Satan in Goray, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In the little Polish town of Goray, ravaged by a terrible pogrom, expectations of the 'End of Days' foretold by cabalists run high.

Grief becomes joy as news arrives from the Holy Land of the second coming of the Messiah.

Usurping power from the pious rabbi, the believers listen to the prophetess Rechele and prepare themselves for the Coming of the Lord, when they will wear golden jackets and eat marzipan candy in the heart of Jerusalem.

As religious hysteria grips the town, spirits and demons are abroad at night, and the people grow weaker by the day.

But perhaps it is not the spirit of the Lord who possesses the body and mind of Rechele, but Satan himself.




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The Jewish messiah has arrived. Or has he? Sabbetai Zevi’s mid-seventeenth century cult drives a small Jewish village in Poland to madness as believers and non-believers in the professed saviour respectively overthrow and then restore the established religious tradition of the town.The book is fast paced and involving, but I felt had a messy ending – the narrative switches very suddenly to explain the end of the movement in the form of a religious text, rather than the more standard narrative that has driven the rest of the book. In another review of the book online, this was explained as a device to show up the inadequacy of a religious explanation for what had happened as well as the sociological one which had already been exposed. If this is the case, I think it was unnecessary; the problems of a religious explanation were already more than apparent. Nevertheless, an intriguing book, well worth the read.

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