The Judge.jpg


Shay Aspril

Fiction, Am Oved, 2018


"At the core of every man lies a kernel of greatness, yet therein also lies his ruin." Ariel, a much-admired judge, and a sworn bachelor, grew up in the shadow of his protective mother, who hid from him all these years the identity of his biological father. Just before his nomination to the district court, he goes on a romantic date with a woman he met online. 


What happens next will seal his fate. 


How does a man of the law behave when he's threatened? Will he cling to the law or try to subvert it? This is just one of the storylines in this intriguing novel, in which characters that are seemingly unrelated circle each other, until it becomes apparent that everything leads to one place. These journeys are precisely and elegantly crafted, as is the elusive connection between truth and lies, between law and justice, and between parents’ choices and their children’s destiny. 


"Shay Aspril’s novel is defined by a profound examination of extreme moral situations, of encounters created by random elements and personal and social patterns, and by drafting sensitive portraits of wounded masculinity. His writing is a cutting yet compassionate criticism of the various ways in which people in pivotal roles serve as agents of an impersonal control mechanism. This compelling realism, vigorously written by a confident hand, excels in the art of storytelling and in plunging into the most intimate parts of the soul." -Judges Committee, Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew Literary Works, 2019 


"A thought-provoking book, fascinating and heart-wrenching. The fact that the author succeeds to stir tender feelings toward the sinner is what makes this book a clever, complex work, one which grips the reader, who discovers not only literary worlds, but also personal and psychological ones as well." -Alit Karp, Makor Rishon