"You're Jewish, aren't you?"
This blunt question is the way that college freshman Richard Cohn is introduced to an outspoken fellow student named Dov Epstein, who calls himself a "Messianic Jew," and believes that God has a special purpose for the Jewish people in these "Last Days." Raised by secular Jewish parents, Richard is completely oblivious to his own Jewish background, until this ongoing dialogue forces him to confront his own heritage.
The two young men vigorously argue with each other over the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible (particularly its reputed predictions of a "Messiah"), Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, and most significantly, about the identity and significance of Jesus of Nazareth. The rigorous process of self-examination this initiates leads Richard to embrace his Jewish identity, even as he vehemently denies the same for Dov.
The two ultimately become fast friends; but as they progress from an academic environment to the professional world, they are challenged by racist statements made by prominent national figures, anti-Semitic doctrines such as "Christian Identity"¿which teaches that white Anglo-Saxons are the "true Israel"¿and also purported "scholars" who deny the reality of the Holocaust itself.
Circumstances in life connect them with a young Iranian émigré named Jahangir Khatami, whose Muslim beliefs conflict strongly with their own. Yet when a violent incident brings the three of them together, they are forced to reexamine not just their differences, but their similarities. While they clash over the ideals of Zionism and its ramifications in the modern State of Israel, they are united in their horror over the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Join a diverse cast of characters (some of whom appeared in the author's earlier book, Beyond Heaven and Earth) in a probing exploration that may help you reconsider just what it means to be Jewish, Christian, or Muslim in the modern world.