Books: The Lawgiver

The Lawgiver MOSES (505 pp.)—Sholem Asch—Putnam ($3.75).

As a boy in Kutno, Poland, Sholem Asch used to pester his mother with the question: "Why has God divided mankind into Jew and Gentile?" With a rollicking brood of ten boys and five girls on her hands, Mother Asch had "other things to think about." But the question plagued Sholem Asch, eventually led him to become a religious novelist.

In his fictionalized lives of Christ (The Nazarene), Saint Paul (The Apostle), and Mary, he stretched Gospel truth, stressed the ties of faith linking Jew and Christian, "in the hope that mutual understanding might bring about...

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