Sample Chapter-The Lost Torah of Shanghai

Prologue and first Chapter pdf

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Discussion Questions

Discussion questions for The Lost Torah of Shanghai

 

  1. The opening of the book and the trip to Shanghai take place during the First Gulf War, with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein as the aggressor. Discuss the significance of this timing relative to the story of the Torah.

 

  1. This story gives a picture of a unique Jewish Diaspora that began in Babylonia. Discuss this aspect of Jewish history.

 

  1. Discuss Lily’s self-image as a “Jewish Miss Marple.”

 

  1. Discuss Lily’s evolving relationship with Simon. Is marriage desirable or on the horizon?

 

  1. Research and discuss the so-called “real Jews of China” from Kaifeng and their descendants’ current status as Jews in China and in the eyes of Israel.

 

  1. The Chinese government today takes credit for saving Jews from Holocaust who came to Shanghai. Is this credit valid from a historical viewpoint?

 

  1. Miriam, though a fictional character, experienced and documented a lifetime of historical change both as a Jew and as a woman in the first half of the twentieth century. Discuss the history in “Miriam’s Megillah” and how realistic this character is.

 

  1. Discuss the life of Jews in India in the past and today.

 

  1. Discuss the differences between the ritual practices of Jews of Ashkenazic and Sephardic descent. How do these groups get along in Israel today?

 

  1. Discuss why or why not Ruth is a credible character.