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This fascinating book, One Family, Four Cultures and Four Continents, by Asher Elkayam, depicts the adventures of a child growing up in Morocco and goes through political and historical events which happened in his childhood and focused on a pivotal year: 1956

Mr. Elkayam writes about the beauty of childhood and the innocence thereof, the neighborhood, the nature, the education, the typical things, which happened then but may never be repeated.

In an emotional way, he describes the influence of his parents, who were among the guardians of Jewish tradition. He describes the Moroccan Jewish population, which represented a minority, and the events which led to their survival. Having been targeted by the Nazi regime which expanded its grip on North Africa during

the 1940’s, including French Morocco, that minority of Jews of North Africa was saved by the arrival of the American forces, during World War Two, who landed in Casablanca in November, 1942, the author’s city of birth.

The North African Jewry, which totaled about 400,000, was thus saved from the Nazi threat while Nazi atrocities in Europe went on until 1945, thus destroying the majority of the European Jews. Consequently, a massive exodus of North African Jews took place between 1948 and 1958. The hopes and dreams, as recited in their daily prayers, to reach the Holy Land, were finally realized. With measured enthusiasm, Asher describes the friendly relationship between Moslems and Jews in his native Morocco.

Asher wants to make sure his readers understand that there is a divide between friendship and politics. The overwhelming majority of his neighbors were friendly and unthreatening. However, those in the small minority who became active in politics were behind the forces which eventually caused Asher’s family and thousands more to look for a safe exit from his native land.

Whether the events, which led to a massive exodus from North Africa, represented a coincidental circumstance in current events or whether they were caused by some divine intervention would remain for a long time a thing historians could decide on one day.