Item description for Adjusting Sights by Haim Sabato...
When war breaks out abruptly in 1973, childhood friends Haim and Dov are called up together to serve in their tank battalion, but in the chaos of battle, the friends are separated. A month later, Haim returns alone, on his first leave home. As he struggles to come to terms with his experiences, weary and saddened but sustained by his religious faith, there is one question that remains uppermost in Haim's mind: What happened to Dov during those fateful days after the outbreak of war?
Much of the narrative of ADJUSTING SIGHTS (Toby Press, May 15, 2003, hdcv.) centers around recounting those chaotic first days of war endured by Haim, a tank gunner, along the hills and valleys of the Golan Heights. Interspersed with the action are Haim's memories of childhood, growing up with Dov in an immigrant neighborhood of Jerusalem. The religious teachings Haim and his fellow soldiers have grown up with are constantly with them as they deal with the devastating disarray of their forces and their fear of failure and capture. Prayer and Talmudic passages form a framework that enables them to cope with their experiences. Sabato skillfully draws us into the individual worlds of these young men; their courage as they help each other, their pain as they deal with the loss of comrades.
A lightly fictionalized biography written in a style reminiscent of S.Y. Agnon, ADJUSTING SIGHTS is not a book about religion, politics, or the rights and wrongs of war, but rather, it's a story about the personal experiences of a 19-year old man who has to adjust not only the sights of his gun, but also his understanding of the world in which he lives.
The author, Haim Sabato, descends from a long line of rabbis from Aleppo, Syria. He was born in Egypt but moved to Israel with his family when he was six. He served in the tank corps in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and today heads a Yeshiva near Jerusalem. ADJUSTING SIGHTS was a runaway bestseller in Israel, and won the prestigious Sapir Prize for Literature. It is his second book.
ADJUSTING SIGHTS was translated into English by a leading Israeli translator, Hillel Halkin. Halkin is also a journalist and author.
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Hiam sabato, the award winning writer, recreates a lost world in which faith provides a framework for life and a deep source of comfort. A bestseller in israel among both secular and religious readers, The Dawning of the Day is a solace and a comfort for all.
Reviews - What do customers think about Adjusting Sights?
Cannot Say Enough About Adjusting Sights May 12, 2008
Since I cannot say enough about Adjusting Sights, I will say very little. From a literary, historical and religious perspective the author Rabbi Haim Sabato "Nails it:". After reading this book as part of a course given by Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg, I couldn't help but give at least 2 dozen copies to friends. And...I rushed to buy and to read Rabbi Sabato's other books. My advise to one and all. Read it. Buy it. Herschel Sennett
A triumph of faith over fate Sep 30, 2006
Although a bit repetitious at times, this is a work of passion. Young men, ripped from their studies, seek to wend their way through the chaos of war started on their holiest Day of Atonement. They must try to make sense of an illogical and frightening situation while safeguarding their physical and spiritual lives. It is a quick and worthwhile read, no matter what your beliefs, since it easy to sympathize with the characters.
Just Not For Me Nov 22, 2005
This book is written with obvious love and passion. However, I was not able to become involved with the characters or get into the flow of the narration.
The story relies heavily on religious imagery and commentary. I have a hunch that deeply religious people with scholarly interests, especially religious Jews, will find the story very appealing. The main character cares deeply about his faith, and the war experiences are obviously an important test of that faith. I simply am not familiar enough with the sources and imagery to make the story come to life for me. I found myself stopping to try to figure out the connections instead of enjoying the story. In short, I found a story with a narrow and well-defined target audience, but that target audience simply was not me.
Besides personal reading pleasure, my other goal was to find a fictional work for an American audience. I teach a class on Middle East cultures to students with little or no background in the Middle East. Unfortunately, my students need a broader and more accessible introduction to Israeli fiction. I reluctantly leave this book to readers who are better able to appreciate its complexity and passion.
Poetic, Transcending, Supernal Novel of War and Spirit Nov 30, 2004
I picked this book up in the Tel Aviv airport and read it from cover to cover on the plane ride back to New York. The author presents a personal, gripping account of tank warfare on the Golan in the 1973 Yom Kippur War suffused with spiritual and philosophical radiance. Very spiritual, very deep...a wonderful extraordinary and transforming read.
A wonderful book on a sad and painful reality Nov 7, 2004
This is a book about the Yom Kippur War. It tells the story of one young religious soldier .It describes beautifully his neighborhood home synagogue .And it tells of his experience in battle, and the confusion and difficulty of this. It is also the story of a friendship and of the hero's search to find his longtime friend who it turns out has fallen in battle. It is a very moving work. And the religiousness of the main character is not imposed or extraneous but rather so within that religious discussions in the book read naturally and meaningfully. The disorentiation and suffering caused by war are described here in a muted and yet most deeply felt way. A wonderful book on a sad and painful reality.