The Zaddik: The Battle for a Boy's Soul

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9781573929202: The Zaddik: The Battle for a Boy's Soul

A thirteen-year-old Brooklyn boy is kidnapped and hidden for years in Europe and Canada. Incredibly, the abductors are a Hasidic rabbi and his zealous followers backed by top-dollar lawyers. Against these forces the boy's immigrant Israeli mother stands alone, ignored by an indifferent district attorney who, rumor has it, needs the Hasidic vote for his upcoming reelection. What are the motives of this sinister Hasidic underground? To her urgent queries the mother receives only a bizarre, cryptic response: The rabbi has detected in the boy "a special light" that has predestined the child to become a Zaddik, a man so righteous he will be privy to the will of God and be an inspirational leader to the Jewish people. But to fulfill this destiny the boy must be sequestered, removed from all outside influence including his mother's, to receive the special training that only this ultra-orthodox Hasidic community can provide.

If this book were not based on actual events, the plot of Elaine Grudin Denholtz's gripping suspense story might seem preposterous. But her tale is all the more shocking because it is true. With a gift for realistic dialogue and sharply drawn characters, Denholtz creates a dramatic portrait of religious fanatics who arrogantly defy the law.

Reported on Israeli television as well as in newspapers from the New York Times and Newsday to Israel's Maariv and Yediot Ahronot, the facts of this story have dramatic tension that keeps the reader both fascinated and horrified: false passports, hideouts in France, the boy's father wired by the New York police, a bloody knife fight outside a yeshiva, the brainwashed son testifying against his mother, two courageous lawyers who battle the system for four years pro bono, and a riveting jury trial.

The Zaddik is more than a tale of kidnapping and the battle for a boy's soul. It invites us to ask ourselves, Where does religious devotion end and evil begin?

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From the Publisher:

"Denholtz has done a masterful job of capturing the essence of an extraordinarily complex series of events. Her book is gripping and suspenseful without compromising the magnitude of this amazing true story." -- Larry Meyerson and Steve Rubenstein, Attorneys at Law

"In this riveting book, Ms. Denholtz provocatively explores complex questions of parental rights, religious extremism, and society's obligation to enforce laws even when broken in the name of religious faith. The astonishing true story dramatically illustrates the tragic effects of deception, manipulation, and mind control that cultic groups typically employ on victims and their families. But above all, it's a moving story of a mother's brave quest to reclaim her lost son." -- Marcia R. Rudin, Founding Director, International Cult Education Program of the American Family Foundation

About the Author:

Elaine Grudin Denholtz is an award-winning journalist, playwright, screenwriter, and the author of Having It Both Ways: A Report on Married Women with Lovers and Balancing Work and Love: Jewish Women Facing the Family/Career Challenge, among other books. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and The New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame, she teaches at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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Denholtz, Elaine Grudin
Published by Prometheus Books (2001)
ISBN 10: 1573929204 ISBN 13: 9781573929202
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Book Description Prometheus Books, New York, NY, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition first printing. Signed and inscribed by Author on ffep"To Nadine, Enjoy reading this. Elaine Grudin Denholtz Nov.4, 2001. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear. DJ new, bright and shiny, no tears no chips no edgewear, Not clipped. 8vo, 378 pages. No markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent pages. Not a reminder. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 009393

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