Educational Content in

                        “The Red Sox and the Devil’s Handmaiden”

            ISBN 1-4137-8799-1 (Baltimore: Publish America) 2005     

                                         © Andy Plotkin 2005


            Generally, this book explores concepts in two different intellectual areas, the fictional genre of magical realism, and the spiritual realm of Judaism.  There are also a few other concepts that are explored, as well as some fun things, with particular reference to Boston.


In the area of magical realism, the following ideas are offered to the reader for consideration:


  1. The juxtaposition of natural and supernatural events and its results.
  2. The recognition of miraculous aspects in ordinary events, such as a baby’s first steps.
  3. The existence of magical elements even in the most realistic of stories and lives.
  4. The idea that magical realism can enrich our lives by making us more receptive to beauty, thereby allowing us to become more human.


The book also touches upon various topics in Judaism:


  1. The advancement of Judaism made by these women in the Bible:

Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Dina, Tamar, Hannah, Miriam, and Esther, in addition to Leah’s and Rachel’s handmaidens, Zilpah and Bilhah.

  1. Jacob’s life is also explored in several situations.
  2. The Jewish concepts of Shechinah, prayer, ruach, kavanah, and hineini.
  3. The idea of prayer coming straight from the heart, while the conscious mind is still.
  4. The meanings of the Avot and the Michamocha prayers.
  5. Lust, love, and sex in ancient Jewish relationships.
  6. The Shechinah and halos depicted in Renaissance and Catholic art.
  7. Spiritual and civil statuses of Jewish vs. Catholic women in antiquity.
  8. Agape (pure love) and ecstasy as Jewish responses to the sacred.
  9. A suggestion of modern Jews descending from Islamic tribes in the middle ages.
  10. A discussion involving the percentage of Jews in the world population.
  11. The problem of Jews unwilling or uninterested in being Jewish.
  12. A question of faith: How much has to be revealed for a person to have faith?
  13. Does God prefer people to take justice into their own hands?
  14. The concepts of matrilineal, patrilineal, matriarchal, and patriarchal society.
  15. Compromises of Orthodoxy in modern life.
  16. The ontological question of Divine omniscience vs. omni-empathy: Can God understand everything if He does not experience fear and bravery? (The extension of the Job story).



2—Educational Content in the “Red Sox and the Devil’s Handmaiden” 


Other areas that are explored in the book include the following:

  1. Untangling the notions of romance, sex, lust, and love in literature.
  2. Norms of everyday behavior between men and women in antiquity vs. modern society.

3.  The concepts of scientific probability and bad luck masking the occurrence of                   


4.  The concept of triadic relationships.

  1. The role of sex in ancient and modern times.

      6.  A consideration of the symbols on the bima.

  1. The meanings of mass media, terrorism, chaos theory, free will, repentance,

      justice, and redemption in modern society

8.   A suggestion that love is an indication of one’s soul.



Some locations in Boston and other fun material found in the book:


  1. Fenway Park
  2. The Green Monster
  3. The Boston Red Sox
  4. Durgin Park Restaurant
  5. The MBTA mass transit system in Boston
  6. Romantic love scenes


Andy Plotkin, Ph.D., 11808 Hemlock Street, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

(561) 775-1881 (home)  (561) 632-6568 (cell) 


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