The Schmooze

Why Marco Koskas Abandoned France

Author of several novels, the French Jewish author Marco Koskas, born in Tunisia in 1951, has recently published what he calls a “récit” or narrative account. “My Paternal Heart: Diary from August 2010 to August 2011” appeared from Les éditions Fayard in January , a first-person story in journal form about his 16-year-old son embracing Orthodox Judaism and going to study in a yeshiva in Bnei Barak, east of Tel Aviv.

The younger Koskas, referred to here as Kiddo (Fiston) or by his Hebrew name Moshe, channels the usual adolescent moodiness into moralistic judgments of his parents and fellow students at shul. The latter take every opportunity to drink alcohol at strip clubs and visit prostitutes, he charges. Koskas, who in a checkered professional past has also worked as a private detective, seems intrigued by his son’s powers of deduction when noting that an Orthodox Jew drinking liquor from a flask at a Tel Aviv bus stop “must have been with whores.” Why? Because the Orthodox man in question did not recite the ritual prayer before drinking, meaning he is “impure and cannot say the name of God, and therefore has been with whores.”

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Why Marco Koskas Abandoned France

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