The Rabbi's Cat 2 is the unexcitingly-named sequel to Joann Sfar's charming The Rabbi's Cat. It collects two volumes originally published separately in France, "Heaven on Earth" and "Africa's Jerusalem."
I didn't like this as well as the first volume, though it still has a great deal of charm and wonderful moments. The first story features Malka of the Lions, which can only be a good thing and which I enjoyed tremendously. But its very end contains what appears to be an explicit political comment on Israel, and then I get all dithery about not knowing enough to evaluate the comment. Your mileage obviously will vary.
The second story is introduced thusly:
For a long time I thought there was no point in doing a graphic novel against racism. That stance seemed so totally redundant that there was no need to flog a dying horse. Times are changing, apparently. Chances are everything's already been said, but since no one is paying attention you have to start all over again.
Which rather spoke to me.
The story is a road trip through Africa in search of a rumored Jerusalem with an intact Temple. The cat's master is initially dubious about the idea of black Jews ("look: blacks, they have slavery; Jews, they have pogroms. It's a lot to bear. Now imagine a people that had both at the same time. It just can't be."), but he and a number of companions eventually set out on the quest. I again enjoyed this to the end, though I have difficulty judging its didactic level. As for the end, I read it in a radically different way from a friend, who suggested (spoilers, obviously) that it was a particularly Jewish mode of storytelling. Her reading makes more sense to me, and I suspect that it is more consistent with the author's intention, but that ambiguity is worth noting.
Recommended if you like the first one, but not quite as strongly.
Subscribe to comments on this post: RSS feed
Post a comment: