"WHEN YESOD THE ORTHODOX JEW first gazes upon the figure of a man earnestly praying in a garden bower; he sees only a dusty portrait of a misbegotten soul from biblical times in communion with God. But the strength and intensity of the stranger's countenance enthralls Yesod.
Then he learns the figure is that of Jesus (Yeshua) in the Garden of Gethsemane. After struggling with the shame and shock he recognizes a deep kinship with Jesus. While studying ancient Hebrew texts in his room, a holy visitation brings him testimony that Jesus is the Messiah of mankind. Yesod faces expulsion from family and synagogue. His situation is worsened when his fiancèe demands that he give up this competing love.
Torn between his commitment to the Jewish community, his dear family and deep love for Sophia, Yesod the Jew is faced with overwhelming decisions that force him to search his soul."
Yesod hesitated, then walked to the far end of the store. When he had found the picture he sought, he stood in silence before it. He felt almost relieved, and this feeling disturbed him. The light, the face, the figure against the thick, anchoring olive tree, they were already in his memory. Now he saw other things. His eyes first picked out the quality of the white filmy light from the misty darkness, touching the tree but laying like a mantle upon the thin shoulders of the praying man.
Then Yesod looked at the stranger's countenance and began to discern the strength in his features. He noticed the firm set of the mouth, the intense concentration of his eyes as they seemed to penetrate the light. He sensed a life force behind the total figure that was, even in repose, commanding. He has endured much, Yesod thought. Hunger and cold, even loneliness and loss. An Essene perhaps, a poor hungry traveler along Judean desert routes.
But this man did not seem lost to poverty. In his lifted face was a single-minded attention, earnest in every detail. Yesod's eyes moved to the supplicant's folded hands, they were the hands of a craftsman or an artist. Ah, he was an artist without work, a wandering soul, pledged to record the world's beauty in fineness of detail. Yesod smiled. This was a man sensitive to all of life, offering his thankfulness to the Almighty in prayer at day's first light, a common practice among the devout of Jewish men.