by Yehuda Shulewitz
Softcover, 495 pages
Published by Penina Press
ISBN 13: 978-1-936068-26-5
Herod -- The Man Who Had to be King, is the story of the conflict between Herod, Rome and the Jewish people. It is the
story of a conflict that takes the reader from the Land of Israel and Jerusalem to the
bustle of Rome and the wide, colorful thoroughfares of Alexandria, from Syria to
the heart of the Parthian empire, to Babylonia and Antioch. It presents
a vast panorama of the Mediterranean region of some two thousand years ago,
bringing to life the great Sages, the High Priest and the Temple service, Antony
and Cleopatra, Cassius and Sextus Caesar, Alexandra, the proud Hasmonean
and her children, Aristobulus, and Antigonus, another
Hasmonean and contender for the throne of Judea and a bitter enemy of Herod.
The peaceful Jewish farmers meanwhile tend their fields, living
under the heavy burden of Roman taxation.
And Herod is always there – the devoted family man of malevolent moods
for whom no challenge is too great or bloody to reach his goal: He had to be
About the Author:
Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Yehuda (Louis) Shulewitz moved
to pre-state Israel in 1947 to study Jewish history at the Hebrew University
in Jerusalem. He had previously received a degree in economics from the
University of Illinois and served in the U.S. military in Europe during WWII.
The murder of the Hadassah medical staff on its way to Mount Scopus and
the subsequent Arab invasion of the nascent Jewish state put his studies on
hold. Yehuda remained alone and hungry in a friend’s Jerusalem
apartment during the siege of the city. Later, he courageously made his way
over the hills until he reached Tel Aviv, exhausted but safe. There he enlisted
in Mahal – the overseas volunteer regiment of the Israel army.
After Israel’s War of Independence, Shulewitz returned to his beloved Jerusalem and, apart from
occasional visits abroad, continued to live there until his passing in 2007. An observant Jew and
gifted writer, his published materials include articles, short stories, and academic papers, as well
as radio scripts, which were broadcast in many different languages. He also worked as the English
editor of the Bank of Israel.
Following his retirement, Yehuda Shulewitz researched and wrote this historical novel set during the
Herodian period in the largely Roman-dominated Mediterranean region of that time.