Interview with Orit Rehany, author of A River of Tears, the River of Hope


 A River of Tears, the River of Hope

Genre: School & Teaching/Inspirational

Author: Orit Rehany

Publisher: AuthorHouse

EBook: 151 pages

Release Date: December 17, 2013

A River of Tears The River of Hope centers on the saga of the Two Torah Scrolls, and of an fluent and thriving community living peacefully for 2600 years until World War II and the events of Nazism, anti-Semitism and hatred took place in the ancient region known as the Cradle of Civilization, or modern days Iraq. The creation of Iraq by the British installed an unsuccessful attempt at Monarchy. The results were staggering and ultimately ended in the displacement of an entire community to Israel and the first settlement of the community in this newly created State. A River of Tears The River of Hope follows the enchanting and fascinating Murad family. The Murad family brought to Israel a proud heritage to share with the world including the two Torah Scrolls of their beloved father and grandfather, Rabbi Ezra Murad. Rabbi Murad’s two Torah Scrolls traveled with the family to Israel, where he was rightfully recognized as an important and impactful role models. His name shined within the community in Baghdad, and his memory and the valuable Two Torah Scrolls continued to stand out in Israel. While settling in Israel the Murad family showed us the most valuable elements of hope, drive, and determination as they continued to thrive in Israel and Canada. They continued to believe in their abilities to succeed. Indeed, as their lives changed and they relocated, the Murad family always maintained focus and the belief in their ability to survive and flourish. A River of Tears The River of Hope will welcome readers into the history of the Murad family and their amazing journey from a world filled with oppression and tyranny, to one supported by acceptance and support.


What is your favorite quality about yourself?

It is easy to criticize ourselves, but we don’t stop to think about what makes us great often enough. I would like to explain why integrity is a quality that I like about myself:

What are  the values and principles of Integrity? Why do we respect people with integrity?

Integrity is one of the most important terms of virtue. It is the base of healthy relationship, business, or society. Persons of integrity may be regarded as honest and truthfulness, and consistency of characters. It stands in opposition to hypocrisy.

Some people could or may act immorally—though they would usually not know they are acting immorally. Thus one may acknowledge a person to have integrity even though that person may hold what one thinks is importantly mistaken moral views.


What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I came from a community that reputation mattered. Demanding of myself high standard, constantly tried not to blemish my name and to have a good credit, and constantly was worried about what others feel about me, I found out that to always try to please everybody else all the time was exhausting. It’s one thing to help out a person who needs it; it’s quite another to end up swamped underneath everyone else’s wishes and requests, with no time left for yourself. So, I decided to reclaim my personal worth and learn not to care about what the others are saying and feel about me. Let them criticize me, take time for myself. Most importantly is to take track my achievements.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

Since my high school days I loved my literature classes It inspired to start my own novel, which I did, based on achieving happiness through love. I was an avid reader, Agatha Christie’s books, or any suspense books, biography books, novels, and inspirational books. The fear of failure held me back. The fear of fluency in languages, particular pieces of writing isn’t going to turn out well, so I avoided working on writing in order to avoid feeling the fear. Overtime I learned to push away the negative feelings of fear and created history courses for adults. I became a guest speaker on Iraq and the Middle East alike shortly after 9/11. I had the capacity to work hard, although I did not like the increased pressure, I still had the drive to write my first book.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years? 

My mother, as small children in Baghdad, used to tell us stories with the morals. Each one of my siblings was excelled in school. My brother Haim, who passed at the age of 16, created a library at home. I grew up in this kind of atmosphere that studies and education are essential to your future. In Israel I was inspired from my literature classes, started to write a novel, I was an avid reader, throughout all the countries I lived in, (four countries) when I became a teacher it was the involvement in school and the research for my students and studies alike that contributed to the power of writing, What inspired me to write this book was the desire to accelerate my grandfather’s name, and the Saga of the Two Torah Scrolls.

How did you come up with the title of the book? 

The biggest inspiration I got when considering the title of my book were the fond memories I had from the Tigris and Euphrates River at the time of living in Baghdad as a child. Those memories were of family outings, picnics, fishing, boating or swimming in the river. My mother sent me to swimming lessons along with other 10 boys and I was the only girl getting swimming lessons at the end of the 40s beginning 50s. The Two Rivers were such a vital element in the life of the population in Iraq. In 1951 was the mass immigration to Israel, the two Torah Scrolls, which my grandfathers wrote and were precious to the family, were transported to Israel. I wanted their voyage to their new country to pass through the River. The departure from Baghdad was with a lot of TEARS, HOPE and new beginning is replacing the tears.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

The hardest part in writing my book was accumulating all the material. It was not just to honor and be just too, I wrote about but also interviewing family member, and others, living in four countries, getting all the images in high resolutions, and writing about each member of the family. I was very demanding of myself in producing a professional material, since it was my first book, the search for a professional editor was very hard to say the least, I went through many offers of editors, and started with one that did not have the vision for the book. Justin Spizman is an editor whom I recommend.

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