this book is actually the Jews. One that does not know much about them, can read it and learn a lot. Of course we all know about the Nazis and the holocaust and we all hate it. However, there is a tendency that people accuse Jews for all the bad things in this world. Yes, the Jewish people are scattered around the world, as they didn’t really have a home until the country of Israel was created. However, many have not accepted that. And the Jews hate that there cannot be a year, a month or even a week, without a dead Jew, a murdered one, not one dying of natural causes.

It has been a little difficult to go through the book. It was especially because if you are not surrounded by Jews, you don’t really know their customs and their way of thinking and all. It can be a little tiring. On the other hand, it could be mentioned as a masterpiece by a real Jew or one that understands the Jewish people.

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