The Lost Torah of Shanghai

The Lost Torah of ShanghiMeet Lily Kovner, “the Jewish Miss Marple”

Lily Kovner’s first reaction to the news that a precious Torah has gone missing from the home of a Chinese government official in Shanghai is disbelief. She scoffs at her nickname, “the Jewish Miss Marple,” and rejects the prospect that she could be instrumental in recovering the Torah. Yet, Lily’s devotion to her newfound Chinese-Jewish cousin, Ruth, trumps her skepticism. Along with her significant other, Simon, and Ruth, Lily undertakes another improbable quest plagued by threats, dangerous physical attack, and a likely murder.

Ultimately, political intrigue stemming from China’s strife-ridden pre-Communist era, as well as long-buried resentments of an ancient community, emerge as motives that led to the Torah’s theft, point to its perpetrators, and ultimately reveal a unique and little-known aspect of vibrant Jewish communal life that survived and thrived throughout a multi-century diaspora that stretched from Iraq to India to China.