Ganzel, Tova. “Ezekiel: From Destruction to Restoration”, Maggid, 2021.
A Fascinating Look at a Difficult Book
I have always found the book of Ezekiel to be difficult reading but after reading Tova Ganzel’s wonderful illumination of it, I can now approach it in a whole new way. Ezekiel ,the prophet, wrote from a perspective that is quite unique in that he was living in exile, in Babylonia yet he is constantly aware and reminded of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple and seems to lament it constantly. He rebukes the past yet he feels comforted by his ideas of the future redemption of the Jewish people.
It is obvious that Ganzel knows her Ezekiel and takes her through an intense study of the prophet and his life looking at all aspects of the book from its literary style to historical context to the prophecies and thoughts of destruction and ideas of redemption. The book of Ezekiel is filled with mystical ideas and unique literary figures of speech. There is a great deal of symbolism and the language is often difficult replete with allegory and parables. His ideas of a rebuilt temple differs from the temples that came before. It there a significance to this? His life spanned from before the temple to fifteen years after its destruction and was the first to prophesy outside of the land of Israel. Interesting enough is that what he had to say back then still is relevant today. His messages are about laws something that other prophets did not do.