Wow. That was the only word I could think of when I finished reading the book Maran HaRav Ovadia. In 550 pages (give or take), Rabbi Heimowitz, covers HaRav Ovadia's life from the time he was young through his levaya.
Judging the Book by its Cover - a first glance review:
The cover is pretty typical of an Artscroll biography. The spine seems to extend onto the front, but I wasn't sure if that was part of the design or a printing error. Regardless, its a nice picture of the Rishon L'tzion in his glima and mitznefet.
Some Details I Liked:
It took me some time to get used to it, but I liked that the book was written with a Sephardic pronunciation of words. The extra detail made it easy to relate to what was being said. I loved that the friendly slaps that HaRav Ovadia used to give when he was proud of someone were mentioned in the book.
Who This Book is For:
I would give this book to anyone that is ready to read about greatness in our time. While there is also a lot of history in the book, I felt that the focus was more about how HaRav Ovadia went through those times. This book has many examples of how HaRav Ovadia was great in Torah, Middot and Yirat Shamayim. The episodes shared are ones that a young child can appreciate and older people can gain a lot from.
Who This Book Isn’t For:
If someone doesn't want to open their eyes to the commitment of Sephardic Jews, don't read this one. This book is an eye-opener and should be a lesson to all of us to grow and be the best we can be.
What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better:
I was very impressed with this book and I'm really not sure what could have made it better. The only thing that I can think of, is if it was done in two volumes because there was so much material to cover.
Out of all the biographies that I've read, I felt that this one tops the charts. Between what HaRav Ovadia went through in life, his travels and different positions for klal Yisrael, to his attitude throughout, there is so much to learn. This is a book that I'll cherish, re-read and share with my loved ones.
I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it, but that it no way changed the way I read it and reviewed it.